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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Graphic Justice: Intersections of Comics and Law


ISBN13: 9781138787995
Published: April 2015
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £90.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781138241664



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Establishing the medium of graphic fiction as a critical resource for interdisciplinary legal studies, this collection is the first to address the intersection of comics and law. Graphic fiction has gained enormous cultural capital and academic interest over recent years.

Comics-inspired films fill our cinemas and superhero merchandise fills the shelves of supermarkets. In short, our culture is suffused with a comic-book aesthetic: as, for example, the ‘Occupy’ movement appropriates the mask of ‘V’, from the comic work V for Vendetta; and, tragically, as James Holmes’s murderous rampage through a Colorado movie theatre, seemingly sees him styling himself after Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker.

From mass entertainment and consumerism to political activism and violence, we are surrounded by emanations of graphic storytelling. Meanwhile, the rise of academic disciplines such as comics studies demonstrates that the medium contains much more depth than the common assumption of its simplicity and juvenility might suggest.

Against this background, comics offer an important resource for making sense of the contemporary place and role of law. Whether in their representations of lawyers and the legal system, their dystopian imaginations, their treatment of issues of justice and social order, or in their superheroic investment in the protection of the innocent and the punishment or capture of those who would harm them, like other narrative forms – literature, film, theatre – graphic fiction explores and expresses human life in all its social, moral and legal complexity.

In the context of a now well established interest in cultural legal studies, this book showcases the critical potential of comics and graphic fiction as a resource for interdisciplinary legal studies and legal theory.

Subjects:
General Interest
Contents:
1. Introducing Graphic Justice

PART 1: THE LAW OF COMICS: REGULATION AND REPRESENTATION
2. How American Law, Lawyers and Courts have Shaped Comic Book History
3. A Comic Inspiration? Copyright, Derivative Works and User Generated Content
4. Can a Good Guy be on the Side of the Bad Guy?: Legal Ethics and the (Mis)Representation of Criminal Defence Lawyers

PART 2: COMMUNICATING WITH COMICS: TEACHING AND RESEARCH
5. What have Judge Dredd and Superman got to do with Constitutional Law?
6. Not Foresighting, Not Answering: Using Graphic Fiction to Interrogate Social and Regulatory Issues in Biomedicine

PART 3: DO COMICS HAVE RIGHTS?: EXPLORING CIVIL LIBERTIES THROUGH GRAPHIC FICTION
7. Graphic Reporting: Human Rights Violations through the Lens of Graphic Novels
8. Minority Rights and Racial Discrimination in Graphic Novels

PART 4: GRAPHIC DYSTOPIAS: POLITICS, IDEOLOGY AND VIOLENCE
9. Violence, Justice and Ideology in Watchmen
10. Crimes against (Super)Humanity: Forms of Justice and Governance in Alex Ross's Justice and Dan Jurgen's Justice League International
11. Judge, Jury and Executioner: Obama’s Drones, Judge Dredd and Benjaminian Violence

PART 5: HEROES AND VILLAINS: A GRAPHIC CRIMINOLOGY OF VIGILANTISM
12. When Superheroes Kill: Vigilantism and the Death Penalty in Justice League and Red Team
13. Extreme Restorative Justice: The Politics of Vigilantism in Vertigo’s 100 Bullets
14. Stepping off the Page: Superhero Crime and Victimisation

PART 6: COMICS: A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES
15. The Order Creates the Chaos: Batman and the Dichotomy of Vigilante Justice
16. Rick Grimes’s Lament: Reimaging Lawfulness in a World of the Undead