© 2016

Cultures of Comics Work

  • Casey Brienza
  • Paddy Johnston
  • Builds upon current inquiries in the comics industry and cultural work

  • Explores problematic tensions between artistic ideal and realities of contemporary cultural production

  • Combines international and interdisciplinary perspectives of eighteen researchers in order to advance comics scholarship

Palgrave Macmillan

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels book series (PSCGN)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Casey Brienza, Paddy Johnston
    Pages 1-17
  3. Locating Labor

  4. Illustrating Workers

  5. Pushing the Boundaries

About this book


This anthology explores tensions between the individualistic artistic ideals and the collective industrial realities of contemporary cultural production with eighteen all-new chapters presenting pioneering empirical research on the complexities and controversies of comics work.

Art Spiegelman. Alan Moore. Osamu Tezuka. Neil Gaiman. Names such as these have become synonymous with the medium of comics. Meanwhile, the large numbers of people without whose collective action no comic book would ever exist in the first place are routinely overlooked. Cultures of Comics Work unveils this hidden, global industrial labor of writers, illustrators, graphic designers, letterers, editors, printers, typesetters, publicists, publishers, distributors, translators, retailers, and countless others both directly and indirectly involved in the creative production of what is commonly thought of as the comic book. Drawing upon diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives, an international and interdisciplinary cohort of cutting-edge researchers and practitioners intervenes in debates about cultural work and paves innovative directions for comics scholarship.


comics graphic novels artistic identity artists comic book production arts Comic culture fine arts humour identity literature media media studies novel Romanticism social science sociology World War II

Editors and affiliations

  • Casey Brienza
    • 1
  • Paddy Johnston
    • 2
  1. 1.City UniversityLONDONUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.University of SussexFalmerUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Casey Brienza is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City University London, UK. She is author of Manga in America: Transnational Book Publishing and the Domestication of Japanese Comics and editor of Global Manga: “Japanese” Comics without Japan?.

Paddy Johnston is a comics scholar, cartoonist, and writer, currently working as a Doctoral Researcher in the English department at the University of Sussex, UK. He has published articles on comics in The Comics Grid, Comics Forum, and Networking Knowledge.

Bibliographic information