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Multiple living, one world?: On the chronotope in Alan Moore and Gene Ha's Top 10

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Abstract:

This article examines how the fictional world complex of Neopolis and its co-worlds are constructed in the America's Best Comics Top 10 (1991–2005) written by Alan Moore and drawn by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon. Using Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the chronotope to open up the narrative, the analysis is interested in the interdependency between time and space and how reality and fiction are intertwined in Top 10. The chronotope is the time–space construction that is measured out by the actions, speech and movement of the characters in the individual storylines, and this article will show how the combination of police series and superhero narrative allows for a multiplicity of chonotopes that, put together, help construct a very complicated structure of lived time and space. Combining a formal analysis of page layout and panel composition with an overall view of the series' myriad of characters and stories, this article maps out the many ways in which linear time and consistent space are circumvented. The concept of fiction as understood by Paul Ricoeur is employed to explain the way fiction, fictional world and reality are linked together and how they influence each other in this comic-book series.

Keywords: ALAN MOORE; BAKHTIN; CHRONOTOPE; FICTION; FICTIONAL WORLD; RICOEUR; TOP 10

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/stic.2.1.135_1

Publication date: July 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Studies in Comics aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form, and to address the medium's formal properties. The emerging field of comics studies is a model for interdisciplinary research and in this spirit this journal welcomes all approaches. This journal is international in scope and provides an inclusive space in which researchers from all backgrounds can present new thinking on comics to a global audience. The journal will promote the close analysis of the comics page/text using a variety of methodologies. Its specific goal, however, is to expand the relationship between comics and theory and to articulate a "theory of comics". The journal also includes reviews of new comics, criticism, and exhibitions, and a dedicated online space for cutting-edge and emergent creative work. 
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