Rising from the ashes: making spaces for new children’s comics cultures in Britain in the 21st century

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Abstract

This article analyses the growth of British comic publishing for children in the twenty-first century. It starts by outlining the children’s comic culture of the mid to late twentieth century and some of the factors involved in its disappearance. The article looks at what changed in the early twenty-first century to alter the perceptions of comics and stimulate the growth of a new children’s comic culture, making new spaces. In doing so, it looks at the rise of publishers who specialise in graphic novels and publish work for children and young people. It also looks at institutions such as comic specific events, competitions and awards and how they are spaces where children and young people can participate, developing an awareness of the wider industry, entailing some engagement with readership and constructions of childhood. It also looks at aspects of the reputation of the medium and how it has changed, arguing that, in part, it is because of the involvement of ‘mainstream’ publishers, universities and other institutions. Finally, the most important change is that there seems to be a shift in British attitudes towards the medium, which has moved from a profoundly negative one, to one that is more accepting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date12 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020

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