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Groensteen, Thierry: The System of Comics. Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2007. (188 S.) 
Resource type: Book
Languages: englisch
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 1-57806-925-4
BibTeX citation key: Groensteen2007a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Semiotik
Creators: Groensteen
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi (Jackson)
In this book, originally published in France in 1999, Groensteen explains clearly the subtle, complex workings of the medium and its unique way of combining visual, verbal, spatial, and chronological expressions. The author explores the nineteenth-century pioneer Rodolphe Töpffer, contemporary Japanese creators, George Herriman's Krazy Kat, and modern American autobiographical comics.
The System of Comics uses examples from a wide variety of countries including the United States, England, Japan, France, and Argentina. It describes and analyzes the properties and functions of speech and thought balloons, panels, strips, and pages to examine methodically and insightfully the medium's fundamental processes.
From this, Groensteen develops his own coherent, overarching theory of comics, a “system” that both builds on existing studies of the “word and image” paradigm and adds innovative approaches of his own. Examining both meaning and appreciation, the book provides a wealth of ideas that will challenge the way scholars approach the study of comics. By emphasizing not simply “storytelling techniques” but also the qualities of the printed page and the reader's engagement, the book's approach is broadly applicable to all forms of interpreting this evolving art.

Table of Contents

Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen: Foreword (vii)

Toward a New Semiology of Comics (1)
– The useless dispute about signifying units (3)
– A dominantly visual narrative species (7)
The Impossible Definition (12)
Iconic Solidarity as a Foundational Principle (17)
Introducing Arthrology and the Spatio-Topia (21)

1.0 (24)
1.1 The Pregnancy of the Panel (24)
1.2 The First Spatio-Topical Parameters (27)
1.3 The Hyperframe and the Page (30)
1.4 On the Importance of the Margin (31)
1.5 The Site (34)
1.6 The Composition of the Double Page (35)
1.7 The Functions of the Frame (39)
1.7.1 The Function of Closure (40)
1.7.2 The Separative Function (43)
1.7.3 The Rhythmic Function (45)
1.7.4 The Structuring Function (46)
1.7.5 The Expressive Function (49)
1.7.6 The Readerly Function (53)
1.8 An Intermediary Space: The Strip (57)
1.9 An Additional Space: The Word Balloon (67)
1.9.1 The Balloon in the Panel (67)
1.9.2 The Balloons in the Page (79)
1.10 On the Inset (85)
1.11 On the Page Layout (91)
1.11.1 The Typology of Benoît Peeters (93)
1.11.2 A Defense and Illustration of the Regular Layout (96)
1.11.3 New Propositions (97)

2.0 (103)
2.1 Regarding the Threshold of Narrativity (103)
2.2 A Plurivectorial Narration (108)
2.3 The Planes of Meaning (110)
2.4 To the Research of the Gutter (112)
2.5 Redundancy (115)
2.6 Breakdown and Mise en scène (117)
2.7 Description and Interpretation (121)
2.8 The Functions of the Verbal (127)
2.9 An Exercise of Translation (134)
2.10 Breakdown and Page Layout (142)

3.1 The Stage of Gridding (Quadrillage) (144)
3.2 A First Approach to Braiding (145)
3.3 From Site to Place (147)
3.4 Some Compact Series (149)
3.5 Dialogue from Page to Page (151)
3.6 The Innerved Network (152)
3.7 The Imperialism of Braiding (156)


Notes (165)
Index (179)

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