Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 13, 2014

GC students produce pop culture publication for class


Reality, meet artistry — and the occasional human/rabbit hybrid.

A group of Goshen College students has produced “Goshen Graphix II,” a collection of illustrated memoirs. “Graphix” is the result of coursework as part of the GC class “English 230, Literature and Pop Culture: The Graphic Novel.”

The book was edited by Victor Garcia, Sara Klassen, Mandy Schlabach and Kate Yoder, and includes their work. In addition, “Graphix” also features efforts by Laurel Woodward, Kate Friesen, Annabeth Tucker, Sam Smucker, Stephanie Swartzendruber and Emma Gerig.

The “Graphix” material is in black and white, and some in-color works weren’t included in order to keep printing costs down. However, Liz Reese’s “Pearl of Wisdom,” Klassen’s “Story of a Morning Glory” and a color version of Tucker’s “That One Time, When My Life Fell Apart” are viewable on the GC English Department website www.goshen.edu/english/publishing/ppp/.

Now, a bit about the term “graphic novel.”

To the uninitiated, the name may suggest something prurient. The graphic novel is actually a medium kindred to the comic book format. It also deviates from that form.

(Editor’s Note: Over the years, comics have gone through an artistic evolution of their own. We’ll leave that for another article, perhaps.)

Batman circa 1950 is not what the modern graphic novel is about. The genre can still be home to costumed avengers (think “V for Vendetta”). However, the graphic novel also lends itself to more personal expression, and addressing broader societal and historical concerns. The border between “comic book” and “literature” is permeable.

The reading list for GC’s “Graphic Novel” May term 2013 bears this out. It included the lauded works “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Allison Bechdel, “Ghost World” by Daniel Clowes and “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood” by Marjane Satrapi. Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust-themed “Maus” and “Maus II” were also on the list, with good reason.

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