This first part of the monograph introduces Umberto Eco's concept of the opera apertaand links it to the workings of comics as explained through the comics theories of Scott McCloud, Thierry Groensteen, and Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle. The potential for openness in comics is seen as being literalized by the disjointedness and gaps, which are essential to the very form of comics. Specific aspects harbouring the potential for openness are located in various formal and content-related features. The former include the manipulation of word-image relationships, page layouts, and visual styles whereas the latter focus on themes, characters, and references to other media and figuration. This part concludes with an overview of the comics analysed in Part Two.
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