Funny in the funnies: the formalist comedy of comic strips

Heath, Peter Jonathan James (2012) Funny in the funnies: the formalist comedy of comic strips. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Comics is a limited, static, and silent medium; comics artists use visual tools to represent narrative aspects that exist beyond the still-life panels, such as timing, unseen sights, sounds, and diegetic worlds. These visual tools recruit reader expectations about comics: readers must possess a "comics literacy" to understand such tools. The modern comics form began as comedy, dating back to the late nineteenth century and strips such as Richard F. Outcault's Hogan's Alley . Despite the comical origin of comics, many comics theorists see comic strips as "essentially ... illustrated joke[s]" (Kunzle "Voices" 8). These theorists fail to consider that since comics requires a specific literacy, comics comedians can defy this literacy to create jokes that are specific to the medium. Such jokes undermine the visual tools of comics and thereby challenge reader expectations about the form. Comic strips are far from illustrated jokes: they are illustrations and jokes, a century-old comedy form that is inexplicably overlooked.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6122
Item ID: 6122
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 110-113).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission

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