Comics on Screen: Pages and Places in the Cloud

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Comics has long been a form of sequential art that has evolved alongside the printed page. As the print industry has developed so too have comics. From the black and white strips of newspapers to the colourful serial print comics on high quality paper and longer, stand alone graphic novels produced as independent hardback books. Whilst printing increased in output quality and dissemination so too did comics. In more recent times a similar development can be seen in screen comics. With the wide-spread adoption of computers and the additional impact of the internet screens have moved from the large, low quality home desktop monitor to high definition, portable display devices and screen comics have developed from short black and white web comic strips to full colour digital comics.

As the printed comic has developed along with the printed page so to have digital comics developed with the computer screen.

But if print comics developed with the page and digital comics developed with the screen we must ask ourselves whether screen comics truly have “pages” at all. And if they do, should they? We can begin to answer this question by looking at a combination of interactive media and comics reading theory from a number of key academic figures (McCloud, Cohn, Groensteen, Manovich) and comparing how comics are presented to us in their various print and digital forms. In this paper I discuss the lack of page exclusive elements such as the ability to riffle through or physically flip from one page to the next and the inclusion of interactive screen exclusive navigation and reading methods such as guided views and infinite canvases (McCloud). This will serve to inform a discussion and understanding of the difference between comics on the printed page and in the digital “place” or cloud.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFramescapes
Subtitle of host publicationGraphic Narrative Intertexts
EditorsMikhail Peppas, Sanabelle Ebrahim
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherBrill Publishing House
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2019
EventThe Graphic Novel - Second Global Conference - Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Sept 201324 Sept 2013

Publication series

NameFramescapes: Graphic Narrative Intertexts


ConferenceThe Graphic Novel - Second Global Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Comics
  • Reading
  • Pages
  • portable display devices
  • digital comics
  • screen comics
  • guided view
  • infinite canvas
  • reading raster
  • flippy-throughiness


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