‘Comics and Stuff’ virtual book club: Collecting stories

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. PT


Contemporary culture is awash with stuff. Contemporary graphic novels give vivid expression to a culture preoccupied with the processes of circulation and appraisal, accumulation, and possession. By design, comics encourage the reader to scan the landscape, to pay attention to the physical objects that fill our lives and constitute our familiar surroundings. Because comics take place in a completely fabricated world, everything is there intentionally. Comics are stuff; comics tell stories about stuff; and they display stuff. ”Stuff” refers not only to physical objects, but also to the emotions, sentimental attachments, and nostalgic longings that we express ― or hold at bay ― through our relationships with stuff.

Join Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education Henry Jenkins, and a range of guest speakers for a discussion of chapters two through five of his new book, Comics and Stuff, and, more broadly, of comics, comic studies, and living with stuff. Those attending will get the most out of the experience if they have read the relevant passage from the book, but are still welcome if they are encountering these ideas for the first time.

This session will cover how contemporary graphic novels have explored themes of collecting and accumulation; how collecting comics has been a central aspect of how comics artists orient themselves to their medium’s history; why artists are motivated to pay special attention to the material objects with which they populate their worlds; and how shared experiences of collecting helps to bridge between writers and readers of comics.


  • Bryan and Mary Talbot
  • Lincoln Geraghty
  • Jared Gardner
  • Bart Beaty
  • William Proctor