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superman3Five Reasons Why Comics Scholarship is Important

Before getting into comics, I had no idea where to start, or how to approach comics as a body of work. Over the course of several decades comics have diversified into a multi-headed beast. There… [more]

picture 12How Comics Work: The Fight Scene, Part 4

Young Avengers 3 Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Mike Norton (artist), Mathew Wilson (colourist), et al The third issue of Young Avengers breaks all the rules. The fight has little to no context in the… [more]

picture eightHow Comics Work: The Fight Scene, Part 3

Daredevil 25 By Mark Waid (writer), Chris Samnee (artist), Javier Rodriguez (colourist), et al. This issue requires some context. Up until recently Mark Waid’s series has seemed completely episodic. Just a few issues ago everything… [more]

picture fiveHow Comics Work: The Fight Scene, Part 2

Wonder Woman 18 By Brian Azzarello (writer) Goran Sudzuka (artist) Cliff Chiang (artist), Tony Akins (layout artist), Dan Green (finishes) Mathew Wilson (colourist) et al. Not to pick on American superhero comics but Wonder Woman seems… [more]

superman_battles_doomsday-875x1024How Comics Work: The Fight Scene, Part 1

Most Superhero comics are based around two things: character-based drama and fight scenes. Many even forgo the former for the latter, under the horrible impression that they’re the same thing. This is in part due… [more]

11-22-11 - Get OutPacing and Punch in Watchmen #2

Watchmen is commonly thought of as one of the greatest graphic novels of our time, but it’s actually a reprint collection. The work originally came out as 12 separate issues, although they were all planned… [more]

Comic Book Guy from The SimpsonsWhy Comics Have Failed to Achieve Real Respect

It might superficially seem as if comics have finally achieved respect. They’re covered by the mainstream press. They’re increasingly taught in colleges. Their adaptations account for a huge percentage of Hollywood blockbusters. Hey, even nerd… [more]

08-23-2011 Page 4Reading Direction and the Story Experience

Comics are a strange thing. When you look at a comic page, if you’ve beheld a few of them before, you usually get right into reading it. Panel one first, then panel two, and so… [more]

readingSuper-Hero Comics and Reader Textualization: Participation and Narrative Construction

This is a piece that explores the idea of textualization in super-hero comics and how these stories are constructed. More than that, it is an introduction to exploring purpose — why are super-heroes so engaging… [more]

08-02-2011 2PP PiranesiAnother Reality: The Spatial Imperative, Part 2

Two weeks ago, I discussed the importance of space in storytelling, and the power of two-point perspective. I left you all with the notion that two-point perspective, while powerful, was not really the whole story —… [more]

CarlieCooperWhy Carlie Cooper Matters (in Just One Panel)

It’s hard to suppress the suspicion that there are comic-book creators who have quite deliberately chosen to ignore the business of storytelling in favor of butt-shots and throw-downs, pin-ups and continuity porn.

07-13-2011 Definition of ComicsIt Takes Two – Text & Image in Comics

So, comics as an art form! A truly legitimate art form, unique and self-actualized, with debacles and triumphs all its own. Not the bastard child of film and literature, and not just for kids, male adolescents, or… [more]

mccloudheadComics’ Identity Crisis: Claiming “Art” is a Misguided Quest

Comics have a bit of an identity crisis: our culture cannot decide what they really are, leaving them to pay the price both financially and legally.

Why Comics MatterWhy Comics Matter

The following video consists of a lecture I delivered on 5 January 2006 at Glen Carbon Centennial Library in Glen Carbon, Illinois. The total runtime is 46 minutes.

Mark Trail (misplaced word balloons example 2)Tensions Between Text and Image

The medium variously known as comic books, graphic novels, bandes-dessinés, manga, manga, sequential art, and sequart has been defined as the juxtaposition of text and image on the static page. Once can here recall Words… [more]

Alan MooreThe Cult of the Writer

One of the major phenomena occurring in American comic books in the last two decades has been the cult of the writer, often in competition with the cult of the artist or illustrator. Various years… [more]