Atkinson, Paul: "Why pause? The fine line between reading and contemplation." In: Studies in Comics 3.1 (2012), S. 63–81.
Added by: joachim (10/29/2012 08:54:44 PM) Last edited by: joachim (11/23/2020 12:11:03 PM)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Atkinson2012
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Keywords: "Moving Pictures", "The Sky over the Louvre", Art, Belgium, Canada, Carrière. Jean-Claude, Immonen. Kathryn, Immonen. Stuart, Lyotard. Jean-François, Narratology, Semiotics, Yslaire
Collection: Studies in Comics
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There has long been an interest in the formal properties of comic books and bandes dessinées, in particular, how the structure of the page as a succession of panels constitutes a form of reading, hence the use of expressions such as ‘sequential narrative’ to describe the medium. There is no question that this aspect of the comic book is important and that many of the medium’s conventions have developed to facilitate the telling of a story, however, this article focuses on the visual rhythms that inform the reading movement but are not reducible to narrative events. Of particular interest are the surface properties of line and colour that exceed any representational function and have the capacity to speed up, or indeed, slow down the reading process.
To address this issue, the article will investigate the relationship between comic books and painting and the difference in how the viewer ‘stands before’ the image. Painting is often assumed to arrest the movement of the eye, to hold the attention of the viewer, whereas comic books are said to guide the viewer from one image to the next. This leads to the implication that painting invokes aesthetic contemplation and comic books do not.
The article will address these issues through a reworking of the aesthetic theories of Jean-François Lyotard, Norman Bryson and James Elkins, in particular their speculations on the time involved in viewing a painting. Examples will be drawn from Kathryn and Stuart Immonen’s Moving Pictures and Bernar Yslaire and Jean-Claude Carrière’s The Sky over the Louvre; two graphic novels that investigate aesthetic contemplation and incorporate famous artworks into the narrative.
Added by: joachim Last edited by: joachim
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