a paper about comic books

Here’s a nifty site where you can read free digital comics. Yeah!


For your final paper, you will be conducting a very basic critical analysis of a graphic novel of your choice. You may also use a story arc consisting of several issues. You may not use a single issue of a comic for your analysis. Here’s the breakdown:

•4 pages total

•1” margins

•MLA format (including headings and Works Cited Page)

•4 sources (one for the book itself. One for your theory. Two others for supporting evidence (could be other critical analyses or other definitions for your theory, or a definition describing your lens of choice, etc.)

How to move forward:

1.Pick a graphic novel or story arc. Approve it with me.

2.Read it.

3.Think about which lens would work. Remember. This semester we covered:

a.Psychological Lens

b.Sociological Lens


d.Feminist Lens


4.Find a theory within the lens you choose. For example, if you choose the psychological lens, choose a psychology theory.

5.Write paper.

Writing the Paper:

The paper is broken down into six sections.


2.Summary (1/2 page).

3.Value judgment (1/2 page) (what did you like about the comic book? What didn’t you like?) Cover:

a.Art work

b.Content (story)


d.You may cover other elements like paneling, lettering, etc.

4.Introduce us to your lens and theory (1/2 page to 1 page)

a.Tell us about your theory? Which lens does it fall under? Who created the theory? Can you provide us with a working definition?

5.Analyze your text using the lens.


If you need help finding a theory, please consult the “theories” document in this folder.

FINAL NOTE: If you deviate a bit from the organization, that is fine. For example, some students incorporate analysis into the summary because they don’t want to waste an entire page of the paper summarizing the text. That would be acceptable.

Another example would be incorporating the introduction of your lens/theory into the intro paragraph and then not discussing it after the summary section. This too would be acceptable.


Q: Can I expand upon one of my journals for this assignment?

A: Naw. That would inhibit your growth as a literary analyst!

Psychological Lens

1.Freud’s theory of Id, Ego, Superego

2.Freud’s “Dream Theory” or Dream-Symbol Analysis

3.Erikson’s Psychosocial stages of development

4.Eysenck’s Three Dimensions of Personality

Sociological Lens

1.Class Conflict Theory

2.Marxist Criticism

3.Social Identity Theory (Henri Tajfel) (could also be arguably psychological)

4.Durkheim’s theory of Anomie

5.Anarchism/Anarchy theory


1.Hero Archetypes

2.Character Archetypes in General

3.Hero’s Journey

4.You also have the option of doing a comparative analysis, comparing objects/characters to their depictions in previous mythology, like we did with Sandman

Feminist Lens – essentially sociological

1.Looking at the depiction of females in your text, how they are portrayed visually

2.Looking at the predominance of male characters and hyper masculine, sexist males in comics

Race Relations – essentially sociological

1.Looking at the depiction of characters of different races/ethnicities and how they are portrayed visually.

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