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On Comics and Grief

By Dale Jacobs
Series Crossing Lines Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771126052, 324 pages, April 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771126069, 324 pages, May 2024
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771126076, 324 pages, May 2024


Fragmented and hybrid in style, On Comics and Grief examines a year in comic book publishing and the author’s grief surrounding his mother’s death. This book connects grief, memory, nostalgia, personal history, theory, and multiple lines of comics studies inquiry in relation to the comic books of 1976.
Structured around a year of comic books with a cover date of 1976, the year the author turned ten, the book is divided into an Introduction plus twelve sections, each a month of the publishing year. Two comic books are highlighted each month and examined through the interwoven lenses of creative nonfiction and comics studies. Through these twenty-four comics, the book addresses the major comic book publishers and virtually all genres of comics published in 1976.
By pushing the ways in which the personal is used in comics studies, combining different modes of writing, and embracing a fragmentary style, the book explores what is possible in academic writing in general and comics studies in particular. On Comics and Grief both acts as a way for the author to process his grief and uses grief as a way to think about the comics themselves through the emotions and personal connections that underlie the work we do as scholars.


I’ve always believed that comics have the power to evoke any emotion and any idea, and Dale Jacobs clearly feels the same. This is a wonderful exploration of the emotional power of the medium.

- Jeff Lemire, author of Essex County and Sweet Tooth

When Dale Jacobs looks back on what a single year of comics reading reveals about a lifetime of his mother’s love, the results are as poignant as they are critically provocative. Brilliantly conceived, On Comics and Grief makes space for us, as scholars and enthusiasts, to explore how the aims of our public work are inescapably shaped by our most personal experiences.

- Qiana Whitted, University of South Carolina, author of EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest