By Thierry Groensteen

This e-book is the follow-up to Thierry Groensteen's groundbreaking The approach of Comics, during which the best French-language comics theorist got down to examine how the medium services, introducing the primary of iconic harmony, and exhibiting the platforms that underlie the articulation among panels at 3 degrees: web page format, linear series, and nonsequential hyperlinks woven throughout the comedian e-book as an entire. He now develops that evaluation additional, utilizing examples from a really wide selection of comics, together with the paintings of yank artists akin to Chris Ware and Robert Crumb. He assessments out his theoretical framework by way of bringing it up opposed to instances that problem it, corresponding to summary comics, electronic comics and shojo manga, and provides insightful reflections on those innovations.

In addition, he comprises long chapters on 3 parts no longer coated within the first booklet. First, he explores the function of the narrator, either verbal and visible, and the actual concerns that come up out of narration in autobiographical comics. moment, Groensteen tackles the query of rhythm in comics, and the ability proven by means of virtuoso artists in intertwining assorted rhythms over and above the elemental beat supplied through the discontinuity of the panels. And 3rd he resets the connection of comics to modern artwork, conditioned by way of cultural background and aesthetic traditions yet evolving lately as comics artists movement onto avant-garde terrain.

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1. Derik Badman, “Flying Chief,” in Abstract Comics (Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2009). © Derik Badman. In the October 2010 issue of the magazine Étapes [Stages], Higashiyama declared that he approached comics not as an artist but as a graphic designer. The practice piece presented for his final degree is a book, approximately one hundred pages long, untitled, and still unpublished. As I write these lines I have in front of me a copy that he kindly sent me. ” Out of a small number of elements—panels, empty speech balloons, circular or star-shaped forms, single or multicolored backgrounds—he assembles and reconfigures, page upon page, playing on repetition, superimposition, rhythm, changes in scale, and other visual surprises.

In that first volume, I did in fact refuse to give a complete and analytical definition of comics, confining myself to the observation that a comic consists necessarily of a finite collection of separate and interdependent iconic elements. 2 To the great majority, but not to all. 1 A NEW CATEGORY One part of this marginal comics production has been labeled and in some sense officially recognized as a category, if not a genre, by the appearance in 2009 of the anthology Abstract Comics published by Fantagraphics and edited by Andrei Molotiu.

The apparatus invites the reader to look at the images one after another; contiguous images are perceived as consecutive, and this ordering constitutes a discourse, the discourse that vectorizes the visual field of a comics page. Instead of being viewed together, the images are caught in an oscillation between a global apprehension and a fragmented, one-after-another apprehension. It is under this condition that, while still not defined as a narrative, the drawn or painted surface ceases to be simply a tabular surface and becomes a comics page.

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Comics and narration by Thierry Groensteen
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