A Short History of Graphics & Comics: Background information when reading Hey, Kiddo

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hey, Kiddo

by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka X
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Oct 2018, 320 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
Buy This Book

About this Book

A Short History of Graphics & Comics

This article relates to Hey, Kiddo

Print Review

In the Beyond the Book feature that accompanies the review of the graphic novel Home After Dark, there's a list of books to read – basically a graphic novel starter pack. The earliest on the list is Maus, the Holocaust-as-cats-and-mice graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, published in 1986.

A Contract with GodBut go back eight years and you'll find A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner, published in 1978. Although historian Richard Kyle coined the term in 1964, Eisner's book is widely regarded as the first full-fledged graphic novel. When it was published, Eisner said that he had "…settled on the term as an adequate euphemism" for a comic book, and that the class he taught, called Sequential Art, was what a graphic novel really was – "a sequence of pictures arranged to tell a story."

Eisner pushed the form to the fore. Mainstream publishers were beginning to publish long form comic books, such as Marvel and DC coming together to produce the 96-page Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, and after success with its Marvel trade paperback reprints, Simon & Schuster forged ahead with an original graphic novel called The Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience. And there were still more, including science fiction adaptations by Howard Chaykin and Tantrum by Jules Feiffer, but Eisner's A Contract with God was the graphic novel that, perhaps, influenced future graphic novelists the most.

WatchmenEisner's four stories in A Contract With God, set at 55 Dropsie Avenue in the Bronx, explore intense and intriguing ideas, which included rage against God for taking away someone at a young age, and a man seduced by a singer almost to the point of rising up from his alcoholism. These stories gave other writers permission to explore the same wide range of topics. For example, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen (1985) presented an alternate universe in which the activities of superheroes are deemed illegal by a government still headed by Richard Nixon. More and more artists found that they had room to finally tell the stories that perhaps wouldn't have fit into a novel but could easily pop to life as "sequential art", as Eisner put it.

Memoirists and other non-fiction writers have taken the graphic novel format and turned it into something just as urgent, just as relevant, just as creative and often heartrending. In 1996, journalist Joe Sacco wrote Palestine, a deep look into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, gathered from his own experiences there. And in the mid-2000s, Alison Bechdel wrote her memoir Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi wrote Persepolis, a chronicle of her tumultuous life in Tehran through huge shifts in history, including the Islamic Revolution.

Filed under Reading Lists

Article by Rory L. Aronsky

This article relates to Hey, Kiddo. It first ran in the October 31, 2018 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel
    Kristin Harmel's historical novel The Forest of Vanishing Stars was very well-received by our First ...
  • Book Jacket: African Europeans
    African Europeans
    by Olivette Otele
    The nexus of Africans and Europeans is not a recent historical development. Rather, the peoples of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Killing Hills
    The Killing Hills
    by Chris Offutt
    The personified hills of the novel's title foreshadow the mood of this brooding and ominous tale. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Vixen
    The Vixen
    by Francine Prose
    Recent Harvard graduate Simon Putnam has been rejected from grad school and has thus returned to his...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Little Hopes
by Leah Weiss
A Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees, in the murky shadows of World War II.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel

    An evocative coming-of-age World War II story from the author of The Book of Lost Names.

  • Book Jacket

    The Temple House Vanishing
    by Rachel Donohue

    A modern gothic page-turner set in a Victorian mansion in Ireland.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub



Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.