Blood (and other things) in the gutter: deconstructing McCloud's "pleasure in closure" for intersectional exploration

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Allen, Jessica
DeFrain, Darren

This research explores gutter theory in comics and graphic novels. While many regard Scott McCloud's theoretical work as the gold standard, others such as Theirry Groenstein, Theresa Tensuan, and Hannah Miodrag believe that his "pleasure in closure" is too easy of an explanation into how we read and analyze these multimodal works. My research concludes that the gutter is a space where the reader's active imagination takes form and dismantles the captivation of motion pictures and traditional text novels. Utilizing the works of George Herriman's Krazy Kat, Lynda Barry's One Hundred Demons, and several Latinx comics including los bros Hernandez' "Love and Rockets", Jessica Abel's "La Perdida," and "Virus Tropical" by web comic, Power Paola, we see that the gutter is a place lacking closure; rather an offering of possibilities.

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Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of English