Words and pictures: how we read comics

We are pleased to announce the start of a new project in the AVL, beginning on June 1st, looking at how people understand information conveyed jointly through word and image.

Words and images are used together to convey a wide range of information to us; for example via safety signs, instruction manuals, adverts and comics. Often to understand the message we need to combine the information from the words and images. Surprisingly little is known about how we view and understand this type of stimulus.

In this project, we will use the medium of comics and the method of eye-tracking to study how people view and understand information conveyed jointly through words and images. By using comics we will also be able to explore established comics theories that describe how comics are created and the effects that artists and writers can have on the reader’s experience.

This project is funded by the ESRC and is run jointly by Ben Tatler, Chris Murray (School of Humanities, University of Dundee) and Phillip Vaughan (DJCAD, University of Dundee) with Clare Kirtley as the postdoc.

For more information see our project page.

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