Contemporary Comics Storytelling

By Karin Kukkonen | Go to book overview

3
Fictionality in Comics

Tom Strong, Storyworlds, and the Imagination

On one of his missions in Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales (2004), the superhero Tom Strong enters an arctic cave and chances upon a secret Nazi science project which involves the theory that the earth is hollow as well as flying saucers. As it turns out, however, the fantastic subterranean world is not real. Tom Strong and his companions only found what they expected to find and are eventually entrapped by an alien who feeds on human emotions. When Strong defeats the alien, the subterranean world disappears and the arctic plain returns to its original state. This story is one of the many instances in which Alan Moore’s Tom Strong series addresses issues of fictionality: the world the alien creates does not register on Tom’s instruments, meaning that it does not exist in any sense independently of his mind. When Tom and his team enter the cave, they realize that it corresponds exactly to their expectations. The alien feeds on the emotions raised by this imagination, and Tom Strong concludes the encounter with the statement: “we must not blame mankind’s dark … our wars and genocides … on some external influence, some alien or devil—That is not where the darkness comes from. It is inside” (1:1:12).

Since the 1980s, with comics such as Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1986– 87), Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns (1986), and Grant Morrison’s Animal Man (1988–90), the superhero genre seems to have become disenchanted with itself, scrutinizing its ideological involvements and escapism as well as reflecting on its nature as fiction. Geoff Klock (2002) has read the Tom Strong series as a “revisionary superhero narrative” that enacts the political seduction of the genre criticized in these earlier narratives. Rather than just exposing superheroes as figments of the imagination and as feeding off human emotions, as in the arctic story, it seems to me that, taken as a whole, Tom Strong develops a more positive assessment of the genre’s fictionality and uses genre-specific means to explore the workings of the human imagination.

-87-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Contemporary Comics Storytelling
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - How to Analyze Comics Cognitively 13
  • 2 - Textual Traditions in Comics 51
  • 3 - Fictionality in Comics 87
  • 4 - Fictional Minds in Comics 127
  • Conclusion 177
  • Notes 189
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 227
  • In the Frontiers of Narrative Series 232
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 232

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.