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Jacobs, Dale: "Design, arthrology and transtextuality in Seagle’s and Kristiansen’s It’s a Bird." In: Studies in Comics 5.2 (2014), S. 355–371.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Jacobs2014b
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Keywords: "It’s a Bird", Dänemark, Genette. Gérard, Groensteen. Thierry, Kristiansen. Teddy, Narratologie, Seagle. Steven T., Superheld, USA
Collection: Studies in Comics
A theory of multimodality helps to explain how meaning is created by readers of comics at the level of the page and how readers situate themselves in relation to specific comics texts. In this article, I want to build on that theory in order to argue that in reading a comics text making meaning also involves the internal and external linkages that are continually made and unmade for and by readers. That is, it is not only at the level of a particular sequence of panels or page layout that meaning is made by comics creators and readers, but also through the connections that are made between various parts of the comics text itself (arthrology) and between the comics text and external texts (transtextuality). This article seeks to extend theories of multimodality to Thierry Groensteen’s arthrology and Gerard Genette’s transtextuality, concepts that help explain both the internal and external linkages created within comics texts. In doing so, I wish to explore some questions regarding how readers make sense of a complex comics text such as It’s a Bird by Steven Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen. What are the elements with which a reader must engage, at both the level of the page and the level of the text as a whole? How do these elements combine in the reading process? What accounts for the divergence of narrative meanings and textual interpretations between readers? In this article I examine how reading It’s a Bird involves making sense of the multimodal elements of each page, the arthrological connections between panels at both restricted and general levels, and the multiple kinds of transtextual connections between this text and myriad other texts.
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