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The Language of Comics: Word and Image / Edition 1

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Overview

With essays by Jan Baetens, David A. Beronä, Frank L. Cioffi, N. C. Christopher Couch, Robert C. Harvey, Gene Kannenberg, Jr., Catherine Khordoc, David Kunzle, Marion D. Perret, and Todd Taylor

In our culture, which depends increasingly on images for instruction and recreation, it is important to ask how words and images make meaning when they are combined. Comics, one of the most widely read media of the twentieth century, serves as an ideal for focusing an investigation on the word-and-image question.

This collection of essays attempts to give an answer. The first six see words and images as separate art forms that play with or against each other. David Kunzle finds that words restrict the meaning of the art of Adolphe Willette and Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen in Le Chat Noir. David A. Beronä, examining wordless novels, argues that the ability to read pictures depends on the ability to read words. Todd Taylor draws on classical rhetoric to demonstrate that images in The Road Runner are more persuasive than words.

N. C. Christopher Couch--writing on The Yellow Kid--and Robert C. Harvey--discussing early New Yorker cartoons--are both interested in the historical development of the partnership between words and images in comics. Frank L. Cioffi traces a disjunctive relationship of opposites in the work of Andrzej Mleczko, Ben Katchor, R. Crumb, and Art Spiegelman.

The last four essays explore the integration of words and images. Among five comic book adaptations of Hamlet Marion D. Perret finds one in which words and images form a dialectic. Jan Baetens critiques the semiotically inspired theory of Phillippe Marion. Catherine Khordoc explores speech balloons in Asterix the Gaul. Gene Kannenberg, Jr., demonstrates how the Chicago-based artist Chris Ware blurs the difference between word and image.

The Language of Comics, however, is the first collection of critical essays on comics to explore a single issue as it affects a variety of comics.

Robin Varnum, an instructor of English at the American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been published in Writing on the Edge, Journal of Advanced Composition, Harvard Library Bulletin, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Christina T. Gibbons, an independent scholar living in Brattleboro, Vermont, has been published in Journal of Regional Cultures.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578064144
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 1/15/2002
  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 1,095,318
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Voices of Silence: Willette, Steinlen and the Introduction of the Silent Strip in the Chat Noir, with a German Coda 3
Pictures Speak in Comics without Words: Pictorial Principles in the Work of Milt Gross, Hendrik Dorgathen, Eric Drooker, and Peter Kuper 19
If He Catches You, You're Through: Coyotes and Visual Ethos 40
The Yellow Kid and the Comic Page 60
Comedy at the Juncture of Word and Image: The Emergence of the Modern Magazine Gag Cartoon Reveals the Vital Blend 75
Disturbing Comics: The Disjunction of Word and Image in the Comics of Andrzej Mleczko, Ben Katchor, R. Crumb, and Art Spiegelman 97
"And Suit the Action to the Word": How a Comics Panel Can Speak Shakespeare 123
Revealing Traces: A New Theory of Graphic Enunciation 145
The Comic Book's Soundtrack: Visual Sound Effects in Asterix 156
The Comics of Chris Ware: Text, Image, and Visual Narrative Strategies 174
Notes 199
Works Cited 205
Contributors 213
Index 215
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