Author (Your Name)

Hootie Giangreco, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Creative Writing Program


Debra A. Spark


The increased "visual literacy" that has resulted from mass consumption has changed the way that modern consumers experience and understand works of visual art, such as comics. Around the turn of the century, comics became popular as supplements for national American newspapers. Recognizing the comics' ability to capture a loyal readership, newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer included strips in their Sunday supplements. Since the comics were included for their selling potential, American sequential art developed a unique relationship with advertising. This project looks at the relationship between comics and advertisements: their similar histories, as well as their similar formal qualities. Ultimately, I argue that reading comics and ads requires the same cognitive process - a fact which heIps account for the recent emergence of serious or "high" art graphic novels.


Comics -- cogntive process -- visual literacy -- advertising


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