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Critical Directions in Comics Studies$
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Thomas Giddens

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828996

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828996.001.0001

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On Violation

On Violation

Comic Books, Delinquency, Phenomenology

(p.13) 1 On Violation
Critical Directions in Comics Studies

Christopher Pizzino

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the relationship between the marginalized cultural status of comics and the phenomenology of comics reading. When anti-comics discourse was most influential in the middle of the twentieth century, it targeted aspects of the comics reading experience—particularly comic books’ complex relationship to the reader’s body—that strongly distinguished this experience from that of reading conventional print literature. Such differences remain resonant today, and help to explain how and why comics, as a medium that is especially phenomenologically reactive, do not generally evince the same relationship between form and legitimacy that has typified the novel as a genre.

Keywords:   Phenomenology, Cultural status, Comics history, Theory of the novel, Reading experience

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