For his pleasure: A discovery of kyriarchal, casual, and culturally affective rhetoric and messaging in comics and graphic novels from 1980-2023

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Breshears, Peech
Bechtold, Rebeccah B.
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This research provides new and novel considerations of and methodologies for the analysis of visual language, in this thesis called graphic novels, comic books, and visual texts. The two primary areas focused on in this research are the selected graphic novels from Marvel and DC comics published in the years 1980 to 2023 and the secondary sources of peer reviewed academic articles, published historical works, and comic-centric books, which focus on or can be connected to the analysis of both comics and their cultural effects on readers. Regarding the aim of the thesis, rather than arguing for or against the proliferation and consumption of comics, my view aims to complicate and contextualize the subjects of kyriarchal oppression featured regularly in comics and graphic novels and how those casual injections of biased and oppressive rhetoric either negatively affect readers or reinforce widely held views within American culture of marginalized and oppressed peoples. It is the conclusion of this writer that the complication of the subject of visual texts is necessary to assist non-readers of comics in viewing graphic novels as valid and equal to traditionally written literature. By connecting the primary and secondary sources in this thesis, the view of graphic novels and comic books as a genre of literature, readers of them and consumers of film adaptations of the texts are given a new opportunity to expand their consumption and critical analysis of literature in the future. If comics and graphic novels are considered as equal to traditionally written literature, this also affords academics the choice to include visual texts in their academic writings to expand and complicate their own research.

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Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of English
Wichita State University
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