Analyzing comics from a discursive approach — Coherence, cohesion, and textuality standards in comics

Sam and Max Freelance Police Special #1 by Steve Purcell (1989)
Zoo by Woshibai (2018).
In the case of this woshibai comic, panels 2 and 5 (among others) represent the characters in a way that their most distinguishable features can be identified even from different angles. The repetition of these features along previous panels also allows panel 6 (right to the arrow) effectively communicate, through the representation of some of the characters features, that these two characters are the same two the comic has shown so far.
In this case, the flash in panel 3, and the immediate appearance of an instant camera in panel 4 are both referencing the semantic field of photography. Both of these references are aimed at representing different phases of the same action, taking a picture. The establishment of these relationships also makes it possible to affirm that, as a type of text, comics are capable of establishing conceptual relationships just by implementing graphic elements.
Up to this point, several of this comic’s panels have alluded to the existence of a fence or cage that separates the two characters, presenting a situation that is most likely to be interpreted as a human character taking pictures of a second character, who is likely to be alluded to as a beast or monster, which in turns leads to the assumption of this second character being the one in some form of captivity. Panel 8, however, makes the subversion of these previous assumptions the main joke of this comic, by having the photographer being the one inside a cage.
Sam and Max: Surfin’ the Highway by Steve Purcell (2012).
Batgirl #9 by Simone, Syaf, and Cifuentes (2012). Conventionally, numbered comic series rely on intertextuality, often presented in the way of captions, to easily relate events narrated not only through different issues of the same series but across different ones. This practice allows creators to insert references in an easier way, which makes the implementation of devices like series’ crossovers or the integration of different narrative timelines much more simple and effective.



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bacci⭐(Eduardo Baccarani)

bacci⭐(Eduardo Baccarani)

Words on comics, music, video games, narrative systems, and more. Icon by Benji Nate @ vice