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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines comics at the level of the page by considering the cultural techniques of reading and spatial navigation. The page, it is argued, is the space in comics where readers locate themselves politically and where, due to cultural and aesthetic conventions, readers may be dislocated and transformed. After first revisiting some theories of page layout in order to diagram how spatial orientation has been studied, the chapter then provides close readings of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi, and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s Red: A Haida Manga. Focusing on the diversity of modes by which these comics both serve as and utilize spatial navigation according to paginal design—how they may be representations of space and spaces of representation simultaneously—it ultimately considers how comics and, in turn, how users, both artists and readers alike, activate and mobilize these technical possibilities into emergent forms of expression and meaning.

Keywords: comic books, layout, linear, tabular, panel, page, location, navigation, politics, tressage

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