Bonner Online-Bibliographie zur Comicforschung
Bonn Online Bibliography of Comics Research

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Bearden-White, Roy: "Closing the Gap. Examining the Invisible Sign in Graphic Narratives." In: International Journal of Comic Art 11.1 (2009), S. 347–362. 
Resource type: Journal Article
Languages: englisch
BibTeX citation key: BeardenWhite2009
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Categories: General
Keywords: Intermedialität, Kognition, Semiotik
Creators: Bearden-White
Collection: International Journal of Comic Art
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Ask a literary scholar to interpret a graphic narrative and the resulting interpretation will probably be focused upon the textual aspect of the work. Conversely, ask a scholar from a visual field, such as fine arts or film, to perform the same task and, without surprise, this time the interpretation will be weighted in the opposite direction, towards the images instead of the words. Amazingly enough, scholars from separate camps of image and text, have shown repeatedly that their particular branch of artistic expression could be interpreted with a multitude of approaches, perspectives, and theories, each of which could potentially reveal further layers of meaning; yet, when confronted with a juxtaposition of words and pictures, many scholars focus on one side or the other and do not consider what occurs in the area between. The reasons for this are obvious. Either text or image can be easily located; they both occupy space which can be seen. From a semiotic viewpoint, both words and pictures operate as signs and provide meaning to the reader. When one sign, however, is placed beside another, as in a comic panel, a new sign emerges and extra significance is conveyed to the reader. Graphical narratives depend greatly upon these invisible signs found not only in the gap between images and words, as in a single panel, but also throughout the various storylines. In order to understand how readers identify and construct meaning from these unseen gaps, it is first necessary to consider the cognitive process of reading, then to define the various ways in which readers connect points of significance in graphic narratives.
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