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Book review: Autobiographical comics: life writing in pictures

Faculty Advisor




autobiographical comic books, Elisabeth El Refaie

Abstract (summary)

The genre of autobiographical comics has occupied an important function in the increasing acceptance of comics as a literary and artistic medium worthy of critical contemplation. This has been particularly the case in Europe and North America during the past few decades. However, a theoretical examination of autobiographical comics had not been subject to a book-length study. El Refaie’s long-awaited book therefore fills a large and consequential gap within comics studies. As someone who was born and grew up in Iran, I come from a culture in which graphic narratives do not play a significant role. In 2009, for the elective portion in my graduate course requirements, I ventured a course on autobiographical comics that focused on the issues of memory and historical representation. The instructor put together a course packet of various essays related to autobiographical comics. This highlighted the need for a general work that could be used as a textbook. I think El Refaie’s book also more than meets such a need.

Publication Information

Mostafa Abedinifard. "Autobiographical comics: life writing in pictures." Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, vol. 5, no. 4, 2014, pp. 477-479, DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2014.916330.


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