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Dittmer, Jason. "Serialization and Displacement in Graphic Narrative." Serialization in Popular Culture. Eds. Rob Allen and Thijs van den Berg. London: Routledge, 2014. 125–40. 
Added by: joachim (4/13/15, 7:57 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (2/26/23, 10:28 PM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Dittmer2014c
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Watchmen", Gibbons. Dave, Moore. Alan, Politics, Semiotics, Seriality, Superhero, United Kingdom
Creators: Allen, van den Berg, Dittmer
Publisher: Routledge (London)
Collection: Serialization in Popular Culture
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The serial narrative has been conceptualized as both a narrative with a definitive ending (e.g., television shows with purportedly pre-planned multi-year story arcs such as Lost) and as a narrative characterized by interruptions (i.e., any story with a cliffhanger). Of course, many kinds of narrative combine both long story arcs and interruptions, but it is still a convenient distinction. Of these two conceptualizations, the latter clearly speaks to most commercially produced comic books. While there are certainly series of comics that are planned to be of limited duration, the usual economic model is one of never-ending narrative, with its demise unplanned and at the hands of market forces. I have discussed the consequences of this model for the politics of the superhero genre elsewhere (Dittmer, “The Tyranny of the Serial”), and here I intend to add some nuance to that articulation of the politics of seriality by shifting from an emphasis on temporal interruption to one of spatial fragmentation. I hope to do so by foregrounding graphic narrative as a mode of storytelling. Graphic narrative is useful for considering the relationship between time, space and politics because it is irreducible to a single temporality or spatiality, and therefore it stubbornly refuses to be associated with a particular politics. In highlighting this multiplicity of temporalities that coexist, if uneasily, I seek to recover the overlap of time and duration within comics. Doing so highlights the role of space, rather than time, in establishing seriality within and among comics.
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