Researcher: Becky Palmer
An increasing acknowledgement of and interest in the relationship between comics and picturebooks is evident in current scholarship, which seeks to draw together two strands of interest that have until recently developed as separate branches of research. This growing awareness of the overlap reflects an increasing cross-fertilisation of the two forms in books by author/illustrators and publishers pushing the boundaries in practice and commercial output. The ‘hybrids’ that result from this increasing creative freedom combine conventions of form and genre borrowed from comics and picturebooks, as well as other visual and verbal media.
Becky's study examines how conventions that have evolved to communicate effectively in one setting can be used as mechanisms for storytelling in a different context. Taking reflective, experimental practice as a method for research, she uses the process of combining the conventions of comics and picturebooks as a site for developing a nuanced understanding of the pragmatics of multimodal narrative. In doing so, her study demonstrates and analyses the analogical processes involved in making, reading and categorising such literature.