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Gavaler, Chris: "‘Something Like This Just Couldn’t Happen!’. Resolving naturalistic tensions in superhero comics art." In: Studies in Comics 7.1 (2016), S. 29–48.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Gavaler2016a
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Keywords: Adams. Neal, Buscema. Sal, Gattung, Kirby. Jack, Shuster. Joe, Sienkiewicz. Bill, Stil, Superheld, USA
Collection: Studies in Comics
In Action Comics #8, Joe Shuster draws a group of juvenile delinquents as initially adult-like and then child-like in later panels. How are readers to make sense of the visual contradiction? Drawing from comics studies’ interdisciplinary fields – including art criticism, communication, literary criticism, philosophy, and psychology – at least four kinds of explanations are available for resolving the tension: literal, accidental, psychological, and metaphorical. I discuss each and their implications for the problematic role of naturalism in superhero comics in general, analyzing further visual examples from Jack Kirby, Sal Buscema, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Neal Adams. By combining elements of cartoon and abstraction with the narrative necessities of minimal counterintuitivity, superhero comics art is grounded in paradox. Ultimately the genre and form reverses assumptions about the metaphysics of the page and its relationship to its implied reality, culminating in the closure-mirroring reading process of diegetic erasure.
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