Scholarly Comic Analysis

Marvel on StussyI don’t fully grok everything this article by Aaron Kashtan says, but I can tell you that ekphrasis means dramatic description. The article discusses how text and imagination work together within Interactive Fiction. What I’ve gotten from this is that choice of text can easily paint an extremely vivid picture, even to the point that an image can become unnecessary or even undesirable to even have. The visuals and text we include in our comics should be powerful and evocative, perhaps even moreso than we first give it credit for.

In that light, perhaps you might be interested in a “second international interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the past, present, and possible future of comics in the context of the healthcare experience.” The Sequential Art of Illness will discuss the educating effects of “Graphic Medicine.” Sounds interesting.

And Neil Cohn has a fifteen page paper entitled “A Different Kind of Cultural Frame: An Analysis of Panels in American Comics and Japanese Manga.” He looked at 300 panels in 24 American and Japanese comics to determine how they highlight information, depict viewpoints and the angle of view chosen. It’s good to be aware of the differences in visual language and the choices that different artists make.

All interesting reads.


  1. delos

    300 panels across a number of different books is probably not exhaustive but it’s probably enough to begin seeing patterns. It did include a number of quality comics, so it’s not like he chose ten random comics off the spinner rack.

    The last line of the conclusion states that it serves as a good jumping off place for further study about different visual languages across cultures. The way I read it, this study resulted in more questions than answers. I love questions.

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