Empirical Approaches to Comics Research: Digital, Multimodal and Cognitive Methods. Routledge Advances in Comics Studies.
Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, Janina Wildfeuer.
London/New York: Routledge

Work in progress, to appear in 2018.

This edited volume for the first time brings together essays in the field of empirical comics research. Drawing on computer and cognitive science, psychology and art history, linguistics and literary studies, each chapter presents innovative methods and establishes the practical and theoretical motivations for the quantitative study of comics, manga, and graphic novels. A detailed introduction surveys this emerging field and assesses the potential of empirical methods given the digitization of large corpora today and the rapid development of automatic text and image analysis. Individual chapters focus on corpus studies, the potential of crowdsourcing for comics research, annotation and narrative analysis, cognitive processing and reception studies. Written in language accessible to students and scholars across the humanities and sciences, this volume opens up new perspectives for the study of visual narrative and will become a landmark reference for anyone interested in the scientific study of art and literature.

Preliminary Table of Contents


Introduction: The Empirical Study of Comics
Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, Janina Wildfeuer

I. DIGITAL APPROACHES TO COMICS 1. From Canon to Corpus: The Quantitative Study of Graphic Narrative
Alexander Dunst and Rita Hartel

2. “Spins a Web, Any Size”: Topic Modeling American Comic Book Fan Mail
John Walsh

3. Crowdsourcing Annotations for Comics Corpora
Mihnea Tufis and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia

4. Computer Vision Applied to Comic Book Images
Christophe Rigaud

5. What Were ‘Golden Age’ Comics: Formal Strategies at the Origin of the American Comic Book
Bart Beaty

II. LINGUISTICS AND MULTIMODAL ANALYSIS 6. From Creative Freedom to Empirical Studies via Qualitative Descriptions: Annotation Schemes for Comics and Graphic Novels
John A. Bateman

7. Visual Language Theory and the Scientific Study of Comics
Neil Cohn

8. Tracking Character Developments and Events in Graphic Novels
Chiao-I Tseng

9. The Interpretation of an Evolving Line Drawing
Pascal Lefèvre and Gert Meesters

III. COGNITIVE PROCESSING AND COMPREHENSION 10. What Do We Need to Understand about How We Process and Comprehend Sequential Narratives?
Joe Magliano, Lester Loschky, John Hutson, and Tim Smith

11. Cognitive Processing of Text and Image during Comics Reading
Jochen Laubrock, Sven Hohenstein, and Eike Richter

12. Understanding the Moment-to-Moment Processing of Sequential Narratives
Lester Loschky, Joe Magliano, and John P. Hutson

13. Eye-Movements and Image-Text Integration
Ben Tatler & Claire Kirtley

14. How Informative Are Information Comics? Results from Audience Research
Hans-Jürgen Bucher

List of Contributors