- What Kind of Studies Is Comics Studies?
- Why There Is No “Language of Comics”
- What Else Is a Comic? Between Bayeux and <i>Beano</i>
- Reading Spaces: The Politics of Page Layout
- The Cartoon on the Comics Page: A Phenomenology
- Bakhtinian Laughter and Recent Political Editorial Cartoons
- Radical Graphics: Australian Second-Phase Comics
- Columbia and the Editorial Cartoon
- Efficacy of Social Commentary through Cartooning
- Forgetting at the Intersection of Comics and the Multimodal Novel: James Sie’s <i>Still Life Las Vegas</i>
- Irony, Ethics, and Lyric Narrative in Miriam Engelberg’s <i>Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person</i>
- The Replacements: Ethnicity, Gender, and Legacy Heroes in Marvel Comics
- Hammer in Hand: Feminist Community Building in Jason Aaron’s <i>Thor</i>
- Children in Comics: Between Education and Entertainment, Conformity and Agency
- Auto/biographics and Graphic Histories Made for the Classroom: <i>Logicomix</i> and <i>Abina and the Important Men</i>
- Candy and Drugs for Dinner: <i>Rat Queens</i>, Genre, and Our Aesthetic Categories
- <i>My Favorite Thing Is Monsters</i>: The Socially Engaged Graphic Novel as a Platform for Intersectional Feminism
- Paper or Plastic? Mapping the Transmedial Intersections of Comics and Action Figures
- Transformative Architectures in Postcolonial Hong Kong Comics
- Adaptation and Racial Representation in Dell/Gold Key TV Tie-ins
- Non-Compliants, Brimpers, and She-Romps: <i>Bitch Planet, Sex Criminals</i>, and Their Publics
- Literary Adaptations in Comics and Graphic Novels
- Comics Studies in America: The Making of a Field of Scholarship?
- Next Issue: Anticipation and Promise in Comics Studies
- Comics Studies as Interdiscipline
- Drawing, Redrawing, and Undrawing
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter aims to account for gaps between language as a linguistic system and comics as a visual semiotic system. It is not uncommon in comics studies to encounter the claim that comics are a language. While this metaphor is an attractive way of explaining the nature of comics, it ultimately does a disservice to comics studies because it unnecessarily limits the theoretical and analytical frameworks available to us. This chapter explores what language is from a linguistic perspective, including sociolinguistic and discourse perspectives, dialect, language acquisition, and translation studies. It concludes by calling for scholars to turn away from “the language of comics” as a theoretical framework.
Department of English, University of Nebraska at Omaha
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