Geraint D’Arcy, Mise en scène, Acting, and Space in Comics (Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels: 2020)

About the scholar

Dr. Geraint D’Arcy is a lecturer in Media Practice, at the School of Art, Media and American Studies at the University of East Anglia in the UK and a member of the Comics Studies Research Group. he also wrote Critical Approaches to TV and Film Set Design in 2018, published with Taylor and Francis. He currently works across several courses at the University of South Wales. 

About the book

Mise en Scène, Acting and Space in Comics discusses mise en scéne as a concept used in comics studies around the areas of the setting, acting and the frame of comics. Dr. Darcy draws on recent developments in theatre and film theory to explore and re-evaluate elements of comics composition, and asks what comics theory can bring to theories in theatre and film studies. He bridges comics and theatre theories, then explores issues of visual language in graphic narratives, particularly around the idea of staging in terms of depiction, as well as the concepts of phenomenological immensity in the out-of-field in the pro-filmic and consequently speculates about the “pro-graphic” in comics.  The conversation then turns to ‘acting’ in comics and the position of characters in comics as materially similar to the other figurative elements of the comic, but warns the methods and approaches to understand their “performance” within the graphic narrative draws upon and questions ideas of cognition, representation and mimesis. The final chapter deals with space and the position of the audience or reader in regard to the comics action and suggests ways in which the “depth” of a comic’s graphic narrative can be understood through the way that the action is staged in the depiction. 

He asksWhat if we treated comics as if they were staging a narrative event?” and argues that paper actors can be understood through acting methodologies and a remapping of space through mise en scène means a remapping of space in comics.