The Expansion of an Art Form looks back at fifty years of recent comics history, a period that has witnessed a dramatic diversification of the medium, which has explored new themes and subjects, elaborated new forms and styles, established a strong dialogue with other art forms, and escaped from the traditional publications formats. In this book, Groensteen close-reads ten masterpieces in order to highlight both their novelty and their larger stakes. Ten landmarks in the expansion of an art form which has progressively become aware of itself and its infinite creative possibilities.
In chronological order, Groensteen analyzes: The Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt, The Airtight Garage by Moebius, Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Epileptic byDavid B., Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, To Pretend is to Lie by Dominique Goblet, The Arrival by Shaun Tan, Habibi by Craig Thompson, Building Stories by Chris Ware, Alpha… Directions et Beta… Civilizations by Jens Harder.
Groensteen’s work relies on an in-depth knowledge of the comics field and succeeds in bringing together significant details to build the bigger picture of cultural meanings and echoes of the medium.