Comics & Collective Authorship

In Aaron Meskin & Roy T. Cook (eds.), The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 47-67 (2012)
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Most mass-art comics (e.g., “superhero” comics) are collectively produced, that is, different people are responsible for different production elements. As such, the more disparate comic production roles we begin to regard as significantly or uniquely contributory, the more difficult questions of comic authorship become, and the more we view various distinct production roles as potentially constitutive is the more we must view comic authorship as potentially collective authorship. Given the general unreliability of intuitions with respect to collective authorship (coupled with our general unfamiliarity with the medium), we must look to find a principle of comic authorship out of which authorship questions can be settled for comics simpliciter. Furthermore, any such principle found must also be capable of grounding a principled distinction between collective production and collective authorship; should this distinction be absent, any proper manner of framing the central descriptive and evaluative questions for comics must likewise be absent. Quite obviously we need a theory of comic authorship. To this end, I suggest how we should proceed and exactly what such a theory should look like.
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