Simon Grennan Interview

In this Interview Dr. Simon Grennan discusses  different strategies for reading this book, explains the graphiotactic array, and talks about how one can draw in drag. 

Listen to more

The interview audio is available here at the New Books Network podcast.

What we talked about

The different ways people have been reading A Theory of Narrative Drawing in different formats, and Dr. Grennan’s recommended approach to the book. 

 How Dr. Grennan seeks to explain the experiences of drawing and narrative, not technique, style or history as other volumes have, and what brought him to this perspective and this objective? 

He discusses his theory and methodology, and the interdisciplinary balance in this work and, for example, in Thinking about Drawing.

 He talks about switching from scholarly thinking to drafting thinking, or the flow between the two.

 Dr. Grennan explains the graphiotactic array and how can this approach to describing narrative art be applied in comics studies and beyond.

He elaborates on the concept of ‘drawing in drag’ and the experience of drawing and narrative, for example, working on

Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval



About the scholar

Dr. Simon Grennan is a Professor of Art and Design, at the University of Chester and has been practicing internationally as an artist since 1990. As part the collaborative team Grennan & Sperandio (, he is well known as a pioneer of interventionist, New Genre and post-relational practice, through publishing, television and social action projects. Dr. Grennan is also an educator and an awarded scholar of narrative drawing, with particular expertise in the histories of drawing, comics, remediation and inter-media. He is a recognised theorist of the pedagogic relationship between practice and research and is an experienced, public facing practitioner. 

About the book

Grennan Simon. 2017. A Theory of Narrative Drawing  New York NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

This book offers an original new conception of visual storytelling, proposing that drawing, depictive drawing and narrative drawing are produced in an encompassing dialogic system of embodied social behavior. It refigures the existing descriptions of visual story-telling that pause with theorizations of perception and the articulation of form. The book identifies and examines key issues in the field, including: the relationships between vision, visualization and imagination; the theoretical remediation of linguistic and narratological concepts; the systematization of discourse; the production of the subject; idea and institution; and the significance of resources of the body in depiction, representation and narrative. It then tests this new conception in practice with two original visual demonstrations to clarify the particular dialectic relationships between subjects and media, in an examination of drawing style and genre, social consensus and self-conscious constraint. The book’s originality derives from its clear articulation of a wide range of sources in proposing a conception of narrative drawing, and the extrapolation of this new conception in these two visual demonstrations.