Distributed identity: networking image fragments in graphic memoirs | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3232
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3240


While the primary argument of this article is that graphic memoirists significantly complicate their visual self-representations with variation, embellishment and interpretation, an equally important methodological thesis concerns the actual process of reading graphic memoirs. In (2007), Thierry Groensteen presents a method of reading comics that is based on discovering linkages amongst non-contiguous panels. While Groensteen predicates his nonlinear system of networking on whole panels, I argue that a finer-grained analysis of image fragments (e.g. facial hair, gestures, demon figures, symbols, etc.) in relationship with each other results in a more complex reading of a graphic text. I argue that units smaller than the panel, liberated from the panel, carry their own semiotic weight, and can share iconic solidarity with other visual fragments of the text. This article limits its consideration to comic memoirs, and discerns a set of visual series (Groensteen 2007) that illuminate self-representational techniques in David B.'s (2005), Toufic El Rassi's (2007), Craig Thompson's (2004) and Aleksandar Zograf's (2007).


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