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Pedri, Nancy. "Breaking out of panels: Formal expressions of subjectivity in ellen forney’s marbles and una’s becoming unbecoming." Studies in Comics 9. (2018): 297–314. 
Added by: joachim (4/20/19, 1:19 AM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1386/stic.9.2.297_1
BibTeX citation key: Pedri2018
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Becoming Unbecoming", "Marbles", Autobiography, Forney. Ellen, Una, United Kingdom
Creators: Pedri
Collection: Studies in Comics
Views: 23/521
The comics panel, many comics critics will agree, is the medium’s basic formal, structuring element. ‘Breaking out of Panels’ examines how experimentation with panel shape and frame in graphic memoir confronts readers with the subjectively felt quality of experiences, perceptions and events. In it, I propose to study not so much the placement of panels on a page, but rather their shape to ask how the use of panels in graphic memoir can serve to represent, but also multiply and fracture the outward manifestation of the protagonist’s inward, subjective vision of self. The article begins by tracing the importance of panel shape in graphic memoir, a comics genre that portrays the experiencing-I of an individual character not only across the embodiment of that character but also by way of formal stylistic devices, such as panel shape and frame. It then engages in a close examination of Ellen Forney’s Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me (2012) to detail how panel shape is used to manifest the distinction between real experience and the mental processing of that experience. Reaching the conclusion that Marbles’ experimentation with panels relays a hesitancy of perception and voice, the article addresses the unusual panel shapes and the absence of panel frames in Una’s Becoming Unbecoming. Focusing on the metaphorical meaning of the hill shape that recurs throughout the book, the article reaches the conclusion that the absence of recognizable panel shapes and frames in this graphic memoir speaks volumes to Una’s mental anguish and rage at having been the victim of sexual violence. ‘Breaking out of Panels’ concludes that both graphic memoirs experiment with panel shape and frame to express the wavering of self-knowledge, the complexity of subjectivity and elusive emotional states that impact one’s sense of self. It ends by suggesting that perhaps the comic panel can no longer be considered to be the medium’s basic unit of meaning.
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