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Different traditions, different literacies

Different comics traditions require different literacy skills. Read about manga, bande dessinée and superhero comics.
Manga girl
So you’re an expert reader of Tintin. But could you read the manga One Piece?

Comics literacy is transferrable… but only to a degree. Sometimes, achieving closure is particularly difficult because we’re just not acquainted with the conventions of a specific genre, style, or cultural background of comics.

These moments are interesting because they really show how much we take our own expertise for granted when reading comics in a tradition we’re used to. Turns out, we weren’t born a good reader of comics, but became one…

Have you ever found the symbolic, narrative, aesthetic or structural conventions of another comic tradition confusing?

Tell us in the comments about a time where you remember being confronted to comics literacy as something that has to be learned.

© University of York
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