Digital comics. Forms and functions

Start - End 
2019 - 2022 (ongoing)
Department of Literary Studies
Research Focus 



This project examines a representative corpus of digital comics from a narratological perspective, analyzing the way they experiment with the possibilities offered by the digital format. This includes reflecting on the forms that can be adopted in the digital environment once the page format is no longer a constraint, and investigating their specificities for what concerns multimodality (the combination of different modes, such as audio and animations), immersion (the feeling of being deeply plunged into a story), and interactivity (letting the reader actively navigate the structures she is facing). The main hypothesis is that experimental digital comics try to take full advantage of the possibilities provided by the digital medium, while at the same time working to maximize the reader participation and involvement.

The project deals with a novel, multilingual corpus, that needs to be further investigated. It proposes that digital comics are to be seen as a new medium; it combines comics theory with research on narratology, game studies, experimental and digital literature, adopting an innovative critical framework that also addresses other concepts long discussed in those fields like layout, storyworld, playability, hypertextuality and experientiality. Ultimately it accounts for a novel mode of digital storytelling and offers tools for understanding a diverse corpus that is destined to become increasingly prominent in the coming years.