The medium of comics is undergoing a transition, as digital display becomes an increasingly popular mode of consumption. Portable display devices such as smart phones and tablet computers have provided a single platform of consumption on which comics, film, animation, games and other
interactive visual media are equally at home. As comics gradually leave behind the trappings of print and embrace those of the screen, so too do they invite new crossovers and appropriations of tropes from other screen-based media. This article considers the relationship between space
and time in comics and how this relationship has changed during the medium’s transition from print to screen. Using the theories of S. McCloud, T. Groensteen and N. Cohn as its starting point, it examines the passage of time’s representation within the spatially based medium of
traditional comics. It then looks at how this representation of time has been distorted by the range of new tropes and devices that comics have appropriated from other screen-based media. Key topics covered in the article include: Replacements for the page turn and their impact on the pacing
of comic sequences; The infinite canvas and its implications for panel spacing and layout; Multicursal structures and a reconsideration of comic as temporal map; The impact of animation, both within the panel and in the movement of panels; The limits of animation in comics and the foregrounding
of reader control as a key element of the medium.
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Document Type: Research Article
The University of Hertfordshire
Publication date: 01 April 2013
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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