Title

Comics Without Panels: Alternative Approaches to Graphic Storytelling

Presenter Information

Jess Macinko

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 301

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Comics, Graphic, Narrative

Abstract

This presentation will explore historic and contemporary forms of narrative graphic art, with an emphasis on non-panel or loose-panel methods. By analyzing diverse approaches to graphic narrative, this presentation will explore the potential for a broader, freer comics universe. “Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures,” said the late graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, extolling the versatility of his chosen medium. Yet today, most comics and graphic novels are dominated by the panel and gutter form, a grid-like division of the page that isolates illustrations within borders of white space. And while this tried-and-true organizing structure has many strengths, its hegemonic status within the genre precludes the exploration of alternative, equally fertile forms of graphic narrative. Drawing from diverse sources, including Persian miniature painting, naive art, 1950s pulp/comic hybrids, and contemporary alternative comics, this presentation will identify and analyze alternative methods, and will consider the challenges and rewards of breaching the traditional panel structure.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Anne Cubilié

Department/Program

English

Additional Mentoring Department

Douglas Honors College

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May 21st, 1:10 PM May 21st, 1:30 PM

Comics Without Panels: Alternative Approaches to Graphic Storytelling

SURC 301

This presentation will explore historic and contemporary forms of narrative graphic art, with an emphasis on non-panel or loose-panel methods. By analyzing diverse approaches to graphic narrative, this presentation will explore the potential for a broader, freer comics universe. “Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures,” said the late graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, extolling the versatility of his chosen medium. Yet today, most comics and graphic novels are dominated by the panel and gutter form, a grid-like division of the page that isolates illustrations within borders of white space. And while this tried-and-true organizing structure has many strengths, its hegemonic status within the genre precludes the exploration of alternative, equally fertile forms of graphic narrative. Drawing from diverse sources, including Persian miniature painting, naive art, 1950s pulp/comic hybrids, and contemporary alternative comics, this presentation will identify and analyze alternative methods, and will consider the challenges and rewards of breaching the traditional panel structure.