By Karin Kukkonen
What if fairy-tale characters lived in manhattan urban? What if a superhero knew he used to be a fictional personality? What should you may perhaps dispense your individual justice with 100 untraceable bullets? those are the questions requested and spoke back throughout the hard storytelling in Fables, Tom Strong, and 100 Bullets, the 3 twenty-first-century comics sequence that Karin Kukkonen considers intensive in her exploration of the way and why the storytelling in comics is greater than in simple terms entertaining.
Applying a cognitive method of examining comics in all their narrative richness and intricacy, Contemporary Comics Storytelling opens an interesting point of view on how those works have interaction the legacy of postmodernism—its subversion, self-reflexivity, and ethical contingency. Its 3 case experiences hint how modern comics tie into deep traditions of visible and verbal storytelling, how they reevaluate their very own prestige as fiction, and the way the fictitious minds in their characters generate complicated moral idea experiments. At a time while the medium is taken increasingly more heavily as difficult and compelling literary paintings, this ebook lays the foundation for an research of the ways that comics problem and have interaction readers’ minds. It brings jointly comics experiences with narratology and literary feedback and, in so doing, offers a brand new set of instruments for comparing the picture novel as an emergent literary form.
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Extra info for Contemporary Comics Storytelling
This, however, is only one shape that intertextuality can take. If we understand intertextuality as evoking frames of comprehension, prefiguring readerly inferences, it becomes a basic, non-pathological fact of meaning-making. Barthes describes intertextual codes as “a perspective of quotations, a mirage of structures” (1975, 20). Yet readers do not stand helplessly in front of polished intertextual surfaces; they actively use and modify them. With the pig’s head on a stake, Fables invites readers to draw analogies with Lord of the Flies, but this is another option for readers to playfully generate meaning rather than a trap for their thinking.
Peeters’s (mis-)remembered panel and phantom panel suggest that there is more going on: readers do not decode sign by sign, but use cognitive shortcuts and draw inferences on the basis of textual clues. When, for example, readers see Steve Canyon in full for the first time in the sixth panel,3 they quickly form an image of the character and infer that it is the same man who was present in all the preceding panels. And this inference-drawing is a rather quick and untidy process; even Eco’s thorough account, for example, misses the fact that between the seventh and the tenth panel Steve Canyon seems to have lost his tie.
Like me, he is interested in comics as “an original combination of meaning-making mechanisms” (“un ensemble original de mécanismes producteurs de sens” [2006, 2]). When discussing the functions of the panel frame (2006, 49), as well as at several other points, he refers to the cognitive processes of readers. He speaks of the connections we establish between panels in mise en page (2006, 107–19), the panel-by-panel sequences (2006, 121–69), and the patterns of “braided” meaning that run across the entire comic (“tressage” [2006, 171–86]).