Hybrid heroes and graphic posthumanity: Comics as a media technology for critical posthumanism | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3232
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3240


Critical posthumanism analyses tensions within traditional accounts of human ontology and epistemology. The modes by which we recognize humanity are often founded on hierarchical binaries of self and other. These binaries concomitantly inflect disciplinary boundaries of humanities scholarship. While recent advances in biotechnology have destabilized the boundaries of the human subject, the humanities appear ossified in their categories of human forms. How can work in the humanities reflect ‘the crisis in humanism’, while offering different optics for engaging the posthuman world? Comics provide an ideal media technology for posthuman knowledge production. The knowledge that each panel of a comic produces is contingent upon non-linear navigation between text and image and panel presentation. Panels and gutters operate as an assemblage, in networks of patterns, resonances and repetitions. Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth (2009–present) mobilizes hybrid modes of knowledge production around an additional hybridity: the hybrid human/non-human protagonist. In compelling the reader to identify with an inhuman subject, this work exploits the dynamic tension of the form and renders tensions within humanity itself graphically explicit.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): comics; cyborg; hybridity; Jeff Lemire; posthuman; Sweet Tooth
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