Graphic novels, also known as comic books or sequential art, have come a long way since the first issue of Superman. This relatively new form of literature has exploded in popularity and increases daily in its variety and substance. This course will explore several different kinds of graphic novels — memoir, fantasy, social critiques, adaptations, etc. — in an effort to understand how writers and illustrators weave words and images together to create meaning in unique ways that transcend traditional genres and harness new modes of expression. The students will thus broaden their knowledge and appreciation of graphic novels as we apply critical concepts to their study.