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


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.

Table of Contents

1 Comics and Empirical Research: An Introduction
Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, Janina Wildfeuer

2 Two Per Cent of What? Constructing a Corpus of Typical American Comic Books
Bart Beaty, Nick Sousanis, and Benjamin Woo

3 The Quantitative Analysis of Comics: Towards a Visual Stylometry of Graphic Narrative
Alexander Dunst and Rita Hartel

4 “The Spider’s Web”: An Analysis of Fan Mail from Amazing Spider-Man, 1963–1995
John Walsh, Shawn Martin, Jennifer St. Germain

5 Crowdsourcing Comics Annotation
Mihnea Tufis and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia

6 Computer Vision Applied to Comic Book Images
Christophe Rigaud and Jean-Christophe Burie

7 From Empirical Studies to Visual Narrative Organization: Exploring Page Composition
John A. Bateman, Annika Beckmann, Rocio Ines Varela

8 Character Developments in Comics and Graphic Novels: A Systematic Analytical Scheme
Chiao-I Tseng, Jochen Laubrock, Jana Pflaeging

9 How Informative are Information Comics in Science Communication? Empirical Results from an Eye-Tracking Study and Knowledge Testing
Hans-Jürgen Bucher and Bettina Boy

10 The Interpretation of an Evolving Line Drawing
Pascal Lefevre and Geert Meesters

11 Viewing Static Visual Narratives through the Lens of the Scene Perception and Event Comprehension Theory (SPECT)
Lester Loschky, John Hutson, Maverick Smit, Tim Smith and Joseph Magliano

12 Attention to Comics: Cognitive Processing During the Reading of Graphic Literature
Jochen Laubrock, Sven Hohenstein, and Matthias Kümmerer

13 Reading Words and Images: Factors Influencing Eye Movements in Comic Reading
Clare Kirtley, Christopher Murray, Philipp B. Vaughan, and Benjamin W. Tatler

14 Detecting Differences between Adapted Narratives: Implication of Order of Modality on Exposure
Joseph Magliano, James Clinton, Edward O'Brien and David Rapp

Visual Language Theory and the Scientific Study of Comics
Neil Cohn

List of Contributors

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