The Hyper-Poetics of the Visual Narrative

From single panel cartoons, to ongoing series, to graphic novels, comics and comic books have been employing a hybrid approach to both poetics and rhetoric. As poets and lyrical/experimental prose writers, we will be discussing how poetry has entered into the comic book world by writers such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman but also how these frames work in ways that can be adapted to the stanza. These small bits of information work with narration, dialogue, soliloquy, and action. As writers, we also employ all these literary tools and as such, we have investigated the economy of words as seen in comics to help build worlds, create conversations, work through personas, and explore ekphrastics. We will discuss some mainstream books as well as manga and some indie/avant-garde approaches to the genre. In today's age, we are constantly scrolling through visuals such as memes, that utilize very few words to attempt say a lot. This has been the way of comic book writer for over 80 years now. As readers of comics, we too have seen this brevity as way to tap into more than just wit but also the personal, the political, and the fantastic. For some of us, comic books/manga were our first inspirations for understanding archetypes and symbolism and thus helped us in creating speculative poetry and agenre/crossgenre works.