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Comics and LanguageReimagining Critical Discourse on the Form$
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Hannah Miodrag

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038044

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038044.001.0001

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Comics as Network

Comics as Network

(p.108) Chapter Five Comics as Network
Comics and Language

Hannah Miodrag

University Press of Mississippi

Sequentiality figures in many attempts to describe comics as a language. Gaps between sequential panels are supposed to constitute the “grammar” in comics, whereas the creation of larger narratives from successive panels is often compared to the cumulative meanings of words and sentences in language. The linguistic nature of sequential panels is vividly explained by Neil Cohn, whose conception of comics’ grammar is more rigorously linguistic than those of other critics, and who argues that systematic sequence, or syntax, distinguishes visual language from other kinds of visual signification. French critic Thierry Groensteen’s notion of arthrology describes the relationships, both linear and translinear, between panels. The importance of non-linear relationships is emphasized in both Cohn’s proposed grammar and Groensteen’s arthrology. This chapter examines non-linear plotting and resurgent motifs in two texts, Watchmen (1995) and Metronome (2008), and highlights the structural similarities between comics and films.

Keywords:   sequentiality, comics, visual language, grammar, Neil Cohn, Thierry Groensteen, arthrology, Watchmen, Metronome, films

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