Comic Theory 101: Visual Poetry

This month Neil Cohn presents another essay in his series of features on comics as visual language. This article delves into the notion of "what is poetic" in visual language. Poems reflect the language they are written in. If we conceive of comics as a language then there should be particular poetic "forms" that innately reflect comics as visual language. What is Visual Language's answer to English's sonnet? Read on for Cohn's answer.

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Comic Theory 101: In Place of Another

One of the most famous theories that Scott McCloud set forth in Understanding Comics was that of "closure." He stated that this was the phenomenon by which people's minds "fill in" what occurs between two comic panels. Now, in other writings of mine, I've argued that any linear panel-to-panel explanation of how people understand sequences of images has multiple problems. However, in this piece, I'd like to take aim at one particular example of McCloud's and use it to illuminate a broader phenomenon that occurs in both visual and verbal expression. Continue Reading

New Essay on Writing systems and Graphic symbols

A new essay on the relationship of writing systems to graphic signs and symbols is posted online at the Emaki Productions website.

This essay challenges the common classifcation between “sound” and “idea” based writing systems. I argue that all graphic signs lie on a continuum, which begs for reconsidering the conception of their invention, the nature of their relationship to other visual signs, and the universality of the category of “writing” in the first place. Continue Reading