Cross-Cultural Space

I have a new essay available at my site entitled “Cross Cultural Space”. This paper is not very heavy on theoretical issues, but rather represents my efforts to diversify my methods through the coding of individual panels. For this one, I looked at 300 panels in each of 12 American and 12 Japanese books to compare the way they depict various types of spatial representation.

Another major issue that I’m dealing with here is that of “Diversity.” So often the graphic form is assumed to be universal, whereas Language is always thought of as being culturally relative. I think that this is an illusion cast by iconicty. Since the meaningful elements look like what they mean, we immediately assume that everyone can understand them. But, no matter what, graphic images still must pass through the filter of our minds, which allow for relativity far more than they allow for universality (at least on such surface type things). Identifying the structure of various cultural visual languages, and how they might differ from each other, is an endeavor I’d love to see delved into more.


  • Neil! So glad you’re blogging! This should be a great companion to the theoretical work at And it should allow for some solid conversation too. I plan to check in often. — Beth Davies, Denver, CO (comixscholars list)

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