Connectedness in comics

Weber, Heinz J. 1989. Elements of Text-Based and Image-Based Connectedness in Comic Stories, and Some Analogies to Cinema and Written Text. Paper read at Text and Connectedness: Proceedings of the Conference on Connexity and Coherence, July 16-21 1984, at Urbino, Italy.

Weber attempts to create a textual model of comic communication drawing on cinema studies and text research (similar to the intents of Saraceni and others).

He describes three sections: Graphic, cinematographic, and textual, as well as the intersections between them. He also postulates several degrees of “connectedness” ranging from conformity, sequential and integrated connexity, cohesion, and coherence.

Conformity deals with arrangement of panels – conventionalized formats, while connexity can either relate to the internal relationships of elements within panels, layout issues, divisional panels, metonymic panels, the shifting of a balloon’s tail to different roots, etc. Cohesion depends on causality between the succession of panels (syntax/semantics). Finally, coherence deals with pragmatic relations between “text external” elements.

Like other papers of this ilk, it provides a broad scale analysis of aspects of comics’ structure, yet doesn’t delineate them carefully enough to detail the componential role they might play. Instead, it uses overarching “principles” to tie them all together to create a goolash of comic structure.


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