A Dialectic Approach to Comics Form II: Dis/Continuity

Loto #5 : Mouvement Absolu

Another dialectic relationship in fundamental formal features of comics is continuity and discontinuity. In comics actual images are discontinuous, distinctive and different, but the reader interprets it as a continuous action by the same character in the same space-time. We do not read the first three panels of Alexis Beauclair’s Loto #5 : Mouvement Absolu as three different instances of the ball at rest in three different space-times. We interpret it as the ball continuoisly moving through a tube. The reader produces the continuity out of discontinuity. The reader is an active reader.

When the reader perceives the continuity in comics, s/he unconsciously focuses on the common factors and ignores the differences. In Krazy Kat, the background changes panel by panel, but the reader interprets the work as characters remaining in the same place, not as characters moving to different spaces panel by panel. This demonstrates another dis/continuity in comics: the ability to present differently when depicting the same concept. In Krazy Kat, it’s the landscape / background. Here again, the reader creates the discontinuity out of continuity, but this time, the artist consciously employs this dialectic relationship for the work.

First six pages of Hundert Ansichten der Speicherstadt

Martin tom Dieck’s Hundert Ansichten der Speicherstadt exploits this dis/continuity to the extreme. In Dieck’s silent comics, there are few repeated elements or images among the pages. The reader needs to take the time to recognize the object and the association between different images, rather than perceives the repeated same images right away.

Vincent Fortemps’ Barques deploys this dis/continuity and association to study the issue of representation. Fortemps draws on Rhoid sheets with crayon, then scratches the sheet with knives. Barques’ images are associated by appearance. We are accustom to reading the discontinuous images as a continuous action or situation, for example the different representations of the same object or concept. 

But Barques refuses to be read this way. One image looks like a silent ocean. Another image looks like a boat. Another image looks like a wave. Another image looks like an abstract painting. These images blur the distinction between figuration and abstraction, as well as what images represent. Barques asks us the question what comics and ultimately, images represent. Do they really exist? Or are they an illusion created by the reader? 

Fortemps creates objects (Fortemps said that his comics-making is more akin to sculpture than drawing), not images. However, in the end, the reader sees the pure, reproduced images, as opposed to a material object. This contradiction of production and reception corresponds to this question on the ontology of representation.

💙Mermaid playlist! For Mermaids, By Mermaids.💙

💙 Hey, you know… I’ve seen a lot of playlists about mermaid songs but… all of them are sad, and mermaids aren’t sad all the time people. Accept it. 

Now a mermaid has made a more joyful playlist, but still themed with the Ocean, the Moon, singing… that kind of things we merfolk love(?

It’s mostly dubstep, but it’s not the only type of music we’ve here!

💙 Black Sea - Natasha Blume | Lullaby of the Moon - Nightcore** | Deep Sea Girl - English cover* | How i became the Sea - Owl City | Siren - Kat Krazy ft. Elkka  | Oceans - Nightstep** | Lights and the thunder - Krewella  (feat. Gareth Emery)  💙

💙  Listen to it here!  💙

💙 *=This song is originally on japanese.

💙 **= This songs are nightcore edits of the original songs.. I think they sound better that way tbh.



Krazy is a gender fluid cat who loves Ignatz, a mouse.  Ignatz loves throwing bricks at Krazy.  Offisa Bull Pupp is a dog who loves Krazy and tries to protect them from Ignatz’s bricks…This would be pretty advanced stuff today, but Krazy debuted in 1913!

George Herriman’s brilliant Krazy & Ignatz and other Fantagraphics funnybooks are on sale now!


George Herriman was biracial and pretended to be white to get into the all white comic industry. he was the best around and totally changed the game but to his death he had to hide his blackness. his comics are even more poignant when you know that…krazy kat is an outsider and only has good things to say about a sad world that consistently keeps him on the periphery.

Watching the SDCC Wander Over Yonder panel from 2014 (mainly to hear everyone Do the Voices, let’s be honest) and Craig just cited Krazy Kat as an influence. I’m so happy, because I’ve had that comic strip flitting in and out of my head this entire time. For many reasons–Krazy Kat is an enigmatic little character (his creator George Herriman described him as a “pixie” rather than a cat) who leads a roving, hoboish existence, offering kindness to everyone he encounters and returning the fury of a violent adversary with utterly sincere endearment. 

Plus, look, he plays a banjo!

There are other ways in which the comic strip puts me in mind of the cartoon–especially the roiling desertscapes which seem to predict the atmospheres of many of Wander’s planets–but most essentially I think it’s the notion, so central to the cartoon as an art form, that you can hang the world on a simple concept. Krazy Kat constantly encompasses comedy, poetry, philosophy and language–it counted E.E. Cummings, Frank Capra and Jack Kerouac among its fans–but the core story is always, always about a mouse throwing a brick at a lovesick cat. There’s a similar willful simplicity anchoring Wander, which is most essentially about an entity hellbent on loving the universe until it becomes a thing worth loving. No matter what else it delivers, it never fails to deliver the brick. 

the only material ppl write about krazy kat is essays about why everyone agrees its the best comic so my take is krazy kat is th best comic bc everyone is motivated solely by being gay/hubris/gay hubris, which is also why its the best piece of surrealist art, and also the best work of fiction centring a cat and dog and mouse

Vintage Krazy Kat playing card.

Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse argued about the nature of language:

Krazy: “Why is Lenguage, Ignatz?”

Ignatz: “Language is that we may understand one another.”

Krazy:  “Can you unda-stend a Finn, or a Leplender, or a Oshkosher, huh?”

Ignatz: “No,”

Krazy: “Can a Finn, or a Leplender, or a Oshkosher unda-stend you?”

Ignatz: “No,”

Krazy: “Then I would say lenguage is that that we may mis-unda-stend each udda.”

highbrow comics academia

reading thru th different eras of krazy kat u can see how th art n tone n format changes and matures, and you can also see the evolution of th brick-tossing from a slapstick running gag to a weird compulsive 24/7 bdsm alt lifestyle relationship type thing between krazy n ignatz, which is what all longrunning cartoon slapstick dynamics essentially boil down to theyre just honest about it