Cover

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Front matter

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pp. i-v

Table of Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

Scholarly discourse is expected to cite its sources and give evidence for specific readings and interpretations, certainly in English studies, which is my background. I have plenty of quotations in this study, and cite them within the text, including parenthetical citations...

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Introduction: Picture Stories: Comics Considered

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pp. xi-xxii

Some years ago, when I asked a bookstore employee where the comics section was, she told me snappishly that they sold only graphic novels. I decided not to point out that her store actually carried graphic novels, collections of strips, and compilations of comic...

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1. Draw a Thousand Words: Signification within Panels

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pp. 1-26

Figure 1.1 shows an early episode of the Peanuts newspaper strip that uses the typically simplified cartoon style,1 and has become a long-running and popular strip that saw numerous reprints even after Schulz stopped creating new daily installments. Many of...

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2. Concerning the In-Between: Layout in Frames and Gutters

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pp. 27-53

This chapter is a bridge between two levels of reading: the images in comics that were discussed in Chapter One, and the comics sequences that will follow in Chapter Three. The subject of the present chapter is the formal, structuring elements that tie...

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3. All in a Row: Creating Action through Sequences

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pp. 55-77

Because the sequence is the most obvious means by which comics create action and ultimately narrative, the sequence is central to the comics form. Sequences can be long or short, and narratives can be made up of one single sequence or a series of sequences....

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4. Combining Signs: Image-Text Relations

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pp. 79-103

Comics share a medium with literature–ink on paper–and are therefore sometimes erroneously regarded as a “branch or subproduct of literature” as Groensteen points out (128). While the material media are the same, the artistic forms of literature...

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5. Show and Tell: The Process of Narration

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pp. 105-126

The Peanuts strip that this panel comes from brings together all the levels of signification discussed in this study: the image, the layout, the sequence, word-image combination, and finally narrative. Schulz’s familiar four-panel layout shows Violet...

Illustrations

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pp. 127-128

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Appendix A

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pp. 129-132

Cartoon: This term has several different meanings, some of which are not relevant to comics per se, but which I mention in order to avoid confusion. The word cartoon refers to short animated films such as Tom and Jerry, but it is also applied to single panel...

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Appendix B

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pp. 133-140

In its development, the comics form in North America has gone through a number of phases in which a particular genre has been primary; there has been a Golden Age of newspaper comics, as well as a Golden Age of comic books. Over time,...

Bibliography

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pp. 141-158

Index

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pp. 159-171