Comics Versus Art

Comics Versus Art

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Bart Beaty
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2012
World Rights
288 Pages 10 Images
ISBN 9781442612044
Published Jul 2012
Online discount: 15%
 $31.95    $27.16
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442696273
Published Jul 2012
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $31.95

On the surface, the relationship between comics and the ‘high’ arts once seemed simple; comic books and strips could be mined for inspiration, but were not themselves considered legitimate art objects. Though this traditional distinction has begun to erode, the worlds of comics and art continue to occupy vastly different social spaces.

Comics Versus Art examines the relationship between comics and the most important institutions of the art world, including museums, auction houses, and the art press. Bart Beaty's analysis centres around two questions: why were comics excluded from the history of art for most of the twentieth century, and what does it mean that comics production is now more closely aligned with the art world? Approaching this relationship for the first time through the lens of the sociology of culture, Beaty advances a completely novel approach to the comics form.

Bart Beaty is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary.

Comics Arts World

Roy Lichtenstein's Tears: Ressentiment and Exclusion in the World of Pop Art

Searching for Artists in the Entertainment Empire

Cartoons as Masterpieces: An Essay on Illustrated Classics

Highbrow Comics and Lowbrow Art?: The Shifting Contexts of the Comics Art Object

On Junk, Investments and Junk Investments: The Evolution of Comic Book Collectibles

Crumbs from the Table: The Place of Comics in Museums

By Way of Conclusion: Chris Ware's Comics About Art


Comics Versus Art is an absolutely terrific, very impressive book. Bart Beaty has produced a striking institutional history of comics, focusing on their movement from a position of low culture and marginality to their new place of prominence. It’s a work of great sophistication, providing a broader, more nuanced sense of comics as a cultural form than we have previously understood. At the same time, Beaty explores these ideas with great clarity and focus in straightforward language.’

Scott Bukatman, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University

“Comics Versus Art is an intriguing text for readers of comics, and an illuminating look at the theoretical underpinnings of what we call – and refuse to call – art.”

Ian Daffern, Quill and Quire

‘This solid, sound, intriguing book will set the discourse on art and comics for a considerable time. Essential. All readers.’

J.A. Lent, Choice Magazine vol 50:07:2013

‘Excellent investigation of the world of comics… In writing a history of ways the comic world has been taken up during modern era and beyond through sociology of art perspective, Beaty has made a valuable new contribution to the study of comic form.

Beverly Haun, Canadian Literature 219, winter 2013

Will Eisner Comic Industry Award - Best Education/Academic Work (United States) - Short-listed in 2013
Gertrude J. Robinson Prize awarded by the Canadians Communication Association (Canada) - Winner in 2013