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Simmons, David: "‘Nothing too heavy or too light’. Negotiating Moore’s Tom Strong and the academic establishment." In: Studies in Comics 2.1 (2011), S. 57–67.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Simmons2011a
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Keywords: "Tom Strong", Bourdieu. Pierre, Comicforschung, Großbritannien, Kanon, Moore. Alan, Sprouse. Chris, Superheld, USA
Collection: Studies in Comics
The article examines Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics’ Tom Strong series. In particular, the article will utilize Pierre Bourdieu’s theories concerning cultural capital, and will suggest reasons why the aforementioned series has still largely been ignored by a scholarly community increasingly interested in introducing the comic book and graphic novel forms into the academic establishment. While Alan Moore’s works have often been at the forefront of this nascent appreciation, with older texts such as V for Vendetta (1982–1989), Watchmen (1986–1987) and From Hell (1991–1996) and newer ventures such as Lost Girls (1991–2006) increasingly discussed in academic circles, at conferences and in the emergent field of comic books studies, as yet Tom Strong seems to lie outside of this groundswell. This article will argue that this can be perceived as a result of a conscious attempt to subjectively elide those works by Moore that are difficult to fit into accepted critical hegemonies. It is significant that Tom Strong draws on a range of pulp sources (most notably early twentieth-century American pulp fiction of the sort printed in Weird Tales and Astounding Science Fiction) that are themselves yet to be accepted in the manner that many of the more ‘establishment-friendly’ Victorian texts referenced in the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999–) have been. The absence of any recognizable academic cultural capital means that to date Tom Strong has fallen outside of academic interest in a move that has interesting connotations for how scholars examine and begin to canonize the comic book form.
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