by Corry Shores
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(From p.16, Mary Fleener, Life of the Party. © 1993)
‘Ragged Time’ in Intra-panel Comics Rhythm
A phenomenological method of comics analysis can be useful when we need to uncover the structural features of the comics experience itself. One fruitful application would be in the study of irregular intra-panel rhythms, where the temporalized divisions are not visibly indicated but rather are only experienced. By means of Gilles Deleuze’s notion of rhythmic repetition and his elaboration of it through Olivier Messiaen’s theory of ‘kinetic’ rhythm, we will formulate a conception of visual rhythm as being based on metrical irregularity. We further explicate this concept of irregular rhythm by drawing upon the notion of ‘ragged time’ in the early jazz musical form, ragtime. We finally test its usefulness by examining how the ‘jazzy’ rhythms of Cubist-styled panels by Art Spiegelman and Mary Fleener generate an experience of ragged time.
Below is a gif summary of the paper, using some of its figures.
Shores, C., (2016). ‘Ragged Time’ in Intra-panel Comics Rhythms. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. 6, p.9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.79
At The Comics Grid: http://www.comicsgrid.com/articles/10.16995/cg.79/
PDF available here:
Blog image from:
Fleener, Mary. (1996). “Rock Bottom: Part 1, or Bad Bar Band Blues!” In: Life of the Party. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books. Originally published in Fleener, M 1993 Slutburger # 4. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly.
Gif image credits found on the images themselves.