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Comics-Related Dissertations & Theses: Doctoral

Note: The original list has now been separated into three pages.
See also: Masters Theses || Undergradate Theses

To submit additions or corrections, please contact usIf submitting your own information, you may send as much as you wish. Suggestions for information include:
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Comics Scholars Discussion List.

Note: Degrees awarded are Ph.D. unless otherwise specified.

Abderrahmane, Azzi. 1985. French Structuralism and its Contribution to Sociological Theory. University of North Texas. DAI.

Adams, J.N. P. (Jeff). 2003. Graphic Novels and Social Realism - Three Case Studies: Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen, Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Joe Sacco’s Palestine.
University of Liverpool (UK).  Supervised by Dr. Jonathan Harris in the Art History/Architecture department, and examined by Prof. Eric Fernie (former director of the Courtauld Institute, London).
   Abstract:  The principal questions in this thesis are: why have artists utilised the distinctive graphic novel medium to deal with issues of social crises, and can this practice be considered as realism? To answer this there is an analysis of the political nineteenth century origins and early twentieth century applications of realism. The concept of a critical, social realism is modelled on the theories of critics and writers like T.J.Clark, Linda Nochlin and writers in Germany on political realism in the 1930s, such as Bertolt Brecht and Georg Lukács. Following these models realism is defined as a critical practice that analyses the social conditions of graphic novel production, and offers a critique of cultural and political structures. There are three case studies, all prominent examples of graphic novels. All have been produced in the late twentieth century in response to events of extreme social upheaval.
   Barefoot Gen
is an autobiographic account of childhood survival after the Hiroshima bombing in 1945. It is an anti-war visual polemic, offering a critique of both Japanese and US militarism. This case study includes a summary of the post-war development of manga, the visualisation of the bombing; the issue of interfamilial violence in manga; graphic reversal the technical difficulties of translation from Japanese; formal traditions and innovations in manga. Maus is a Holocaust narrative that explores ethnic discrimination, the death camps and prevailing post-war anxieties of survivors and their offspring. In this case study there are sections on ethnicity and discrimination; reception and success in mainstream publishing; the question of taxonomy; establishing the graphic novel as a significant means of expressing political values; theories for the inclusion of photographs. Palestine is an account of Palestinian domestic life under military occupation, including the prisons and refugee camps. In this case study there is a discussion of cinematic techniques and Sacco’s methods of visualisation; topographical and political cartoon traditions; the use of frames, text and page layout; Palestine’s political effectiveness in relation to Edward Said’s analysis of the ‘peace process’.
   The study seeks to apply the methods of the social history of art, modelled on the work of critics like Clark, Martin Barker, Al Boime and Leonard Rifas, with an emphasis on the objects of study as material productions, inextricably bound up with the political context of state and society. The history and themes of anti-Semitism in post-war US politics, the establishment and maintenance of Israel, the Cold War, and US relations with Japan are all discussed as significant factors in the production of the case study works.
   The thesis concludes by summarising the findings of each of the case studies, as measured by application of the theories of realism explored in the earlier chapter. Each graphic novel’s realism is found to be dependent upon the specific graphic language by which the artist challenges political orthodoxies.

Adams, Kenneth Alan. 1980. Family and Fantasy: Dread of the Female and the Narcissistic Ethos in American Culture.
Brandeis University. DAI.

Albertini, William Oliver, Jr. 2004. Catching Discourse: Contagion, Narrative, and United States Cultures at the Century's Turn. University of Virginia. Advisers: Eric Lott, Jennifer Wicke. UMI.

Andersson, Lars M. 2000. A Jew is A Jew is a Jew... Representations of 'The Jew' in Swedish Comic Press 1900-1930s. Lund University (Sweden), Department of History.  On-line information; more.

Bailey, Cellastine P. 2000. Teaching Writing and Creating Change in a Multicultural / Urban Elementary Classroom.
University of Massachusetts Amherst. DAI.

Beaty, Bart. 
1999. All Our Innocences: Fredric Wertham, Mass Culture and the Rise of the Media Effects Paradigm, 1940-1972. McGill University, Communications.

Best, Mark Timothy. 2002. Secret Identities: American Masculinities and the Superhero Genre in the Fifties.
Indiana University. DAI.

Blair, Christopher Allan. 2002. To Protect the Children: An Examination of Arguments for the Content Regulation of Mass Media. University of Memphis. DAI.

Blakely, W. Paul. 1957. A Study of Seventh Grade Children's Reading of Comic Books as Related to Certain Other Variables. The University Of Iowa. DAI.

Bogart, Leo. 1951. The Comic Strips and their Adult Readers: A Study of Male Workers in a New York City Neighborhood. The University Of Chicago. DAI.

Bongco, Mila Francisca. 1995. Reading Comics: Analysing Language, Culture and the Concept of Superheroes in Comicbooks.
Dissertation Abstracts International, 1996 Sept; 57 (3): 1115A. U of Alberta.

Brauer, Stephen Michael. 1999. Containing the Criminal: American Crime Narratives, 1919-1941. (Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James M. Cain, Anita Loos, William Faulkner, Richard Wright.) New York University.  DAI.

Brown, Charles Marvin. 2002. The Culture of Culture Industries: Art, Commerce, and Faith in the Christian Retailing and Entertainment Industry.
Southern Illinois University at Cabondale. DAI.

Brown, Eric H. 1982. Wholistic Reading Comprehension through Comic Book Art Production. Ed.D. Columbia University Teachers College. DAI.

Brown, Jeffrey A. 1997. New Heroes: Gender, Race, Fans and Comic Book Superheroes.
University of Toronto. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1998 Dec; 59 (6): 1818.

Carpenter, Stanford Wayne. 2003. Imagining Identity:
Ethnographic Investigations into the Work of Creating Images of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Comic Books. Rice University, Cultural Anthropology. Rice University, Cultural Anthropology. Thesis Committee: Benjamin Lee, Professor, Department of Anthropology; George E. Marcus, Joseph D. Jamail Professor, Chair, Department of Anthropology; George Smith, Professor, Department of Art and Art History; Julie Taylor, Professor, Department of Anthropology

Carr, John Leonard. 1988. Leigh Brackett: American Science Fiction Writer--Her Life and Work. The Ohio State University. DAI.

Carter, Vicki K.
2000. Learning from work: Thinking aversively about 'Dilbert.' (Scott Adams) D.Ed. Pennsylvania State University. DAI.

Castaldi, Simone. 2002. Fumetti cannibali: Il fumetto adulto italiano tra gli anni settanta e ottanta. Brown University. DAI.

Catogni, Jacqueline. 1990. Cigarette Smoking through the Franco-Belgian Strip Cartoon from the Century's Beginning to the Present Day.
Dr. d'Etat. Universite de Bourgogne (France). DAI.

Chai, Su-ching. 1996. A Study of Elementary School Students' Use of Libraries for Study and Leisure Reading in Taichung City, Taiwan, the Republic of China. Ed.D. University of Tennessee. DAI.

Chute, Hillary L. 2006. Contemporary Graphic Narratives: History, Aesthetics, Ethics. English, Rutgers University, English. Committee Members: Marianne DeKoven (director), Carolyn Williams, Harriet Davidson. Outside readers: Marianne Hirsch, Jared Gardner. Three parts of the diss have been published:
   "The Texture of Retracing in Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis." WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 36.1&2 (Spring/Summer 2008): 92-110.
   "'The Shadow of a Past Time': History and Graphic Representation in Maus." Twentieth-Century Literature 52.2 (Summer 2006): 1-32.
   "Temporality and Seriality in Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers." American Periodicals 17.2 (2007): 228-244.

Cokely, Carrie Lynn. 2002. Discovering the Magic: Readings, Interpretations and Analyses of the Wonderful Worlds of Disney. Syracuse University.  DAI.

Collomb, Sandrine Aimee. 2001. Le devoir de memoire: Forme et fonction dans l'oeuvre de Jean Rouaud. University of Cincinnati.  DAI.

Coogan, Peter Macfarland. 2002. The Secret Origin of the Superhero: the Origin and Evolution of the Superhero Genre in America.
Michigan State University.

Craft, Jason Todd. 2004. Fiction Networks: The Emergence of Proprietary, Persistent, Large-Scale Popular Fictions. [DC universe] Universtity of Texas at Austin. Advisers: Adam Z. Newton, John M. Slatin. UMI.

Cusack, John Bernard. 1969. The American Weekly Humor Magazine in the Nineteenth Century.
Boston University.

Davidson, Sol M. 1959. Culture & the Comic Strips.
 New York University.

Davis, Julie Anne. 2000. 'Dilbert' as Organizational Analyst.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2001 June; 61 (12): 4755.U of Kansas.

Dean, Michael Patrick. 2000. The Ninth Art: Traversing the Cultural Space of the American Comic Book. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2001 Feb; 61 (8): 2957. U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Desaulniers, Claude Michèle. 1994. Un Exemple de créativité dans la bande dessinée: Les Langages d'Achille Talon.
Universite Laval (Canada). DAI, 1996 Feb; 56 (8): 3103A.

Di Fazio, John Sebastian. 1973. A Content Analysis to Determine the Presence of Selected American Values Found in Comic Books During Two Time Periods, 1946-1950, 1966-1970. The University Of Iowa. DAI.

Dorrell, Larry Dean. 1980. Comic Books and Circulation in a Public Junior High School Library.
University of Missouri - Columbia.  DAI.

Duncan, Ralph Randolph, II. 1985. Panel Analysis: A Critical Method for Analyzing the Rhetoric of Comic Book Form.
Louisiana State University. DAI, 1991 June; 51 (12): 3942A.

Dunley, Kathleen Ann. 2007. The Space Between: Ruins, Narratives, and History. University of Colorado at Boulder. 321 pages; AAT 3284468
   Abstract: The postmodern period changed the way most Americans consider the past. While critics like Foucault and Derrida stressed the importance of the archive as a site from which a patchwork history could emerge, critics like Jameson and Boym reflected on the past's sense of nostalgia. The pull between a deep consideration of the traces of the past (the archival model) and the more superficial responses to the past (the nostalgia model) is made manifest by studying the function of the ruin in contemporary fictions, and especially, how the ruin is represented both visually and textually in hybrid works. Through the analysis of various photobooks, graphic novels, and other hybrid texts, "The Space Between: Ruins, Memory, and History" asserts how the very act of reading a hybrid work, especially the piecing together that happens in the space between image and text, mimics the act of archival history making, one which demands reader engagement. The study begins by highlighting the efforts of authors who act as "memory individuals," preserving traces in their illustrated narratives despite the tides of progress. George Hilliard constructs a model history that crosses lines between fact and fiction and between personal and community memory models. In doing so, the text creates a multi-faceted sense of the past of a small, New Mexico town, one that would otherwise be overlooked. The text uses gaps and contradictions to force its reader to pay attention and engage the material, in much the same way that the graphic novelist Seth uses visual anchors, repetition, and suspended perception to reconfigure the comics page in order to "train" his readers to see the presence of the past. On the converse, Jeff Brouws and Chris Ware show the effects of a world without traces of the past--the nonplace. In their representations of contemporary American suburbs and other aspects of urban sprawl, these writers engage the past by the use of the palimpsest. Despite the surface erasure, traces of the past remain in the nonplace, if only thro oral histories, hints, or hearsay. When the past's underwriting interacts with the present, the reader must negotiate the gap that emerges between images from a culture that values forgetting and the evidence from the forgotten historical past that haunts the present landscape. The sense of revision inherent in the palimpsest is further complicated by new media textual forms that demand not only reader participation through submissions and interactive interfaces, but also enable seemingly limitless forms of revision and preservation. "The Space Between: Ruins, Narrative, and History" opens the study of textual representations beyond the canon and the limitations of the printed page, encouraging deeper consideration of the changing nature of the trace, memory, and the larger notions of representing and preserving the past.

Dycus, Dallas J., Jr. 2009. Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: Honing the Hybridity of the Graphic Novel. Georgia State University; English dept. Michael Galchinsky, director; Chris Kocela; Randy Malamud.
The genre of comics has had a tumultuous career throughout the twentieth century: it has careened from wildly popular to being perceived as the source of society s ills. Despite having been relegated to the lowest rung of the artistic ladder for the better part of the twentieth century, comics has been gaining in quality and respectability over the last couple of decades.
    My introductory chapter provides a broad, basic introduction to the genre of comics its historical development, its different forms, and a survey of comics criticism over the last thirty years. In chapter two I clarify the nature of comics by comparing it to literature, film, and pictorial art, thereby highlighting its hybrid nature. It has elements in common with all of these, and yet it is a distinct genre.
    My primary focus is on Chris Ware, whom I introduce in chapter three, a brilliant creator who has garnered widespread recognition and respect. His magnum opus is Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, the story of four generations of Corrigan men, most of whom have been negligent in raising their sons. Jimmy Corrigan, as a result, is an introverted, insecure thirty something year old man.
    Among comics creators Ware is unusual in that his story does not address socio political issues, like most of his peers, which I discuss in chapter four. Jimmy Corrigan is an isolated tale with a very specific focus. Ware s narrative is somewhat like those of William Faulkner, whose stories have a narrow focus, revolving around the lives of the inhabitants of Yoknapatawpha county, rather than encompassing the vast landscape of national socio political concerns. Also, in chapter five I explore the intriguing combination of realist and Gothic elements normally at opposite ends of the generic continuum that Ware merges in Jimmy Corrigan. This feature is especially interesting because it is another way that his work explores aspects of hybridity.
    Finally, in my conclusion I examine the current state of comics in American culture and its future prospects for development and success, as well as the potential for future comics criticism.

Eastman, Jacqueline Fisher. 1998. A Study of The 'Madeline' Books of Ludwig Bemelmans.
University of Alabama. DAI.

Fauvel, Marie-Louise. 1989. L'Aventure d'une Ecriture: La Bande Dessinée d'Essai.
University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Flanigan, Beverly Olson. 1981. American Indian English in History and Literature: The Evolution of a Pidgin from Reality to Stereotype.  Indiana Univesity.  DAI.

Fuglsang, Ross Stuart. 1997.
Motorcycle Menace: Media Genres and the Construction of a Deviant Culture. University of Iowa. DAI.

Fukushima, Yoshiko. 2000. Japanese Contemporary Theatre in the 1980s: Noda Hideki and the Manga Discourse of Japan. New York University. DAI.

Gabillet, Jean-Paul. 1994.  Le comic-book: Un objet culturel Nord-Am
éricain.  Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux.

Gagnon, Jean-Claude. 1980. L'acte de lecture essai d'analyse experimentale sur la lecture d'une sequence narrative sous forme de bande dessinee. Universite Laval (Canada). DAI.

Garlitz, Ivy. 1998. The Old Country: An Experiment in Modes of Writing on the Jewish-American Experience in Poetry, Fiction, and Popular Culture.
 University of East Anglia in Norwich (UK). [Parts of the critical chapters of the dissertation were published in Comics Forum magazine.

Gibson, Mel. 2002. Remembered Reading: Memory, Comics and Post-war Constructions of British Girlhood. University of Sunderland.

Gordon, E.B.  1970.  The Significance of Political Caricature during the Reign of Louis Philippe, 1830-1835.
[Query: Ph.D or Master's level?]

Gordon, Ian Lewis.  1993.  Envisioning Consumer Culture: Comic Strips, Comic Books and Advertising in America, 1890-1945. 
University of Rochester. Dissertation Abstracts International, 1993 July; 54 (1): 291A.

Hanson, Amy Suzanne. 1996. Application of an Instrument for Evaluating Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. DAI.

Harkins, Anthony Andrew R. 
1999. The Hillbilly in Twentieth-Century American Culture: The Evolution of a Contested National Icon. University of Wisconsin - Madison.  DAI.

Harrison, Michael Preston. 2009. Comics as Text and Comics as Culture: Queer Spain through the Lens of a Marginalized Medium. University of California, Irvine, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese. Dr. Jill Robbins and Dr. Luis Avilés, co-chairs, Dr. Ana María Amar Sánchez, committee member.
Abstract: Both in its textual form, and its pervasive influence on other media, the medium of comics provides a new, unique lens through which to examine the developmental trajectory of the representation of contemporary queer Spanish identity. To this end, I examine cultural, political and social discourses of sexual and gender identity and queer sexual citizenship in post-Franco Spain, specifically as represented by the medium of comics and related comics iconography.
   I begin by establishing previous critical explorations of queer Spanish followed by a prehistory of Spanish comics and comics related art forms. I then devote three chapters to the analysis of comics from different historical moments.  In the first, focused on Nazario s Anarcoma, I explore the ways the comic deals with visual representations of fluid gender identity, the constructedness of gender, and the navigation of newly opened gay  spaces. Next, I analyze Manuel by Rodrigo, who transgresses the spatial norms of comics themselves as a means of celebrating the varied freedoms of the Spanish gay community under democracy while linking its refiguring of city spaces with its subversion of comics conventions; specifically the absence of delineated panels and the elimination of verbo-visual text (word balloons). In the third chapter, I discuss Rafa s Chuecatown series and how the text, through the use of the cartoon form and its citation of iconic comics figures, communicates issues of gender and sexual identity, institutionalized homophobia, and current sociopolitical issues such as gay marriage and adoption. My final chapter examines the iconography of comic book superheroes in the poetry of Leopoldo María Panero and Álvaro Tato, and the narrative of Lluis Fernàndez, and how the rich mythological systems associated with these characters are wielded by these poets to concisely convey emotional realities, questions of identity, and expressions of gender.
   Although often viewed as a marginalized medium, through detailed analyses of these comics texts I uncover aspects of queer Spanish culture that have yet to be explored in much depth, drawing explicit connections between the mechanisms that comics employs in its narrative project and the specific issues of significance to the development of gay identity post-Franco.

Hatfield, Charles William. 2000. Graphic Interventions: Form And Argument in Contemporary Comics
[Dissertation on Hernandez Bros, autobiography and Chester Brown.] 
U of Connecticut, Department of English.  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2000 Oct; 61 (4): 1386.

Hayward, Jennifer Poole. 1992. Trash, Strips, and Soap: Serial Fictions and Mass Audiences, 1836-1992. Princeton University.  DAI.

Heisler, Florence Anna. 1944. Characteristics of Elementary-School Children Who Read Comic Books, Attend the Movies, and Prefer Serial Radio Programs. New York University. DAI.

Helenelund, Elisabeth. 1982. Språket i Muminserien : en syntaktisk analys.  Helsingin yliopisto, pohjoismaisten kielten lisensiaatintyö. Published as Språket i Muminserien en syntaktisk analys. Meddelanden från Institutionen för nordisk språk och nordisk litteratur vid Helsingfors universitet. Serie B,; nr 9 (Helsinki: Yliopistopaino, 1985; ISBN 9514537033). WorldCat.

Helsby, Wendy Frances. 1999. Comics in Education: The Link between Visual and Verbal Literacies: How Readers Read Comics.
DAI, Section C: Worldwide, 2000; 61 (3): 643-44. U of Southampton.

Hemmer, Kurt Richard. 2000. Cowboys Crashing: The Beat Generation and the American Western Outlaw. (Brenda Frazer, Michael McClure, Edward Dorn, William S. Burroughs) Washington State University.DAI.

Higgins, Mildred M. 1969. Adult Literary Responses to Comic Strip Narratives Among Inmates of a Correctional Institution. ERIC ED040342.

Hilbish, Dabney Melissa. 1990. Relax, It's Only a Movie: Representations of War in The Vietnam Combat Film. University of Maryland College Park. DAI.

Hill, Michael James. 2003. A Study of Contemporary Australian Comics, 1992-2000 with Particular Reference to the Work of Naylor, Smith, Danko and Ord.
 Macquarrie University (Sydney, Australia), Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy.
   Abstract: Beneath the surface of the many layers of artistic and cultural practice in contemporary Australian society there is a spirited and lively activity known variously as the underground, independent comics scene or ‘small press’. This is the subject of this thesis. These terms and activity refer to the work of the creators of contemporary alternative comics. This thesis involves an examination of the Australian alternative comics scene in the last decade of the twentieth century. Within the context of Australian art and graphics, this alternative scene operates on a very small scale. Involving approximately 150 creative participants, it is a loosely structured network of creators of self-financed, self-published, and self-distributed comics. Mostly located in the larger urban environments down the eastern coast of Australia from far North Queensland to Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania in the south, it is not easily apparent but exists somewhat like an underground art movement.
   Despite the steady stream of overseas influences, this Australian alternative comics scene has managed to display a sense of vitality and a local identity. An examination of the work reveals a wide range of subjects, a plurality of graphic styles, a level of self-reflexivity and widespread use of autobiographical material. Many of the participants in the movement have positioned themselves on the creative ‘edge’ antagonising, irritating, satirising and testing the acceptable limits of visual expression. In so doing they take advantage of what is a relatively unregulated outlet of creativity and visual communication. The graphic humour of their work adds to the visual culture of the country and contributes to the ongoing critique of Australian life. No subject is sacred and so Prime Ministers, Premiers, politicians and party members, pop stars, princesses and parents, Olympic mascots and sporting champions, subcultures and even the creators themselves have been the target of these artists’ pens as they seek to satirise the state of Australian affairs. From its position on the margins, its critical viewpoint is often expressed with humour.
   In addition to employing artistic practices in their work, these creators also make use of design strategies. In particular, their use of visual communication techniques facilitates its conveyance to a small but nevertheless widespread audience. In its own limited way Australian alternative comics not only contribute to the visual cultural life of Australia but also work as an aid to an understanding of it. They add to the ongoing critique of Australian society, and provide an inviting and creative outlet for these fearless commentators and satirists. This thesis represents a basic description and critique of their practice.

Hill, Trent Gregory.  1993. In Subordination of the Word: Literature, Culture, and the 'American Celebration', 1948-1963. (Censorship, Charles Olson, Norman Mailer, Ralph Ellison, Modernism). Duke University. DAI.

Holcomb, Jack Andrew. 2000. Playing Popular Culture: A Folkloristic Perspective on Role-Playing Games and Gamers. University of Louisiana at Lafayette. DAI.

Hunig, Wolfgang K. 1974. Strukturen des Comic Strip: Ansätze zu einer Textlinguistisch-Semiotischen Analyse Narrativer Comics. Treves.

Ilundain-Agurruza, Jesus Maria. 
2000. ...In the Realms of Art: A Conceptual Inquiry of the Genesis of the Work of Art. University of Illinois at Chamapgne-Urbana. DAI.

Jahrling, Savannah Lee. 1998. The Persistence of the Romantic Paradigm in Popular Art in the Late Twentieth Century. (Robert John) University of Wisconsin - Madison. DAI.

Jasinowski, Rosemary Wright. 2002. Morimura Yasumasa: A Cross-Cultural Study in the Self-Portrait, Self-Definition and the Creative Process.  New York University. DAI.

Jobs, Richard Ivan. 2002. Riding the New Wave: Youth and the Rejuvenation of France after World War II.
 Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick. DAI.

Johnson, Crystal A. 1997. Schizoid Defenses, Transitional Phenomena and Humor in Bureaucratic Corporate Life.
 DAI, Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 1997 Oct; 58 (4): 2165-66. Wright Institute.

Kannenberg, Eugene Paul, Jr. 2002. Form, Function, Fiction: Text and Image in the Comics Narratives of Winsor McCay, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware. 
University of Connecticut, Department of English. Committee Members: Thomas J. Roberts; Robert J. Hasenfratz; Jerry R. Phillips. DAI, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences (DAIA) 2002 Nov; 63 (5): 1821. Abstract no: DA3054240. Read proposal - includes publication informationSee also: Dr. Kannenberg's website,
   Abstract: This dissertation highlights the importance of critical attention to the design elements in comics narratives. It borrows terminology and reading strategies from other approaches to visual literature, such as artist’s books and shaped poetry, developing new terminology suited to the discussion of the graphic appearance of text when it appears in a graphic environment. This apparatus will prove beneficial to other forms of visual communication in which a work’s visual form constitutes part of its message. It then applies those techniques to the works of three cartoonists who have produced design-intensive comics.
   This analysis focuses on three broad themes: (1) The development of comics storytelling from the single comics page to the larger “book experience”; (2) The struggle between art and commerce which is enacted via the publication methods of comics; and (3) The growing opportunities for personal expression in the comics form.
   Winsor McCay, who created Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend at the beginning of the twentieth century, was one of America’s earliest professional strip cartoonists, as well as one of the first American animators. Finding his work constrained to the newspaper page, with no opportunities for his work to grow into a more permanent form, McCay moved into the realm of animation to explore personal themes that his work for William Randolph Hearst increasingly would not allow. His formal and thematic innovations on the comics page, however, influenced generations of cartoonists to follow, including Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, whose underground comics work, freed from the editorial and commercial constraints, explored the formal aspects of cartooning in the long form. His eventual role as small publisher himself opened doors for new cartoonists who thrived in smaller comics venues apart from the traditional newspaper or comic book page. Chris Ware, creator of The Acme Novelty Library, uses the freedom and opportunities created by Spiegelman and other alternative publishers to explore form and theme in ways that explicitly acknowledge the importance of design, in both images and the text within them, throughout the course of his comics narratives.

Karp. Etta E. 1954. Crime Comic Book Role Preferences. New York University.

Kasanof, Nina. 1992. The Illustrations of Everett Shinn and George Luks.
  University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign.  DAI.

Kasen, Jill Helene. 1978. Portraits from the Dream: The Myth of Success in the Comic Strip, 1925-1975.  Rutgers University.  WorldCat.

Kern, Adam Lewis. 1997. Blowing Smoke: Tobacco Pouches, Literary Squibs, and Authorial Puffery in the Pictorial Comic Fiction (Kibyôshi) of Santô Kyôden (1716-1816). Harvard University, East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Forthcoming: The Geisha's Forbidden Comicbook (tentative title; accepted for publication by the Asia Center, Harvard University Press).

Kindborg, Mikael. 2003. Concurrent Comics : Programming of Social Agents by Children. Linköping universitet
, Science and Technology. On-line information.

King, Lucy Charlotte Peeples. 1985. Vers Un Enseignement De La Culture/Civilisation.
 D.M.L. Middlebury College.  DAI.

Kipniss, Marc. 1993. Pomo-Pop: Analyzing Postmodernism and Popular Culture.
 University of Washington. DAI.

Kraemer, Christine Hoff. 2008. The erotic fringe : sexual minorities and religion in contemporary American literature and film. Boston University, Religious and Theological Studies. Advisers: Peter S. Hawkins and Susan L. Mizruchi. Full text available through ProQuest/UMI. Contact: /
Abstract: In the wake of the sexual revolution, the Christian Right has waged a religiously-based campaign for pre-1960s gender norms and against gay rights. This project treats works in which sexual minorities respond by constructing the erotic as a source of sacred experience, one superior to that offered by conservative Protestant Christianity and Mormonism: the novel The Fifth Sacred Thing (Starhawk, 1993), the cult film Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, 2001), the play and film Angels in America (Tony Kushner, 1992/2003), and the graphic novel Blankets (Craig Thompson, 2003). My method is historically contextualized close reading that also considers the formal advantages of hybrid media in communicating a controversial message. I introduce The Fifth Sacred Thing as part of an American tradition of sexually alternative millennial communalism. This communalism, however, is always in dialogue with an individualistic Emersonian religion of the self, as in Hedwig's tale of Gnostic personal transformation. Hedwig (in the tradition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show [1975]) demonstrates this individual/communal dialectic in its fans' media-centered group practices. Next, I turn to Angels as a failed queer utopian vision in which neither its political agenda nor its religious eroticism is fully realized. Finally, I examine individual liberation in Blankets, which demonstrates how strict, religiously-based sexual and gender roles can create closeted sexual minorities even among heterosexuals. Against the Religious Right's focus on the nuclear, blood family, these works privilege individual transformation, chosen families, and utopian communities liberated and then bound together by erotic experience. Engaging the power of religious rhetoric in American culture, they mark a rhetorical shift by sexual minorities to speak of sexual liberation not purely as a secular matter of civil rights and cultural norms, but rather as a sacred mission that promises individual and social transformation. The effectiveness of hybrid media in engaging audiences helps to explain the strong responses--ranging from censorship efforts to the founding of new spiritual communities--that readers and viewers have had to these works.

Kraft, Karl R. 1990. The Use of Comic Strips and Single-Panel Cartoons as an Outreach to Unchurched Young Adults through the Broad Street United Methodist Church, Burlington, New Jersey.
  D.Min.  Drew University.  DAI.

Krinsky, Charles Jay. 1998. 
Rebels without a Closet: The Construction of Juvenile Delinquency, Masculinity, and Male Sexuality in American Culture, 1945-1961. University of California, Irvine. DAI.

Kurzrok, Allan. 1993. 'The Kids from 'Help' Look at Loss and Life': The Inception, Conceptual Framework and Creation of a Comic Strip and Psychodynamically Established Text for Increasing Psychological Awareness and Motivating Insight Orientation and Personal Growth in the Lay Public.
 Union Institute (Ohio).  DAI.

Lamanno, April Arthur. 2007. Exploring the Use of Graphic Novels in the Classroom: Does Exposure to Non-Traditional Texts Increase the Reading Comprehension Skills and Motivation of Low-Functioning Adolescent Readers? Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2008 Apr; 68 (10): 4243. Pennsylvania State U.

Lanyi, Ronald Levitt. 1977. Comic Book Creativity as Displaced Aggression. University of California-Davis.

Lee, Chris and Jack Adams-Webber. 1987. A 'Projective' Test of the Golden Section Hypothesis
[psychological evaluation of comic strip characters]. Social Behavior and Personality 15(2):169-175. [query: is this truly a thesis or dissertation?]
Lee, Tain-Dow. 1986. Reforming Film Study at the Level of Higher Education in Taiwan, The Republic of China. The Ohio State University. DAI.

Lefèvre, Pascal. 2003. Willy Vandersteens Suske en Wiske in de krant (1945-1971). Een theoretisch kader voor een vormelijke analyse van strips [Willy Vandersteen's Suske en Wiske in the dailies (1945-1971): A theoretical framework for the formal analysis of comics].
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen [Social Sciences].
on-line information.
   English abstract: Although there are similarities between various media,comics present stories in a unique way: they make use of sequences of drawings,including texts in balloons or boxes. Remarkably, this unique formal communication system has not been studied in depth by the academic world. Compared with the considerable number of theoretical works on literature, film or theatre, the medium of comic art is still very poorly served by the scholars. Since the end of the 1960's, however, some studies have been published. Nevertheless, three decades later,no single academic work has thoroughly covered the various formal techniques of comics.Therefore this study sets out to describe these in a systemic way. Inspired by what Bordwell and Thompson (1977 &2001) have done for cinema,the approach here can be outlined in two basic questions: how does an entire comic function and how do comic techniques contribute to its form? Of course, parts of my work do clearly rely on previous theoretical thinking on comics, but also findings from other fields such as cinema, the study of perception, cognitive psychology, art history and literature are used. Thus, a new comprehensive view on aspects such as drawing, text, panel arrangement and narration is presented.
   Moreover these general theoretical and analytical findings are tested in a case study of the most popular Flemish comic strip for decades: Suske en Wiske (in English translated as Spike and Suzy,Willy and Wanda or Bob and Bobette). Though the Flemish dailies are still publishing new stories of Suske en Wiske, this study focusses on the 71 stories made by Willy Vandersteen (1913-1990) for the newspapers De Nieuwe Standaard and De Standaard between 1945 and 1971. This analysis shows that Suske en Wiske has a unity and a set of concrete formal techniques,evolving in time.Culture, tradition, personal qualities of the author(s),etc.,they were all influential in the choice of resources; but very important was also the way in which these comics were published.The publication format (namely two tiers in a newspaper) influenced the total concept of the series,both style and content.
   Though Vandersteen did not create many new techniques,his combination of a continuity strip with various forms of humor (including self-referential humor), a (fake) family setting, wild imagination and criticism of hot topics is quite unique.

Lipper, Mark M. 1974. Comic Caricatures in Early American Newspapers as Indicators of the National Character. DAI, 1974; 34: 5896A(So. Ill.).

Lococo, Mark Edward. 1995. 'Burned Behind My Eyes': The Dissolution of Invincibility through Performances of the Vietnam War. Northwestern University, Department of Performance Studies. DAI. [War toys, comic books, short stories, poetry]

New! Lovata, Troy R. 2000. An Exploration of Archaeological Representation: People and the Domestic Dog on the Great Plains of North America. The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Anthropology. Advisoir: Sam Wilson, Ph.D.; committee: Drs. Kenneth Foote (then Texas, now Colorado), Silvia Tomaskova (North Carolina), Fred Valdez (Texas) and Pauline Strong (Texas). "I did a short comic about making a comic book dissertation for the Society of American Archaeology's journal back in 2005. It can be found here, starting on page 22."

   Abstract: This project examines representation and archaeology. It entails creating, and studying the process of creating, a public presentation of a story of Prehistory. It explores how representation is used by archaeologist to understand the past and present the results of their studies. The relationship between people and the domestic dog on the Great Plains of North America is examined. Ethnohistorical, and zooanthropological literature are used to expand interpretations of the archaeological record. This research is presented in the form of a comic book. Study of how this work is constructed exposes the ways in which visual and non-academic presentations affect people's conceptions of the past. This project explores how information about the archaeological record moves from the realm of professional research to a public presentation. It is an inquiry into visual representation. It is an inquiry into how the relationships between data and presentation, between art and science, and the factors that influence the creative process.

Lunning, Nancy French. 2000. Comic Books: Sex and Death at the Edge of Modernity. DAI, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2000 June; 60 (12): 4225. U of Minnesota.

Macdonnell, Francis Michael. 1991. Insidious Foes: The Axis Fifth Column and the American Home Front, 1938-1942. Harvard University. DAI.

Makemson, Harlan E. 2002. Images of Scandal: Political Cartooning in the 1994 Presidential Campaign. University of North Carolina.

Malach, Michele Marie. 2000. You'd Better Dust Off Your Own Black Suit: The FBI in Recent American Film and Television.
 University of Texas at Austin. DAI.

Marston, Emily Wright. 1982. A Study of Variables Relating to the Voluntary Reading Habits of Eighth Graders. Ed.D. Harvard University. DAI.

Martin, George Ira. 1992. Secondary English Students' Responses to
Classics Illustrated Comic Books. Ed.D. University of Virginia. DAI.

Mattozzi, Alvise.  1998.  Nuvole Sotterranee.  Alaisi Socio-Semiotica del Fumetto Underground.
 Universita' Degli Studi di Siena, Facolta di Lettere e Filosofia, Corso di Laurea in Scienze della Communicazione.  Relatore: Prof. Omar Calabrese.

McFadden, Margaret Theresa.  1996.  Anything Goes: Gender and Knowledge in the Comic Popular Culture of the 1930s. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1997 May; 57 (11): 4796. Yale U, 1996 [note: uncertain if this diss mentions comics or not]

McKinney, Edgar Duane. 1990. Images, Realities, and Cultural Transformation in the Missouri Ozarks, 1920-1960. University Of Missouri - Columbia.  DAI.

McQuillan, Elizabeth. 2001. The Reception and Creation of Post-1960 Franco-Belgian BD.  University of Glasgow.

Merino, Ana. 2001. Las dimensiones narrativas del comic del mundo Hispanico en los limites de la modernidad.
(Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba.)  University of Pittsburgh.  DAI.

Mickelson, Holly Michelle.  2002.  Replacing Memory: Comics, Survivorship, and Narrative Rupture in Art Spiegelman's Maus Project.  Purdue University.  Abstract on-line.

Miller, Jeffrey Alan.  2001.  Critical Analysis of Comic Strips: A Semiological Approach.
  (Roland Barthes.)  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2001 Oct; 62 (4): 1271. State U of New York, Buffalo.

Monnin, Katie M. 2008. Perceptions of New Literacies with the Graphic Novel 'Bone.' Kent State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2008 Dec; 69 (6): 2188.

Murray, Ross. 2009. Changing Bodies: Representations of Metamorphic Comic Characters. University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Nash, Susan Smith.  1996.  Apocalypse in Twentieth-Century Literature, Film, and Cultural Texts: The Persistence and Questioning of the Messianic Vision.
  The University of Oklahoma.  DAI.

Neff, William Albert. 1977. The Pictorial and Linguistic Features of Comic Book Formulas. University of Denver. review by Neil Cohn

Nelson, Sandra G. 1993. J. Minor Gwynn: 1897-1971.
  (Textbook Writing, North Carolina)  Ed.D. University of South Carolina. DAI.

Neustadt, Robert Alan. 1995. (Con)Fusing Signs: Three Spanish-American Encounters with(in) the Postmodern Position. Alejandro Jodorowsky, Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Diamela Eltit. (Mexico, Chile)  University Of Oregon.  DAI.

Nguyen, Nhu-Hoa. 2009. Narration graphique : l’ellipse comme figure et signe peircéen dans la bande dessinée. Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Mutifaculty (philosophy, communication and literary studies); program: Ph. D. in semiology. Advisors: Dr. François Latraverse (philosophy) & Dr. Philippe Sohet(communication).

Abstract: Cette thèse a pour but d’analyser le phénomène de l’ellipse dans la narration graphique afin d’y asseoir son rôle souverain. L’étude rend explicite la nature et le fonctionnement d’une technique d’écriture fondamentale qui jusqu’à présent a été reconnue de façon brève, instinctive ou implicite. S’articulant autour de trois axes, ses définitions, ses expressions et la logique de son interprétation, la thèse examine la nature et les caractéristiques de l’ellipse avant de vérifier son opérationnalité dans les bandes dessinées et de faire la lumière sur les étapes inférentielles que traverse toute interprétation possible de la figure.
Pour ce faire, le premier axe revisite les concepts existants dans quelques champs d’étude principaux, soit la rhétorique, la linguistique, la littérature et la cinématographie. Une fois l’assise théorique générale posée, le deuxième axe porte un regard sur les diverses expressions de ces concepts en bande dessinée à travers une centaine d’occurrences puisées dans une vaste collection internationale, en particulier la France, les États-Unis et le Japon. Le troisième axe détermine le trajet interprétatif de ces expressions au moyen de la trichotomie inférentielle (abduction – déduction – induction) du philosophe pragmatiste Charles S. Peirce.
   Les recherches menées ont révélé qu’une compréhension plus complète de l’ellipse passait par d’autres figures rhétoriques de nature semblable qui, elles aussi, adoptent le non-dit et le non-montré comme lieux d’expression. La cohabitation avec ces figures et la confrontation de diverses conceptions de l’ellipse à travers différents domaines ont permis de synthétiser les résultats en une définition applicable généralement. Elles ont aussi donné lieu à une typologie générale, qui peut être modifiée pour s’adapter aux besoins particuliers; en l’occurrence, on s’est retrouvé avec une taxonomie plus détaillée des ellipses en bande dessinée qui couvre les formes des plus courues aux moins courantes. L’application de la classification à l’expression concrète de la bande dessinée a aussi révélé que le transfert des notions rhétoriques amène une modification notable du statut figural des procédés elliptiques, qui présentent un double comportement, tantôt sans aucun changement sémantique, tantôt avec modification de sens.
   Par ailleurs, le processus d’interprétation par l’inférence peircéenne a fourni l’outil nécessaire pour confirmer le travail incessant d’interprétation d’une bande dessinée, déterminer de façon logique l’existence d’une ellipse dans sa lecture et élucider la concordance entre les genres de raisonnement logique et les types d’ellipse. Ainsi les ellipses déductives procurent un sentiment de satisfaction dans la pratique de lecture de progression, alors que les ellipses abductives et inductives réjouissent davantage le lecteur de la compréhension, à qui elles ouvrent des horizons riches de possibilités et de probabilités.

Nyberg, Amy Kiste. 1994. Seal of Approval: The Origins and History of the Comics Code.  University of Wisconsin - Madison.  Published as Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code (Jackson: U P Mississippi, 1998).

Nystrom, Elsa A. 1989. A Rejection of Order: The Development of the Newspaper Comic Strip in America, 1830-1920. Department of History. Loyola University of Chicago. Dissertation Abstracts International 50(7):2215A. [PDFs downloadable @ ICS Lost Works]

Ogi, Fusami.  2001.  Reading, Writing, and Female Subjectivity: Gender in Japanese Comics (Manga) for Girls (Shoujo).  State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Comparative Studies.

Okamoto, Rei. 1999. Pictorial Propaganda in Japanese Comic Art, 1941-1945: Images of the Self and the Other in a Newspaper Strip, Single-Panel Cartoons, and Cartoon Leaflets.
 Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1999 Sept; 60 (3): 580. Temple U.

O'Sullivan, Judith Roberta. 1976. The Art of Winsor Z. McCay (1871-1934). University of Maryland.

Paravisini, Lizabeth. 1982. The Novel as Parody of Popular Narrative Forms in the United States and Latin America: 1963-1980. New York University. DAI.

Park, Sung-Bong. 1993. An Aesthetics of the Popular Arts: An Approach to the Popular Arts from the Aesthetic Point Of View.
 Fil.Dr. Uppsala Universitet (Sweden).  DAI.

Pavlovic, Tatjana. 1996. 
The Despotic Body and the Nymphomatic Body: Spanish  Culture from Francisco Franco to Jesus Franco. University of Washington.  DAI.

Peck, Stephen Madry, Jr. 1988. Tense, Aspect and Mood in Guinea-Casamance Portuguese Creole. University Of California, Los Angeles. DAI.

Pérez del Solar, Pedro. 2000. Images of the Desencanto: Spanish Comics, 1979-1986.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2000 Nov; 61 (5): 1868. Princeton U.

Perraudin, Jean-Yves. 1989. Images of the Elderly in Comic Strips. (Franco-Belgian School) Dr.d'Etat. Universite de Bourgogne (France). DAI.

Pinsky, Michael C. 1998. Future Present: Ethics and/as Science Fiction. University of South Florida. DAI.

Postema, Barbara. 2010. Mind the Gap: Absence as Signifying Function in Comics. Michigan State University, Department of English. Chair: Judith Roof.
This dissertation argues that the gap, which according to Wolfgang Iser’s narrative theory is a characteristic of all fictional narrative, in comics works at all levels of signification. Gaps or absences signify in the drawn image, the page layout, the sequence, and image-text combinations, as well as in the narrative.
      Comics images rely on minimizing and absence of information, rather than representation in detail. The notion of the gap as an inherent part of the abstraction that is typical of the comics image is established. The page layout is created by frames and gutters which separate out the individual panels, creating structure and order. The gaps between panels are ultimately the condition for creating sequence and continuity from a series of separate panels. In relation to the layout, gutters are literal gaps, empty spaces on the page, while in relation to the sequence, gutters are gaps in time, gaps in sequences of events that call for interpretation of action rather than of structure.
      Another means besides the sequence through which comics offer to close gaps is provided by the insertion of text, the verbal code which as a separate register introduces another way in which to interpret and connect the images in the comics sequence. Text can be another way of bridging gaps between panels. The concept of gaps is familiar from a narratological point of view, as inherent to and productive of narrative. It provides yet another way in comics in which the reader is invited and engaged as a participant. Through the narrative gap, and the recognition of the gap operative at all levels of their signification, comics create a self-awareness of these absences, often by creating narratives in which the gap itself takes on a thematic role, not just a signifying function.
      In my interrogation of the function of the gap as creative presence/absence in comics, I take a central characteristic of comics as my theoretical foundation: the form involves a different kind, and in fact many different kinds, of reading, only one of which is the reading of words. The other forms of reading that comics require deal largely with the image. Due to the role of the image in comics, it is sometimes assumed that reading comic comes naturally, that the meaning of these texts is transparent because they are visual. The idea is that it is not necessary to learn this kind of reading, let alone that such texts might require explanation. However, in this age of visual literacy, that view has been superseded. We have learned that images and their power should not be taken for granted, and that images can carry a host of messages.
      The process of reading in comics is not natural, is not inherent, and my dissertation sets out to lay bare that process, break down the numerous functions that are actually involved in reading comics. One problem with discussing these levels is that they are all intertwined: when a person reads a comics, the signifying functions of the drawings, the sequence and the story all work at the same time. The gap offers a way of breaking apart the levels of signification. It offers a way into these processes, since the gap operates slightly differently at each level—image, layout, sequence, text-image relations, and narrative.
      The area of study to which my work contributes is not a brand new field, but it is certainly still developing. The man who is sometimes hailed as the inventor, the father of comics, Swiss Rodolphe Töpffer, also wrote the first theory of comics, in his Essay on Physiognomy (Essai de Physiognomonie) from 1845. The field has expanded from there, with histories of comics written since the 1940s, and dissertations and sociological studies of comics following shortly after. In terms of the popularization and visibility of comics studies (certainly in North America) two texts have been of great significance: Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art (1985), and Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (1994). These texts share with Töpffer’s ur-comics study that they are written from the point of view of the writer. While these works analyze the form of comics to some extent, they are mostly invested in a how-to approach, explaining how comics artists can craft their stories, can achieve certain effects.
      My own study of comics signification comes at the form from the other side. My analysis is based in the experience of the reader. When a person is faced with a comics text, how does he or she make sense of it? European comics criticism has a longer tradition of comics studies from a readerly point of view, and most often rooted in a semiotic approach, as my dissertation is. Examples of this school are Strips Anders Lezen or Pour une lecture moderne de la bande dessinée by Pascal Lefèvre and Jan Baetens (1993), and Thierry Groensteen’s Système de la bande dessinée (1999). This last work was translated into English in 2007, and marks an important development in American comics criticism: the introduction of the European school of formal analysis of comics. Groensteen’s work has been of some influence on my own. My work is in dialogue with Groensteen’s, building on some of his ideas but creating a vocabulary in English. Also, the francophone tradition of comics studies, not surprisingly, draws on the Francobelgian tradition of Bande Dessinée. This is a tradition of comics that North American readers tend not to be very familiar with, and one that operates quite differently from American comics. Thus, besides furthering the understanding of signification in comics, my work also offers an entry into francophone work on comics by applying theoretical concepts like braiding (tressage) and the multiframe, but applying them in American comics.
      At the center of my semiotics of comics is the gap, the notion of creating meaning out of absences. While the gap functions and is coded in different ways for each layer of signification in comics, its presence in all these levels creates the coherence in my understanding of the form. The most familiar conception of the gap in relation to narratology is Wolfgang Iser’s application of the gap or blank as a productive force in narrative, drawing the reader into the process. Comics, like any narrative medium, display this function of the gap. The text that produces the narrative gaps is itself riddled with other gaps and absences as well. Comics narrate in sequences of images, which rely on gaps to create continuity. Actions and movements have to be shown in fragments, in separate images, in order to evoke the complete action. Comics create wholes from holes.
      The sequential production of narration, of action, in comics is the result of the layout, which is a feature that is very specific to the comics form. The layout makes the gap literally visible on the page, in the form of the empty gutters between panels. The blanks signal that the sequences of panels signify in relation to one another. The gutter invites an involvement from the reader, who is called upon to produce a continuity, a coherence from the discontinuous fragments shown on the page.
      While there are absences between the panels in comics, absences also exist within the panels. Imagery in comics signifies through simplification and abstraction. Its reduction of detail is related to caricature, but the aim of caricature is to foreground and ridicule certain actual qualities of its real-life subjects, which is not generally the case with comics drawings. The cartoon style of drawing in comics contains gaps in its lack of detail. The images make up for a lack of information through the use of strong outlines. In what Rudolf Arnheim calls the “completion effect,” the reader is again called upon to fill in the absent information.
      Besides the gap, the signifying processes of comics share another, though related, feature, namely a representational economy. At all levels of comics signification the discourse displays an economy of detail. From the point of view of the writer/artist in comics the question always seems to be: how little can I show, how much can I leave out, and still produce a viable narrative. I use Charles Schulz’ Peanuts throughout to illustrate this economy of image, of sequence, even of narration.
      The gaps and openings that are left on the comics page create space for the production of meaning. Signification is a dynamic process in comics, one that requires reading multiple layers of meaning at the same time. Although all these layers of signification involve a similar process, namely finding and filling in absences, these gaps are created using different codes and signs at each level of signification (drawings, layout, sequence, narrative), and consequently they require different forms of decoding at each level. One might think that all these different layers would become incomprehensible, that the variety of different codes used, and the complexity of signifying systems would be overwhelming. Comics, however, communicate instructions for how to read them along with their narrative, through their very use of codes. In my dissertation I have brought those latent codes to the forefront and show how they work in a number of different texts. This analysis denaturalizes the various kinds of reading that comics require, and shows the sophisticated processes of signification at work.
      Comics supply readers with the keys to their decoding. Through conventions, in their application of self-referentiality, and often by reference to other media, comics provide both the text and the manual for how to read that text. This is once again a way in which comics very directly involve and address their readers. What needs to be inserted into the gap that is left in comics, is, ultimately, the reader.

Price, Penelope. 1985. Gravity's Rainbow: Thomas Pynchon's Use Of The Media.
 Arizona State University. DAI.

Proctor, Phyllis A. 1973. Mexico's Supermachos: Satire and Social Revolution in Comics by Rius.
 Dissertation Abstracts International, 1973; 33: 5138A(Texas, Austin).

Pustz, Matthew John. 1998. Fanboys and True Believers: Comic Book Reading Communities and the Creation of Culture. 
University of Iowa.  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1998 Nov; 59 (5): 1636.

Riedemann, Kai. 1987. Comic, Kontext, Kommunikation : die Kontextabhängigkeit der visuellen Elemente im Comic Strip, exemplarisch untersucht an der Gag-Strip-Serie Peanuts. Universität Hamburg. Published with the same title (Frankfurt am Main and New York: P. Lang, 1988); ISBN 3631403682.  WorldCat.

Rios Soto, Marilyn. 
2000. El papel del lector en la novela 'La ley del amor' de Laura Esquivel. (Mexico) University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. DAI.

Roberts, Garyn Glyn. 1987. Black Days, Grotesque Rogues and Square-Jawed Justice: The World of Dick Tracy. Dissertation Abstracts International 47(9; Mar):3463A.

Roberts-Jones, Philippe. 1954. La caricature française entre 1860 et 1890. Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels). (published as: De Daumier à Lautrec : Essai sur l’histoire de la caricature française entre 1860 et 1890, Paris: Les Beaux-Arts, 1960.)

Rodman, Gilbert Brinkley.  1996.  Elvis after Elvis: The Posthumous Career of a Living Legend.  University of Chicago at Urbana-Champaign.  DAI.

Roemer, Richard Dean.  1995.  The Thief of Bad Gags: Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.  A Serious Look at a 'Ridiculosity.'
  (Gay studies)  Universtiy of California, Los Angeles.  DAI.

Rogers, Mark Christiancy. 1997. Beyond Bang! Pow! Zap!: Genre and the Evolution of the American Comic Book Industry
University of Michigan, Program in American Culture. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1997 Nov; 58 (5): 1783-84. [Note: MLA mistakenly lists the first word of the title as "Beyong"]

Rosen, Elizabeth K. 2005. Apocalyptic Transformations: The Secularization of Apocalypse in Contemporary Fiction and Film. University College London. Committee members: Adam Roberts, Paul Giles, supervisors Danny Karlin, Pamela Thurschwell. Publication information: Apocalyptic Transformation: Apocalypse and the Postmodern Imagination (Lexington Books, 2008).
   Description: An exploration of how postmodern writers and filmmakers have adapted the myth of apocalypse in their work. The study explores how our understanding of apocalypse has changed in the twentieth century, the sociological purposes of telling apocalyptic stories, and what happens when postmodern creators begin to use a rigid paradigm such as the story of apocalypse in their work. Contains a chapter on Alan Moore's apocalyptic comics.

Round, Julia Valerie. 2006. From comic book to graphic novel: writing, reading, semiotics. University of Bristol, UK. Department of English. PhD thesis. More info at An article drawn from this thesis ('Fragmented Identity: the superhero condition') was published in the International Journal of Comic Art 7.2 (2005): 358-369.
   Abstract: This dissertation discusses how changes within the authorship, reading practices and criticism of contemporary American comics can alert us to more general questions raised by the inclusion of popular culture in literature. It employs a cultural materialist methodology; researching the first decade of the DC Vertigo imprint (launched in 1993) and considering these texts both as the culmination of trends that can be traced throughout the industry’s history, and as modern literature that sustains elements of certain literary genres. 
It begins by summarising the American comics industry’s progress historically and uses review of literary criticism to examine comics’ progression from marginalised ‘funny books’ to cult literature to academic and mainstream acceptance. It then considers the Vertigo comics from a variety of perspectives, researching the ways in which they represent the continuance and culmination of thematic and structural elements perceived in the literary genres of the Gothic, Myth, and the Fantastic.
These elements are returned to as it subsequently approaches the Vertigo comics as postmodern artefacts, examining the ways in which this imprint has contributed to the reinvention of both the concept and material form of comics, and concludes with a case study that applies semiotic theories of text and image, showing how notions of the sign are affected by the hybrid nature of the medium. As an interdisciplinary study this research considers the Vertigo comics in relation to their history, their surroundings and readership, and to other forms of cultural/literary output past and present; grounding textual issues in a historical context and reflecting on critical discourse that typically sets literature against popular culture.

Rubenstein, Anne G. 1994. Mexico 'Sin Vicios': Conservatives, Comic Books, Censorship and the Mexican State, 1934-1976.
  Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick.  DAI.  On-line information.

Ruch, William Vaughn. 1980. Communicating in Their Terms. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. DAI.

Runnels, Marti Ray. 1989. Lee Breuer and His Cross-Cultural American Classicism.
Texas Tech University.  DAI.

Saraiva Mendes, Maria Regina. 1991. The Educational Role of Comic Strips: A Study of Sexual Stereotypes.
 Public D.  Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona (Spain).  DAI.

Saunero, Veronica Hazel.  1989.  Towards a Definition of the New Spanish-American Essay in the Essayistic Texts of Julio Cortazar. (Spanish Text; Argentina)  The Pennsylvania State University.  DAI.

Schechter, Russell.  1991.  Iron Cage Aesthetics: Rationalization and Revisionism in Postmodern Popular Culture.
  University of Southern California.  DAI.

Schwibbe, Michael H.  1988.  Das Bild der Frau bei Wilhelm Busch : ein inhaltsanalytischer Vergleich zu Bilderromanen, Schwänken, Märchen und Sagen.
 Göttingen : E.Goltze.

Sears, Cornelia.  1997.  Africa in the American mind, 1870-1955: A study in Mythology, Ideology and the Reconstruction of Race.  University of California, Berkeley.  DAI.

Smith, Rodney Dale.  1979.  A Study of the International Political Events and Commentary in Selected American Comic Strips from 1940 - 1970.  Ed.D.  Ball State University.  DAI.

Soper, Kerry David.  1998.  Seriously Funny: A History of Satirical Newspaper Comic Strips in Twentieth Century United States.
Emory University.  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1998 Oct; 59 (4): 1228.

Spaulding, Amy E.  1983. Closet Drama for Children: A Study of the Picture Book as Storyboard. [D.L.S dissertation] Columbia University. Published as The Page as Stage Set: Storyboad Picture Books (Metuchen, NJ & London: Scarecrow P, 1995)

Stall, Robin Carin.  2000.  Using Comics to Teach Multiple Meaning of Words.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 2001 Apr; 61 (10): 5270.

Steiling, David A. 2006. Icon, Representation and Virtual Reality in Reading the Graphic Narrative. University of South Florida, Dept. of English. Major Professor Phillip Sipiora, Ph.D.; committee: Silvio Gaggi, Ph.D.; Victor Peppard, Ph.D.; Joseph Moxley, Ph.D. Downloadable version available
   Abstract: “Icon,”“representation,” and “virtuality,” are key elements to consider when reading multi-modal narratives, including graphic narratives. By considering in detail how these elements are realized in various examples, the author shows how the study of the comics can lay groundwork for critical reading across the technological continuum of storytelling. The author looks at how icon, representation, and virtuality interact in a reading of William Hogarth’s A Harlot’s Progress. He then examines each term in more detail through readings of a variety of graphic narratives including Max Ernst’s, Une Semaine de Bonte, Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland, Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, Craig Thompson’s Blankets, Phoebe Gloeckner’s Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Posy Simmonds’s Gemma Bovery.
   The author distinguishes between two types of virtuality, internal and external, and ties the construction of virtuality to reader response theory. In exploring issues related to the icon, the author builds on Scott McCloud’s conjecture that the iconic character is the means through which the reader inhabits the virtual space of the graphic story. The author advances the proposition that icons are metonymies and that graphic narratives are centered in metonymic, not metaphoric devices. He also undertakes a discussion of how icon operates within the expanding tradition of the “illustrated novel.” Throughout the dissertation an attempt is made to express observation and analysis through continuous instead of binary descriptors in order to emphasize the cooperative rather than oppositional arrangements of word and image within the graphic narrative. The dissertation concludes with an extended examination of Will Eisner’s contention that the use of stereotype is a necessity in graphic storytelling. Examples from Frederik Strömberg’s Black Images in the Comics are used to test this theory and illustrate its consequences. The treatise finishes with an analysis of approaches to representation that avoid stereotypical treatment, are inclusive but sufficiently flexible to operate through caricature. These observations are applied to issues of characterization and representation in electronic gaming narrative. The author concludes that ethics, effectiveness, reputation and empathy are all compromised when artists resort to stereotypes.

Swartz, John Alan. 1978. The Anatomy of the Comic Strip and the Value World of Kids. Ohio State University. WorldCat.

Takahashi, Maki. 2002. It is Hard to be Ordinary: An Analysis of Language Use in 'Maboroshi no Futsuu Shoojo' (Japanese, Shungiku Uchida).
 University of Kentucky.  DAI.

Thalheimer, Anne. 2002.
Terrorists, Bitches, and Dykes: Gender, Violence, and Heteroideology in Late 20th-Century Lesbian Comix. University of Delaware. DAI, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences (DAIA) 2002 Sept; 63 (3): 939. Abstract no: DA3046632

Tinker, Emma. 2009. Identity and Form in Alternative Comics 1967 - 2007. University College, London. complete thesis online

Thorn, Matthew Allen. [forthcoming.] Unlikely Explorers: An Ethnography of the Community of Japanese Girls' and Women's Comic Books. New York: Columbia University.

Tjardes, Susan E. 1996. Televisual Literacy, Producerly Texts and the Serialized Graphic Narrative: The Rhetorical and Satirical Potential of 'Doonesbury.'
University of Iowa.  Dissertation Abstracts International, 1996 Nov; 57 (5): 1897A.

Tondro, Jason William. 2008. An Imaginary Mongoose: Comics, Canon, and the Superhero Romance. University of California Riverside. Committee Members: Dr. Stanley Stewart, Dr. John Ganim, Dr. John Briggs. Published through ProQuest and in hard copy at UCR Rivera Library.
   Abstract:  "An Imaginary Mongoose" argues that the superhero is a continuation of the romance tradition, exemplified by works like Malory's Morte d'Arthur and Spenser's Faerie Queene. The project argues that not only can we better read and analyze superhero romances equipped with a knowledge of Medieval and Renaissance literature, but that the opposite is also true; because the superhero romance grapples with many of the same themes and problems that canon romances do, an awareness of superhero literature and comics criticism is useful to the scholar of traditional literature.
   Chapter One examines Spenser's Faerie Queene, especially Britomart, Arthegall, and Talus "the yron man."  Superheroes like Captain America help us understand Spenser's use of "shadows," allegorical characters who represent one facet of a real individual (such as Elizabeth). Iron Ma' s struggle with alcoholism illuminates the importance of self-control in both the superhero romance and the knight who is his forebear. Tony Stark's slippery identity, often confused by his superhuman suit and his identification with it, help us to understand how Arthegall's identity as the Knight of Justice is temporarily bestowed instead on Britomart, who acts as an exemplar.
   Chapter Two surveys the use of Arthurian myth in comics, and creates adjectival categories which may be applied in a non-exclusionary manner to these Arthurian comics.
   Chapter Three is a close reading of three comics by Grant Morrison --  JLA, The Invisibles, and Seven Soldiers of Victory -- focusing on his use of the Holy Grail. His Arthurian sources, including Wolfram von Eschenbach, Wagner, Chretien, and Malory, are traced. Morrison's Grail is a symbol of communion, of the exchange of ideas between forces which seem opposite but are, in fact, the same.
   Finally, Chapter Four is an analysis of Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" epic, with a comparison made to Ben Jonson s innovative work on the court masque. The Judeo-Christian and anti-fascist elements of the two-year experiment are unpacked, challenges of collaboration are examined, and the argument is made that, like Jonson, Kirby took a well-established form known for its limitations and went beyond those limitations to make the genre definitively his own.

Tousignant, Nathalie. 1995. Les manifestations publiques du lien colonial entre la belgique et le congo belge (1897-1988).
 Universite Laval (Canada). DAI.

Vergara, Robert A., II.  1990.  Humanizing Mass Media: Alternative Approaches to Comic Books During Allende's Chile (1970-1973). 
Ed.D. Northern Illinois University, Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies.

Verster, François Philippus. 2003. ’n Kultuurhistoriese ontleding van pikturale humor, met besondere verwysing na die werk van T.O. Honiball. [English translation: A cultural-historical analysis of pictorial humor, with special reference to the work of T.O. Honiball]. D.Phil. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Committee members: Dr Dorothea van Zyl, Dr Celestine Pretorius, Dr Mathilda Burden. Email address:,,, Publication info: Honiball 100 (CD ROM, 2004) –includes complete dissertation in Afrikaans and English translation of shortened book (TO Honiball: Culture with a smile, 2004). In 2005 the book Van Kaspaas tot Kaas: die lewe en werk van TO Honiball was published. All publications by African Sun Media, publishing house of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
   Abstract: Thomas Ochse Honiball (1905 – 1990) created several comic strips in Afrikaans, the first to do so successfully on a continuous basis (over 40 years), while also working as a book illustrator and political cartoonist for the National Press, known as the voice of the political system of Apartheid (separate development of races) in South Africa. His cartoons are reputed to have made a major impact in rallying the white population to vote for Apartheid in 1948. Ironically Honiball was no racist himself and preferred to write and draw his well-loved comic strips. His most popular strips were Oom Kaspaas (Uncle Casper), Jakkals en Wolf (Jackal and Wolf) and Adoons-hulle (Adonis and Company). Because South Africans are not great readers of comics his popularity is all the more remarkable and because Afrikaans readers are not well versed in comic literature, the first volume of this dissertation (650 pages, 400 illustrations in total) focus on a general background of comics, cartoons and caricature (definitions, origin, historical development, comparisons), as well as a history of South African pictorial humor. The life and work of Honiball is discussed in the second volume, with comparisons between his work as that of icons like Carl Giles and Charles Schultz. 

Villaverde, Leila Edith. 1999. Mapping Discourse, Art, and Politics in the Construction of Pedagogy. Pennsylvania State University. DAI.

Volper, Ronald Jay. 1975. Feminist Goals as Depicted in the Behavior of the Husband Versus the Wife in Selected American Family Comic Strips from 1960-1974 - A Content Analysis. New York University. DAI.

Wainer, Alex Myer.  1996.  Mythic Expression in Comic Book Technique: Mythopoeic Aspects of Batman.
  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1998 June; 58 (12): 4486. Regent U.

Walowit, Karen.  1974.  Wonder Woman: Enigmatic Heroine of American Polular Culture. University of California-Berkeley.

Walsh, Susan F.  1999.  Modifying Risk Perceptions of Japanese University Students Using a Culturally Compatible Mode of Instruction.  Ed.D.  West Virginia University.  DAI.

Warburton, Terrence L.  1984.  Toward a Theory of Humor: An Analysis of the Verbal and Nonverbal Codes In 'Pogo.'
  University Of Denver.  DAI.

West, Mark Irwin.  1983.  Defenders of Childhood Innocence: Reformer Responses to Children's Culture In America, 1878-1954.  Bowling Green State University.  DAI.

Westbrook, Matthew David.  1997. 
Invisible Countries: The Poetics of the American Information Commodity, 1891-1919.  University of Michigan.  DAI.

Weston, Joan.  2000.  Comic Books, Superheroes, and Boys: Superhero Comic Books in the Everyday Life of Preadolescent Boys.
University of California, Santa Barbara.  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2001 Mar; 61 (9): 3788.

Whitney, Patricia.  1994. Influences on Grade-Five Students' Decisions to Read: An Exploratory Study of Leisure Reading Behavior.
 University of British Columbia.  DAI.

Wiedemer, Caroline Alice. 1994. Reconstructing Sites: Representations of the Holocaust in Postwar Literary, Cinematic, and Memorial Texts.
  (Comic books, France)  Princeton University.  DAI.

Wienhöfer, Friederike. 1979. Untersuchungen zur semiotischen Ästhetik des Comic Strip unter der besonderen Berucksichtigung von Onomatopoese und Typographie. Zur Grundlage einer Comic Didaktik.

Williams, Jeffery Littleton. 1999. Culture, Theory, and Graphic Fiction. 
Texas Tech University.  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1999 Nov; 60 (5): 1538.

Winchester, Mark David. 1995. Cartoon Theatricals from 1896 to 1927: Gus Hill's Cartoon Shows for the American Road Theatre.  Ohio State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 1995 Dec; 56 (6): 2047A-48A.

Witek, Joseph Patrick. 1988. 'Stranger and More Thrilling than Fiction': Comic Books as History.  Vanderbilt University.  Published as
Comic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar. (Jackson and London: UP of Mississippi, 1989).

Wright, Bradford Walker. 1998. The American Comic Book: A Cultural History. 
Purdue University.  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1999 Feb; 59 (8): 3176.

Yarian, Sharon. 1975. The Comic Book Hero, a Cultural Fantasy. 
Adelphi University.  Dissertation Abstracts International, 1975; 35: 4205B-06B.

Young, William Henry. 1969. Images of Order: American Comic Strips During the Depression, 1929-1938.  Emory University.  Dissertation Abstracts International, 1969; 30: 2049A-50A.

Yu, Kie-Un. 1999. The Development of the Korean Animation Industry: Historical, Economic, and Cultural Perspectives.  Temple University.  DAI.

Yus, Francisco. 1995. Pragmatica y Relevancia. Un modelo escripto-iconico aplicado al discurso del comic ingles [Pragmatics and relevance. A verbal-visual model applied to the discourse of English comics]. University of Alicante, Department of English Studies. Published as two books. The first one comprises the first part of the thesis, while the second book is about parts second and third: (1) Cooperacion y relevancia. Dos aproximaciones pragmaticas a la interpretacion. Alicante: University of Alicante, Servicio de Publicaciones, 1997; (2) La interpretacion y la imagen de masas. Alicante: Instituto Juan Gil-Albert, 1997.  See also: Dr. Yus' website; Relevance Theory Online Bibliographic Service.
   English Abstract: The thesis has three main parts. In the first one, there is an introduction to the pragmatic perspective and, especially, to Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory, which is an essential cognitive model throughout the book. The second part is devoted to building up a model of communication (so-called "escripto-icónico") based on four dichotomies: (a) whether communication takes place directly between the author of the (media) discourse and the reader/spectator or it takes place between characters inside the plot of the story narrated in the discourse; (b) whether communication is intentional or it is exuded, as it were, from the author/character without a prior intentionality (if intentional, several sub-intentions are proposed: author-oriented, character-oriented, overt, covert, direct and indirect); (c) whether communication is achieved through verbal or nonverbal means; and (d) whether interpretation is efficient (in the sense that the addressee picks up precisely the sender’s [author or character] intended interpretation) or not. These four dichotomies (a-d) are then combined and the outcome is a set of sixteen categories, each of them with four preliminary attributes: channel of transmission, intentionality, type of discourse and interpretive efficiency. The sixteen categories form what a verbal-visual model of communication. The third part is devoted to an application of these sixteen categories to the different varieties of communication that can be found in British comics, although the model can be applied to any verbal-visual discourse.

Zambrano, Wa-Ki Fraser De. 1996. El discurso colonial/postcolonial y el erotismo en las novelas de dos escritoras: reedicion del encuentro, conquista y colonizacion de America.
  The University of Iowa, DAI Vol. 57:05A, p. 2058.  On-line information at the bottom of this page.

Zitawi, Jehan Ibrahim. 2004. The Translation of Disney Comics in the Arab World: A Pragmatic Perspective. Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies (CTIS), School of Modern Languages, University of Manchester, UK. External examiner: Dr. Zahia Salhi, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Leeds; internal examiner: Penny Brown, French Studies, University of Manchester. Email: or
   Abstract: The vast majority of studies drawing on pragmatics have focused on conversation and face-to-face interaction, with little or no attention paid to written text. Like much of pragmatic theory, Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory also focuses on spoken discourse. At the same time, politeness theory claims to offer a universal framework for the study of politeness across different cultures and, one would therefore assume, across different genres of discourse. This study attempts to examine the applicability of the Brown and Levinson model to a particularly challenging genre, namely Disney comics, and to extend the model beyond monolingual and monocultural contexts, to look at politeness strategies in translation between two very different cultures. The study thus sets out to test politeness theory to ascertain whether it can offer credible and coherent explanations of the potential for comics in translation to threaten the face(s) of Arab readers, and whether it can provide a robust framework for describing the pragmatic strategies employed by translators seeking to maintain the face(s) of Arab readers.
The study argues that Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory can be fruitfully applied to Disney comics translated from English into Arabic, provided we can demonstrate that (a) it is possible to identify a composite speaker and composite hearer in Disney comics, and (b) Disney comics can be read as face threatening texts (FTTs). Disney comics are simply texts that have writers and readers. However, the complex nature of this discourse and the attempt to contextualise it within a totally different culture – Arab culture – point to certain limitations of the Brown and Levinson model. At the same time, they enable us to propose ways in which the model may be refined to read the nuances of complex discourses, such as Disney comics, that are normative and manipulative in nature while presenting themselves as benign entertainment.
The data used in this study consists of 278 Disney comic stories: 140 English stories and 138 Arabic stories translated and published by Dar Al-Hilal in Egypt, Al-Futtaim/ITP in Dubai, and Al-Qabas in Kuwait. The English stories appeared between 1962 and 2000. The Arabic stories appeared between 1993 and 2003. Most of these comics are aimed at 6-13 year-olds.
   The starting point of the analysis is a conventional application of Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory to original and translated Disney comics, looking specifically at three sources of face threat in this context: verbal and/or visual signals that can be considered taboo or at least unpalatable to the reader; the raising of sensitive or divisive topics (e.g., Jewish and Christian imagery and colonial ideologies, stereotyping and ridiculing the target reader); and the use of address terms and other status-marked identifications that may be misidentified in an offensive or embarrassing way, either intentionally or accidentally. Politeness strategies used by Arab publishers and translators in the data examined in this study include all three categories proposed by Brown and Levinson: Don’t do the FTA; Do the FTA on record with mitigation; and Do the FTA baldly with no mitigation. However, the study also reveals a number of weaknesses inherent in the Brown and Levinson model and highlights the need to refine politeness theory in order to make it more applicable to the analysis of complex genres such as comics and complex types of face threat encoded in discourses which are normative in nature but which present themselves as benign.

Zurier, Rebecca. 1988. Picturing The City: New York in the Press and the Art of the Aschan School, 1890-1917. (Volume I: Text. Volume Ii: Text And Illustrations; Illustrations Not Microfilmed As Part Of Dissertation) Yale University.  DAI.

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Sources: Apart from general Internet searches, the following resources were consulted: The Modern Language Association Bibliography, 1969-2002; The Comics Research Bibliography; The Comics Scholars Discussion List; Dissertation Abstracts International; The Dreaming; Michigan State University Library's Catalog Info on "Dissertations About Comics"; WorldCat; personal corresponences. Special thanks to Martin de la Iglesia, Fabio Gadducci, Mark Rogers, Michael Rhode, and Leonard Rifas.

Publicity: Information about this site was originally posted to the Comics Scholars Discussion List. Thanks to the following resources for mentioning this site: EGON; Hijinx Comics; ¡Journalista!: The Comics Journal' Weblog by Dirk Deppey (9th item down).

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