Miloš Tasić, Dušan Stamenković

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Drawing on the work of Forceville (2005, 2006, 2011), who employed linguistic tools in analysing comics, the paper deals with pictorial runes as a specific type of visual information found in comic books. As Kennedy (1982) proposes, pictorial runes are graphic devices used in pictures to modify the literal depictions of objects, intended to convey certain aspects of those objects that are otherwise difficult to depict literally. In comics, they are usually employed to imply various emotions, such as anger, fear, pain, or surprise, and indicate speed or the direction of a moving object, among other things. Using the research model presented by Forceville (2011), the paper aims at identifying and categorising pictorial runes in a popular Italian comic book series Gea, in an attempt to corroborate the above method and add to the list of already inventoried runes. Furthermore, the new runes found in this comic book series show evidence of being indexical, rather than symbolic, signs. The paper also briefly outlines the distribution of runes across the entire series.


pictorial runes, visual language, comics studies, rune catalogue, metaphor, metonymy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FULL1702123T


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