Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines phenomenological aspects of the cartoon in the context of comics reading. A simplified or iconic rendering of a figure, the cartoon has a prominent place in popular culture and in comics history; a large percentage influential and widely read comics have been drawn in iconic fashion. Scholarly definitions of comics as such routinely omit this fact; it is considered a matter of content, not form. Yet the relationship of comics to cartoons works differently from and implicitly challenges conventional understandings of the form/content relation. Several facets of the cartoon’s phenomenological relation to the reader are examined in order to disclose the powerfully self-referential aura of this kind of drawing, key to its effect in the context of comics. This aura may be among the reasons comics have been considered inferior to fine-arts production; it might also contribute to the medium’s often delinquent status in culture at large.

Keywords: cartoon, comics, drawing, phenomenology, form, popular culture, fine arts

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.