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      Analysis of Motions in Comic Book Cover Art: Using Pictorial Metaphors

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          Abstract

          Motion can be depicted using literal pictorial devices (representing features present in the real world) and metaphorical pictorial devices (representing features that do not occur in the real world). How are literal and metaphorical pictorial devices used in comic book cover art? We analyzed the pictorial devices used to depict the motion running in 400 Silver Age (1956–1971) and Bronze Age (c. 1970–1985) superhero comic book covers ( Frankenhoff & Thompson, 2012). Literal devices (such as arm and leg positions) were used additively; that is, artists preferred to use many literal devices. On the other hand, metaphorical devices (such as action lines) were not used additively; artists preferred to use only one metaphorical device. We propose the Literal Additive Metaphorical One-And-Done (LA-MOAD) theory to account for the use of literal and metaphorical devices in comic book cover art. The differential use of literal and metaphorical devices by comic book artists may be unique to comic book cover art, or it may reflect a basic function of our visual system.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Grasping the Nature of Pictures

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            Understanding comics: The invisible art

             S McCloud,  E. McCloud (1993)
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              Representing Motion in a Static Image: Constraints and Parallels in Art, Science, and Popular Culture

               James Cutting (2016)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2048-0792
                Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
                Open Library of Humanities
                2048-0792
                12 April 2016
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                Department of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend, South Bend, United States
                School of Professional Studies, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Columbia University, New York, United States
                Article
                10.16995/cg.71
                Copyright: © 2016 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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