Abstract Comics

Defining genres usually means drawing a box around it. Like a comic frame. The frame defines the moment and the frames butting up against it influence and further determine the frame in focus.

Abstract comics can be defined as sequential art consisting exclusively of abstract imagery [and also comics that] contain some representational elements, as long as those elements do not cohere into a narrative or even into a unified narrative space. – Andrei Molotiu

Molotiu’s frame around abstract comics seems somewhat limiting. We find stories and narratives everywhere. We can’t help it. And unless in my quest to create some abstract comics I try to thwart our constant need for stories at every turn (with no guarantee of success) how do I make a comic abstract?

line drawing comic blue bg

Instead – I suggest that the term ‘abstract comics’ is a permission slip to borrow the aesthetic of the comics, the sequential storytelling mode of framing, and combine them with my own preoccupations in line drawing, mark making, asemic writing and other not necessarily representational modes. Or rather, that these modes are self referential. For me abstract comics are sequential storytelling of imagery that is concerned with its method of creation and the act of making a mark both literally and figuratively.

The permission slip of ‘abstract comics’ opens up the page of potential for me. The frames offer me no end of inspiration. The page is never empty. I can always begin with the frames and play from there.

abstract comic three row

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