Beowulf in Comic Books and Graphic Novels


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About the Book

The legendary story of Beowulf comes to us in only one medieval manuscript with no illustrations. Modern comic book and graphic novel artists have created visual interpretations of Beowulf for decades, both illustrating and altering the classic story to pull out new themes.
This book examines the growing canon of Beowulf comic books and graphic novels since the 1940s, and shows the remarkable emergence of new traditions—from re-envisioning the medieval look, to creating new plotlines, and even to transforming his identity. While placing Beowulf in a fantastical medieval setting, a techno-dystopia of the future, or modern-day America, artists have appropriated the tale to comment on social issues such as war, environmental issues, masculinity, and consumerism. Whether Beowulf is fighting new monsters or allying with popular comic book superheroes, these artists are creating a new canon of illustration that redefines Beowulf’s place in our culture.

About the Author(s)

Richard Scott Nokes is a professor of medieval literature at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. His previous published research has focused on popular medievalism and manuscript culture.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Scott Nokes
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 209
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8778-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4842-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Timeline of Beowulf Comic Books and Graphic Novels ix
Note on Citations xi
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. The Artist as Manuscript Illustrator 13
2. The Further Adventures of Beowulf 74
3. Beowulf as Storyteller 96
4. Beowulf Transformed 107
5. Beowulf for Younger Readers 129
Conclusion 172
Chapter Notes 177
Bibliography 189
Index 193