LEWISTON – A new course exploring graphic novels as a literary artform will be held beginning May 15 at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College.

A graphic novel is a long-form comic book, usually with lengthy and complex storylines, and often aimed at more mature audiences. The term can also encompass a short story collection, or collected issues of previously released comic books republished in a single large volume.

“More than a distraction for prepubescent boys, comic books are a historic means of storytelling that grew out of pulp novels and radio shows, said instructor Michelle Lisi-D’Alauro.

“Beyond the basic superheroes and sidekicks, books like Art Spiegelman’s “Maus,” Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” and Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” are ripe for literary analysis of their mythology and cultural review of race, class, sexuality, religion and gender.”

In the seminar course, students will read graphic novels critically and write analyses of their symbols and social commentary. As a final project, students may also produce a graphic novel of their own.

The course (HUM 399, “Graphic Novel: Modern Literature as an Artform”) will meet from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, May 15 to June 28.

Registration for all summer and fall courses is open. For more information or to register, call 753-6530. The complete USM/L-A summer session and fall semester course schedules are online at www.usm.maine.edu/lac/schedules.

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