LINGUIST List 32.821

Thu Mar 04 2021

Books: Who Understands Comics?: Cohn

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 29-Jan-2021
From: Khadija Ahmed <>
Subject: Who Understands Comics?: Cohn
E-mail this message to a friend

Title: Who Understands Comics?
Subtitle: Questioning the Universality of Visual Language Comprehension
Published: 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly The Continuum International Publishing Group)

Book URL:

Author: Neil Cohn
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350156050 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 22.49
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350156067 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 22.49
Hardback: ISBN: 9781350156036 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 75.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9781350156043 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 24.99

Drawings and sequential images are so pervasive in contemporary society that we may take their understanding for granted. But how transparent are they really, and how universally are they understood?

Combining recent advances from linguistics, cognitive science, and clinical psychology, this book argues that visual narratives involve greater complexity and require a lot more decoding than widely thought. Although increasingly used beyond the sphere of entertainment as materials in humanitarian, educational, and experimental contexts, Neil Cohn demonstrates that their universal comprehension cannot be assumed. Instead, understanding a visual language requires a fluency that is contingent on exposure and practice with a graphic system. Bringing together a rich but scattered literature on how people comprehend, and learn to comprehend, a sequence of images, this book coalesces research from a diverse range of fields into a broader interdisciplinary view of visual narrative to ask: "Who Understands Comics?"

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

Page Updated: 04-Mar-2021