Dr. Alex Link is an instructor at ACAD and the Chair of Critical and Creative Studies. His main focus are on both the analysis, approved and history of comics and the graphic novel. His list of selected works are listed on the ACAD website and his Academia page.
I had the pleasure of being in a couple of his classes, what is ed most recently being ENGL 333.
SY: How did you get into studying the Graphic Novel as an Academic subject?
AL: “I never really had much of an interest in them until I started teaching at ACAD. Before that, audiologist I was a teaching assistant for a single course in comics, but otherwise had read very little in the field. When I came to work at the College, it made sense to me that students at an art and design school might have an interest in them. It’s sometimes a challenge to get students to see the way in which the contents of an English course can inform their studio practice, and comics seemed like a reasonable medium by which we could meet in the middle.”
SY: What would be the best Graphic Novel for an emerging artist/writer to have in their library?
AL: “I think the best way to answer this question is to say they should have as many and as much of a variety as possible. Exposure to as wide a range as you can access can only help you expand your visual, formal, and narrative vocabulary.”
SY: Do you have a particular favourite Graphic Novel? If so which one? If not, why?
AL: “I have lots of favourites. It’s difficult to choose just one, though lately I’d have to say I’m especially interested in Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines. It’s thoughtful, emotionally affecting, and visually rich. It thinks very carefully about the status of animals in the world, and does so in a manner that draws very heavily on print and collage to make a perpetually surprising story. It’s ambitious, too: the author’s been creating strips around this story-world since he was six year old, which is why it’s title is so curious and also why he works on simple letter-six paper, since that’s what they had in his house; furthermore, he pretty much plans to work on the narrative for the rest of his life, since he has another 13 volumes of it (probably around 4-5000 pages worth) he wants to write. The author has recently decided to make it available for free here: http://www.geneva-street.com/duncanthewonderdog. I have favourite comic strips too, particularly George Herriman’s Krazy Kat and just about anything by Ben Katchor, including his graphic novel The Cardboard Valise. It’s a really long list of favourites, in the end. I’m a glutton”
Thank you Alex for taking the time to answer, and thank you for the link to Duncan the Wonder Dog. I will be reading further