Graphic Novels

The Defining Graphic Novels of the Mid-80s to Late 90s

& Women Readership and Exclusion


Publishing research project for the Spring 2021 PUB 801: History of Publishing course, taught by Dr. Amanda Lastoria, for SFU's Master of Publishing program.


Packaged in the bygone aesthetics of the early web and Geocities blogs and fansites, the project centres on the history of graphic novels for adult readers, emphasizing the defining period for the format during the mid-80s to late 90s. The project gives historical context for the history of comics and graphic novels from the 30s to the early aughts and examines four acclaimed and defining graphic novel works—Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman—while paying particular attention to the history of exclusion of women readers in the comics realm.