Reading comics for work

I admit it, I have a pretty sweet job. Among the paper writing, class teaching, and data gathering (all fun), it is true that at least a portion of my time is devoted to reading comics. A lot of comics. I end up combing through hundreds of pages of comics just to find examples that might be worth discussing in my papers.

For example, this summer I’ve been working on a massive paper detailing the inner workings of how people comprehend sequential images. And by “massive”, I mean that I still have numerous sections left to fill in, and the paper is already 130 pages.

I spent last weekend combing through a giant stack of Calvin and Hobbes looking for interesting strips. Unsurprisingly, there were many. (It’s a rough life…)

One of the things I’ve noticed recently is that very few comic sequences really faze me anymore. I seem to be able to account for most everything I come across in my existing theories, which is both cool (“yay, my theories seem to be working!”) and troubling (“I need to find more strips with things I haven’t thought of!”).

So, if you happen to have any sequences that you think are a little strange or challenging (especially strips), please send them my way! Maybe I’ll even post them here and give them some analysis…


  • According to him it was meant to be temporary anyway; considering it was based around the premise of other people telling him what to do, and he doesn't even live in Japan anymore, it couldn't go on indefinitely.

    If you haven't read the actual printed collection I recommend giving it a look; the publication design is nice and there's some bonus material at the end.

  • Write a Reply or Comment