Photography in Comics

I have recently been awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2014-) to pursue the study of the use of photography in comics.

In this research project, I examine a new thrust in creative experimentation and innovation marked by the coming together of photography and cartooning in comics. Principally concerned with visual storytelling practices, I analyze how the mixing of these different types of images in comics orchestrates a unique reading experience, one that draws on the preconceived notions of readers, accentuates the mechanics of visual storytelling, and privileges subjective interpretation.

I will re-assess the history of both types of images with a particular focus on technology, social applications, and histories of reception. When set side by side, these histories, which will focus on production and reception, on the making and the expectations, beliefs, and habits that readers bring to each type of images, will aid me in assessing the mixing of photography and cartooning in comics as a textual strategy that gains meaning within a historical, and not only textual, context.

Two articles serve as preliminary work for this project:

  1. When Photographs Aren’t Quite Enough: Reflections on Photography and Cartooning in Le Photographe." ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies 6.1 (Fall 2011): 1-18.
  2. "Cartooning Ex-Posing Photography in Graphic Memoir." Literature & Aesthetics 22.2 (December 2012): 248-266