Comics in Class?

It looks like I'll be teaching a section of our Human Experience class this semester (a general liberal arts/critical thinking class for first year students).  I really want to assign a graphic novel.  I'm thinking about "A Game of You" (the Sandman series) to spark discussions about gender, stories, growing up, and identity.  But I'm also open to suggestions.  Anyone read anything that would fit in my class?


  1. I think that's a good a one.

    Blankets by Craig Thompson covers first love and growing up in a really accessible way to non-comics readers.

  2. For a topic like "human experience" you certainly can't go wrong with Neil Gaiman. :)

    However, since you say you're open to other ideas:
    -the first volume of Tsugumi Ohba's "Death Note" series (titled Boredom) has plenty of fodder for discussion about definition of ethics and personality. The further you go into the series, the more psychological it gets. Yes, it's a manga, but I would hardly call it silly or juvenile.
    -You may want to look up "Two Sisters" by Matt Kindt--it's a wordless spy thriller about two sisters whose relationship spans across centuries of time as well as the globe. Good opportunity for discussion about perceptions of interpersonal contact and the definition of "linear."

  3. I would also recommend Adrian Tomine's SHORTCOMINGS, which adds ethnicity into the above mix of topics. I have taught it before to great success.

  4. @ Trey -- I LOVE Blankets, but it actually hits a little too close to home for me to teach it, I think.

    @A.J. Both of those sound good. I have read very little manga, so good reccomendations in that style are always welcome. The Kindt book also sounds cool.

    @Carter -- That also sounds good. Thanks!

  5. I say go for a certified graphic story classic: Art Speigelman's Maus; it's filled to the brim with "human experience" of every stripe. Sure, it's gut-wrenching but why let 'em off easy?
    As for discussion topics, this one's got everything.

  6. Game of You is one of my all time faves. Can't go wrong by that!

  7. A Game of You is a great choice. Of course, if you want to go with something even edgier and with a skewed perspective on the human experience, you could always try one of the Transmetropolitan collections - "Back on the Street," for instance.


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