More than Words by Dale Jacobs [V&A Project]

in More than Word: Comics as a Means of Teaching Multiple Literacies, Dale Jacob takes a much more academic approach than the previous examples. Jacob acknowledges the lower status that comics are seen by, describing them as “simplified version[s] of word-based texts” [Jacob. 2007:21]. Citing incidences in comic history, such as the publishing of Frederic Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, as one of the key sources  for this mind set. However, Jacob brings to mind, the idea that a student may see this, especially in regards to using them as study, as an easier method to read. Viewing it less as work, and more as play.

“In comics, there are elements present besides words, but these elements are just as important in making meaning from the text. In fact, it is impossible to make full sense of the words on the page in isolation from the audio, visual, gestural, and spatial. For example, the first page of Polly and the Pirates (the first issue of a six-issue miniseries) opens with three panels of words from what the reader takes to be the story’s narrative voice. Why? Partially it is because of what the words say-how they introduce a character and begin to set up the story-but also it is because of the text boxes that enclose the words. That is, most people understand from their experiences of reading comics at some point in their history that words in text boxes almost always contain the story’s narrative voice and denote a different kind of voice than do words in dialogue balloons” [Jacob. 2007:22]

  • Jacobs, D. (2007) More than words: Comics as a means of Teaching multiple literacies. The English Journal, Vol 96, No 3 (Jan 2007). pp. 19-25
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