Employing a modular format as a way to include footnote disgressions without relegating them to a marginal space, Nicolas Labarre reflects on the possibly ironical depiction of President Reagan in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
Nicolas Labarre examines how the EC comics version of Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains” makes the house appear at once perfect and impossible to live in. The story was a particularly fruitful source for a comic adaptation, since complex interactions between space and time are inscribed in the very structure of the medium.
Examining Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings, Nicolas Labarre highlights an unusual articulation, as a new scene is established in the last panel of a right-hand page. Showing how unconventional this choice is, even in the context of Tomine’s work, Labarre reflects on the effects of this deviation. He locates them both on the narrative level and as part of Shortcoming’s aspiration to cultural legitimacy.
Nicolas Labarre reads an excerpt from the superhero comic The Authority by Ellis et al, and shows how the apparent simplicity of the layout is more deceiving than at first glance. Drawing on the work of Charles Hatfield and Thierry Groensteen, Labarre points to how the visual sequence does not construct a coherent diegetic space, and insists on a tabular rather than linear reading. The idiosyncratic use of comics grammar by Ellis et al is thus revealed to be reminiscent of the constrained narratives of the oubapo.