Sequart Research & Literacy Organization is proud to announce its new singles program with three new releases.
Sequart singles are short books — under 100 pages. They’re bite-sized bunches of comics criticism, yet long enough and analytical enough to feel substantial.
The singles program will allow us to address works that might not merit a 200-page book on their own. For example, the subject of the first single is Batman: The Killing Joke — a 48-page comic book, and a very important one, but one that we’d be reluctant to produce a lengthy book about.
Sequart singles are also perfect for reading on your Kindle, smartphone, or similar devices.
To visually distinguish our singles from our regular titles, all of our singles will have black-and-white covers. They have their own section in the navigation bar, under “Books.”
Our intent is that these singles will eventually be a part of bigger books, not unlike most music singles. But in the book business, that bigger book may take years to complete, edit, and put together in the best form possible. So singles are one way to get this material into your hands sooner.
Even when that larger book is available, singles can still act as cheap samplers for the full book. Some readers may be unwilling to commit to a book-length work of comics scholarship, especially if their own interest in the topic is rather narrow. In this way, we hope that these singles will not only bring new readers to Sequart’s growing line of books of comics scholarship, but also be an effective tool to promote comics scholarship in general.
Rest assured that every one of our singles will represent a complete and meaningful work of analysis, in and of themselves. Nothing will be published that’s incomplete or “to be continued.” And every single will be something that we think is cool to have exist as its own entity. For example, it’s cool to have a short book just on Batman: The Killing Joke, because that’s a major work — and that’s true even once this single is incorporated into a larger work on Batman.
And don’t worry: we’re pricing each single at $5 in print and $2 on Kindle. The goal isn’t to break your wallet. It’s to get comics scholarship into more hands.
Our first single is And the Universe so Big: Understanding Batman: The Killing Joke, an in-depth analysis of the seminal story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. From how The Killing Joke fits into the high-art aspirations of 1980s revisionism, to the themes and secrets of the narrative, to the controversies over continuity and Barbara Gordon’s treatment in the story — it’s all here. In print, the book is 58 pages, and it’s also available on Kindle.
Our second single is Revisionism, Radical Experimentation, and Dystopia in Keith Giffen’s Legion of Super-Heroes, a detailed look at Giffen’s run, including its many controversies and its legacy. This single was previously published in 2008 as part of Teenagers from the Future, edited by Timothy Callahan. The longest essay in that book, it garnered some rave reviews, including ones by Giffen himself and comics writer Joe Casey. It represents a significant work on its own, worthy of a single. In print, it runs 64 pages, and it’s also available on Kindle.
Our third single is Everything and a Mini-Series for the Kitchen Sink: Understanding Infinite Crisis, a study of the entire Infinite Crisis event, from DC Countdown through 52. The book seeks to place the event in the history of super-hero comics. It will eventually become part of Classics on Infinite Earths: The Justice League and DC Crossover Canon. In print, it runs 68 pages, and it’s also available on Kindle.
All three initial singles are authored by Julian Darius with covers by Kevin Colden.