Watch Sara Quin’s introduction and the subsequent debate about Essex County on Canada Reads.
Earlier we discussed briefly the focus on imagery and literacy, but the contestants also characterize the graphic novel in terms of the genre of short stories, pictures, and other connections to areas of culture and literature. These connections allow us to guess at how the contestants anchored their evaluations of the graphic novel.
Pick a connection of interest to you, such as the short story form, and consider
- how a given connection and assumptions about it construe comics one way or another
- how these ways of framing or connecting comics to other interests work rhetorically to convince the audience of specific values and evaluative practices
- how these connections might impact the book’s reception by others
For more information and responses to Jeff Lemire’s nomination, see the Canada Reads archive.
Consider expanding this exercise to other Canadian comics that have received popular attention, such as Tamaki and Tamaki’s Skim or several books by Chester Brown, Guy Delisle, Julie Doucet, or Seth. Compare and contrast online reviews and comments about one of their works, considering how the comics are being constructed as valuable (or not) and how this might impact the work’s evaluation or reception.