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The Comics of Chris Ware$
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David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604734423

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734423.001.0001

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Comics and the Grammar of Diagrams

Comics and the Grammar of Diagrams

Chapter:
(p.90) Comics and the Grammar of Diagrams
Source:
The Comics of Chris Ware
Author(s):

Isaac Cates

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604734423.003.0007

This chapter examines sequentiality in comics theory in relation to Chris Ware’s comics and proposes a poetics of the diagram that draws upon information theory. It shows how understanding Ware’s comics as diagrams, including his graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, allows us to see how they function as puzzles to be solved. The chapter argues that Ware’s diagrams suggest new possibilities of metaphor, meta-narrative, and other more “poetic” devices for the still-developing language of comics. It also looks at a number of other cartoonists who have exploited the diagrammatic potential of the comics page, including Dan Zettwoch, Peter Blegvad, Posy Simmonds, and Kevin Huizenga.

Keywords:   sequentiality, comics, Chris Ware, information theory, diagrams, Jimmy Corrigan, metaphor, meta-narrative, cartoonists, Kevin Huizenga

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