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ERIC Number: EJ1062024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Illustrating Praxis: Comic Composition, Narrative Rhetoric, and Critical Multiliteracies
Comer, Kathryn
Composition Studies, v43 n1 p75-104 Spr 2015
Thus far, pedagogical discussions about comics in the college classroom have focused primarily on "reading," with less attention paid to the complementary potential of "composing" comics. This essay advocates using narrative theory alongside comic studies to provide students and teachers with a flexible, transferable vocabulary compatible with literacy-focused pedagogies. For support, I draw upon the contributions of undergraduate students in an advanced composition course centered on graphic memoir, in which the combination of medium and genre provided a user-friendly but sophisticated environment for rhetorical experimentation and multimodal literacy development. Three core concepts--narrative gaps, narration, and focalization--are offered as helpful heuristics for rhetorical design; their application in two students' memoirs illustrate the insights and skills that can result from a theory-driven approach to comic composition. Ultimately, I suggest that such an approach holds significant potential for generating critical engagement, refining rhetorical consciousness, and fostering critical multiliteracies.
University of Cincinnati. Department of English, P.O. Box 210069, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Tel: 513-556-6519; Fax: 513-556-5960; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A