Friday, August 23, 2019

how to read nancy

I found this book pretty unputdownable and the fore and aft matter (description of Ernie Bushmiller's life and precursors to Nancy at the front; various intriguing appendices and related material at the back) pretty fascinating. It's a beautiful production as well in terms of its clean design.

The text is forensic and at the centre is an in-depth analysis of just one Nancy strip from the late 1950s with all the component parts reviewed: how do we 'read' a strip like this, what are the tropes it depends on, how is our eye guided, what does the text mean (in the example used, the text is the same phrase three times over) and so on. It's more about Bushmiller's skill as a comic strip artist than it is about Nancy or anything intrinsic to her, except that Nancy is a crucial element in the best of Bushmiller's work.

After reading this I started on John Taylor's autobiography. Really intriguing stuff about early Birmingham days and a chapter on being a Birmingham 'flaneur' in the mid-70s which I might even use in teaching next year. I don't know if I'll persist into the decadence decades though (I'm at Seven and the Ragged Tiger now).


Anonymous said...

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David Nichols said...

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