The Narratology of Comic Art: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Narratology of Comic Art

1st Edition

By Kai Mikkonen


312 pages | 44 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138221550
pub: 2017-05-10
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By placing comics in a lively dialogue with contemporary narrative theory, The Narratology of Comic Art builds a systematic theory of narrative comics, going beyond the typical focus on the Anglophone tradition. This involves not just the exploration of those properties in comics that can be meaningfully investigated with existing narrative theory, but an interpretive study of the potential in narratological concepts and analytical procedures that has hitherto been overlooked. This research monograph is, then, not an application of narratology in the medium and art of comics, but a revision of narratological concepts and approaches through the study of narrative comics. Thus, while narratology is brought to bear on comics, equally comics are brought to bear on narratology.


"The work embodies the inventive results possible when an adroit theorist explores a burgeoning field. I risk a cliché, although that makes it no less true, in saying: there is much to learn here. I speak especially for those who study comics but suspect the same is true for narratologists more broadly." - Jacob Murel, University of Memphis, Studies in Comics

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Introduction: Comics, Narrative, and Medium

Part I: Time in Comics

1. Time in Comics

Part II: Graphic Showing and Style

2. Narration as Showing

3. Character as a Means of Narrative Continuity

4. Graphic Style, Subjectivity and Narration

Part III: Narrative Transmission

5. Narrative Agency (in Jiro Taniguchi’s A Distant Neighborhood)

6. Focalisation in Comics

7. Characterisation in Comics

Part IV: Speech and Thought in Narrative Comics

8. Presenting Minds in Comics

9. Dialogue in Comics: Medium-specific features and basic narrative functions

Part V: Narrative Form and Publication Format

10. Picture Story and Narrative Organisation in Early Nineteenth-Century British

11. Caricature and Comic Strips



About the Author/Editors

Kai Mikkonen is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Comics Studies

Routledge Advances in Comics Studies promotes outstanding research on comics and graphic novels from communication theory, rhetorical theory and media studies perspectives. Additionally, the series aims to bring European, Asian, African, and Latin American comics scholarship to the English speaking world. The series includes monographs and themed anthologies. Comics Studies is a recently established and rapidly evolving field with much exciting research still to be done, and Routledge Advances in Comics Studies is dedicated to furthering the understanding of comics as an art form and a medium of communication.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comics & Graphic Novels
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies