Comic panel layout: A Peircean analysis

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Abstract:

In the study of visual design, comics have been infrequently analyzed. Major theoretical contributions have come from non-academics until recently. While Groensteen and Cohn have developed 'standard stimulisequence' systems for analyzing comics, I propose that a more comprehensive technique would be to follow Magnussen in applying the theories of C. S. Peirce, specifically the Peircean visual design paradigm as explained by Amare and Manning. This study will expand on Peeters' four-category framework to show a variety of complex and explanatory relationships that can exist between the rhetorical content of a comic and the panel design.

Keywords: Peirce; comic analysis; mise en page; panel design; semiotics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/stic.2.2.317_1

Affiliations: Brigham Young University

Publication date: January 5, 2012

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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