The framing of subjectivity: Point-of-view in a cross-cultural analysis of comics - Data and Publication



In visual narratives like comics, the most overt form of perspective-taking comes in panels that directly depict the viewpoints of characters in the scene. We therefore examined these subjective viewpoint panels (also known as point-of-view panels) in a corpus of over 300 annotated comics from Asia, Europe, and the United States. In line with predictions that Japanese manga use a more “subjective” storytelling style than other comics, we found that more manga use subjective panels than other comics, with high proportions of subjective panels also found in Chinese, French, and American comics. In addition, panels with more “focal” framing, i.e. micro panels showing close ups and/or amorphic panels showing views of the environment, had higher proportions of subjective panels than panels showing wider views of scenes. These findings further show that empirical corpus analyses provide evidence of cross-cultural variation and reveal relationships across structures in the visual languages of comics.
Date made available19 Jan 2023

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