Beyond sequence

After reading Neil Cohn's 2013 paper Navigating Comics, I was going to write a piece about the big sequential pitfall in most comics scholarship, but through no effort at all I came upon Tamryn Bennett's Comics poetry: Beyond 'sequential art' (pdf link) which pretty much sums up my thoughts: While there's no doubt narratology has…


What is the ritualistic behaviour to following ongoing series? Whether you’re reading each new installment of Spider-man or faithfully watching Game of Thrones, you engage in a recurring communion with a fiction. Is it an effort to manifest — not the dead, but a world only alive in the period you spend with it? Or is it a weekly playdate with imaginary friends? Is there a difference?

See also Lynda Barry: The answer is in the image (youtube)

Also on:

Here’s a thought about comics being far too many things to make any sense

Indeed, “comics” as a social artifact refers to numerous qualities, including 1) physical objects (strips and books), 2) a collection of genres, 3) an industry, 4) a culture/community, and others that are all tied to a context of the modern era. On the other hand, sequential images do create a language: a “visual language” that combines with text to be used within those social objects called “comics.”“Comics” are not this visual language. “Comics” are a social object written in a visual language that combines with text. If novels or magazines are written in English, why should “comics” be a language, instead of be written in a language?

– Neil Cohn, reviewing Thierry Groensteen’s The system of comics here.

Also on:

You won’t believe it’s not comics! Post by @comics212

Re: what’s comics and what isn’t, Chris Butcher wrote an insightful piece on trench digging and Othering within mainstream comics:

The success of [the early manga publications in the West was] the proof to the theories that comics could be for everyone, for women and for girls especially, and could sell in numbers that were comparable to how they sold overseas. […]
So how did the rest of the comics industry react to this sea-change? In the pettiest way possible of course, by othering the success of that material as much as they could. “Manga aren’t comics,” went the discussion.

Go, read.

Also on:

The untold stories of material

Received a letter in the mail, informing me that a creditor had done a financial background check. I wish I got more of these, the credit company line the envelopes in a deep dark blue that I use in my collages whenever I can. When I was at the state monopoly liquor store I grabbed…

Morning sermon from @therealkim__

too many superheros in comics studies. please write fan reviews on superhero forum, not on scholarly journals.

— @therealkim__, at 30 Jun 08:31, and

i want #comics to lose the burden of narrative and study its own spaces: pages, representations on pages, grids, lines, colors, pixels etc.


Thank you, and I’d extend this to comics reviews. Comics are exciting as hell on a purely formal level, the endless line of superhero soaps… dramatically less so.

Also on:

Your weekend assignment

Well, I’m taking the weekend off. Going to a wedding in that woman’s family, and I’ll save my phone battery for drunken emergency calls. I leave you with this until Monday, though:


Discuss (hint: it’s not about “freedom of expression”).

Also on: