valerievisual

Readings, and Related Inspirations

The State of Comics, Semiotics and Me

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Because I am an overachiever, and because I just really love comics – I finished my paper almost two weeks ago. It’s 23 pages including visuals – not including works cited.

I gave it to my roommate, who was nice enough to look it over for me. He just emailed it back to me.

When I wrote the final sentence, which at the first draft, was on page 22, I thought, “Great Scott, I do believe I’ve not said anything at all!” And then I did what I always do when confronted by this feeling: I put it away and didn’t look at it for several days.

Day 1…

Day 2…

Day 3…

I picked it back up, and gave it a read-through. Behold! It was not as bad as I thought. It actually said something! Here’s a sneak-peak at my thesis:

“We are at a unique place in academic history where comics are gaining notoriety as a medium worthy of serious study. Therefore, it is important to discuss what is being said about the field, where comics studies might be headed, and join in the argument over whether comics ought to be labeled as ‘literature’, as Rocco Versaci so eagerly pushes for in his cleverly titled book This Book Contains Graphic Language. The discussion does not stop with the value of comics. As you will read later, comics have a macro-semiotic system: a theoretically based, comics-specific way to talk about them, which can be applied to narrative in a variety of interesting ways. Comics have an important place as a new(er) voice in the greater narrative species that can be transformed into a powerful presence in the discourse of the academy.”

As you can see – my paper has morphed somewhat to talk about a lot more than just gutters. It has become a call for cohesive terminology based on theories by McCloud and Groensteen. Then I take these terminology suggestions and show how they can be put into action using Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

In all, I think it’s pretty successful. I passed it over my roommate Thomas’s desk. And for those of you who don’t already know Thomas, he’s real smart. I haven’t read all his comments yet – it’s sitting in my cue – but he verbally told me he really likes my argument. Score!

This is Thomas:

So I’m thinking – if this argument goes over really well, I might think about taking it to the next level. During my research, I ran into a new journal: Studies in Comics  – which opened its pages in 2010. Brand new, this is. And guess what they call for? That’s right: papers that are discussing exactly what I am discussing – theories of McCloud and Groensteen. If you link the journal, you can read all about what it entails.

In all, I’m super excited about this project. It’s going well and I’m a happy camper.

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