Teeth, Sticks, and Bricks: Calligraphy, Graphic Focalization, and Narrative Braiding in Eddie Campbell’s Alec


In this era of the graphic novel, we are used to seeing comic books—that is, comic magazines—migrate to the bookshelf in the form of bound collections. Yet do these collections cohere as books? Do they exhibit the cohesiveness, the formal and thematic unity that we have come to expect of, say, the novel or the memoir, a unity that the tag “graphic novel” seems to promise? How may a serial comic in collected form become more than a mere artifact of its serialization? How may it achieve book-ness? Given the dominance of serial publication in comics, addressing such questions is crucial to theorizing graphic narrative.

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