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Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Hillary Chute, Professor of Art + Design for Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design as well as the Department of English, was recently featured in The New York Times (NYT) for her new book entitled Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere. Chute’s book, which was published in December, earned high praise in the NYT’s Book Review and was highlighted again in one of the Book Review’s podcast episodes, where Chute talks about her book first-hand.

In the review of her book, which landed on the front page of the NYT’s Book Review section, Chute is praised for her insights into the ever-evolving era of comics, and for fitting so much valuable information into one book, “including history, content analysis, artist interviews, amusing asides and more than 100 pages of illustrations.”

Throughout her book, Chute discusses the recent widespread exposure of comics in current media, such as Wonder Woman and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther, while exploring the significant question she poses in her title: Why comics? To answer this question, Chute divides her approach into the “10 biggest themes in today’s comics and graphic novels,” with each one explored in its own chapter.

From “Why Disaster?” to “Why Girls?” to “Why War?” the book’s exploration is sprawling and diverse, and is sure to teach something to just about everyone who picks it up.

“Publishing Why Comics? with HarperCollins is so exciting for me because I am thrilled to be writing for a broad audience of people—for both novices and fans, and those who are simply curious about the global phenomenon of comics,” explains Chute. “Comics itself is a form that is both sophisticated and accessible, and that inspired me to try to write a book reflecting those values.”

In the podcast episode, which just ran on December 15, Chute offers her definition of comics, which she describes as taking many different formats, and explains what she means by her phrase, “comics is a medium.” She also dives a bit deeper into the 10 themes her book explores, and why the genre is now taken so seriously.

The College of Arts, Media and Design is thrilled to see this coverage of our faculty member’s new book, which was also featured as a Kirkus Best Book of 2017. Please learn more aboutWhy Comics? From Underground to Everywhere here.