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    The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images (Continuum Advances in Semiotics) (Paperback) By (author) Neil Cohn

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    DescriptionDrawings and sequential images are an integral part of human expression dating back at least as far as cave paintings, and in contemporary society appear most prominently in comics. Despite this fundamental part of human identity, little work has explored the comprehension and cognitive underpinnings of visual narratives-until now. This work presents a provocative theory: that drawings and sequential images are structured the same as language. Building on contemporary theories from linguistics and cognitive psychology, it argues that comics are written in a visual language of sequential images that combines with text. Like spoken and signed languages, visual narratives use a lexicon of systematic patterns stored in memory, strategies for combining these patterns into meaningful units, and a hierarchic grammar governing the combination of sequential images into coherent expressions. Filled with examples and illustrations, this book details each of these levels of structure, explains how cross-cultural differences arise in diverse visual languages of the world, and describes what the newest neuroscience research reveals about the brain's comprehension of visual narratives. From this emerges the foundation for a new line of research within the linguistic and cognitive sciences, raising intriguing questions about the connections between language and the diversity of humans' expressive behaviours in the mind and brain.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Visual Language of Comics

    Title
    The Visual Language of Comics
    Subtitle
    Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Neil Cohn
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 240
    Width: 154 mm
    Height: 232 mm
    Thickness: 12 mm
    Weight: 440 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781441181459
    ISBN 10: 1441181458
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: MED
    B&T Merchandise Category: TXT
    BIC subject category V2: GTE
    LC subject heading:
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.5
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAN009000
    Ingram Subject Code: LA
    Libri: ENGM1080
    B&T Modifier: Continuations: 02
    LC classification: P
    B&T Approval Code: A11362000
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T General Subject: 495
    BISAC V2.8: LAN004000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15610
    BISAC V2.8: LAN016000
    Abridged Dewey: 401
    B&T Approval Code: A22880000
    Libri: ENGM1850
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LIT006000
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC22: 302.2019
    LC subject heading:
    Libri: SEMI6000, ZEIC5700
    DC23: 302.2
    Ingram Theme: INDS/COMSTD
    Thema V1.0: GTC, GTD
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Illustrations note
    81
    Publisher
    Continuum Publishing Corporation
    Imprint name
    Continuum Publishing Corporation
    Publication date
    30 January 2014
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Neil Cohn is an internationally recognized scholar for his research on the overlap of sequential images and language in cognition. He is the author of Early Writings on Visual Language and Meditations.
    Review quote
    [Neil Cohn's] theory, presented in The Visual Language of Comics, is provocative . If he is right, the hidden logic of cartoon panels could provide new vistas on art, language and creative development. -- David Robson The Observer Neil Cohn's The Visual Language of Comics is a smart, carefully organized, and exceptionally well-argued work of comics scholarship. I suspect it will become one of a very small number of truly crucial texts in the burgeoning field of comics studies. The book provides an original yet persuasive account of the relationship of comics and language and introduces key terms and conceptual distinctions that are likely to become part of the common sense of comics analysis and criticism. It also explores the ways in which comics have been used as tools of communication and self-expression across a variety of cultural contexts. Over the past decade Neil Cohn has published a number of important research articles on comics that make use of his training in linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience. The Visual Language of Comics builds on this interdisciplinary scholarship but it also offers new insights and opens up new avenues of inquiry. Recommended for anyone with an interest in comics, language, and what Richard Gregory calls "the eye-brain system." -- Kent Worcester, Professor of Political Science, Marymount Manhattan College, USA Neil Cohn thinks about the comics medium and visual literacy on very deep and enlightening levels. In The Visual Language of Comics, Cohn shares his research and insights on how the mind works when processing sequential visuals. It's fascinating reading for anyone interested in visual communication. -- Carl Potts, Former Executive Editor, Marvel Comics and Author of 'The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling' Being able to tell stories with images is an important and perhaps unique human ability. Neil Cohn has done us all a favor, by analyzing how we can use a visual language theory to analyze comics and other forms of graphic communication; to think deeply about language and the mind. His years of deep thinking, and research, show in this new and provocative book -- Frederik L. Schodt is an award-winning writer and translator, whose books on Japanese manga helped trigger their current popularity abroad In this pioneering book, Neil Cohn opens up a whole new domain of cognitive science: the study of how we derive meaning from sequential images.While borrowing much of his approach from theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics, Cohn is careful to let the character of the phenomena speak for themselves, appealing to a rich and fascinating selection of examples from a wide range of graphic traditions.His results illuminate the parallels and sharpen the differences among different human cognitive systems. -- Ray Jackendoff, Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University, USA This book offers more than the title implies, transcending The Visual Language of Comics to reveal the structural, rule governed system that constitutes the visual language used in many forms of contemporary communication. One of the most interesting aspects of Cohn's work is his exploration of the lexicon and grammar of visual language as employed in "dialects" that vary across cultures. Cohn's arguments are rigorous, but clearly, even entertainingly, supported with scores of visual examples and explanations. -- Randy Duncan, Professor of Communication & Theatre Arts, Henderson State University, USA and After reading this book you'll never look at comics the same way, and your view of language will be broadened as well. Neil Cohn is a linguist, a cognitive psychologist, and a graphic artist. In this pathbreaking book he brings his diverse skills together to explore and reveal underlying structures of visual language. Careful study of visual narrative in several cultures shows that comics are beautifully patterned and generative, comparable to language and music. Cohn elaborates what he calls the "visual-graphic modality of language," pointing to a wealth of research possibilities in cognitive neurology, psycholinguistics, and cultural anthropology. -- Dan I. Slobin, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, USA Neil Cohn introduces a new and rigorous set of tools for discussing comics and visual narrative that will influence practitioners as well as academics. His arguments confirm many intuitions of cartoonists about the way comics work while at the same time deflating numerous others. I believe it will significantly enrich the discourse in this still-developing area of study. -- Matt Madden, author of 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style and co-author with Jessica Abel of the textbooks Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics Combining expertise in psychology and linguistics with skills in draftsmanship, Cohn explores the analogies between comics and verbal language with exciting results. By unveiling patterns in all stylistic dimensions of comics' visuals, this book is not just indispensable reading for comics scholars, but also constitutes a major contribution to the discipline of visual studies more generally. -- Charles Forceville, Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Table of contents
    Chapter 1. Introducing Visual Language SECTION 1: STRUCTURE OF VISUAL LANGUAGE Chapter 2. The Visual Lexicon, Part 1: Visual morphology Chapter 3. The Visual Lexicon, Part 2: Panels and Constructions Chapter 4. Visual Language Grammar: Narrative Structure Chapter 5. Navigation of External Compositional Structure Chapter 6. Cognition of Visual Language SECTION 2: VISUAL LANGUAGE ACROSS THE WORLD Chapter 7. American Visual Language Chapter 8. Japanese Visual Language Chapter 9. Central Australian Visual Language Chapter 10. The Principle of Equivalence