Talking Comics Terminology on the Deconstructing Comics Podcast


I was recently a guest on the Deconstructing Comics podcast discussing my recent (and surprisingly controversial?) blog post about using film terminology to discuss comics. I’m hoping that the hour-long conversation here gave me a bit more room to make my case in a more nuanced and thorough way than in the original post. One of the hosts mentioned this in so many words–so I certainly hope so. I do wonder, though, if I communicated as well in my initial writings as I wanted to.  There was a fair amount of talk from the hosts about things like comics formats/trim sizes and people using comics as movie “pitches”–two things that are maybe tangentially related to my original points, but certainly not central. I for sure noted when discussing this verbally that there’s a lot of potential confusion related to the words “terminology” and “language.” In both my original post and in the podcast, I tried to use “terminology” to refer to vocabulary and “language” to refer to the formal visual language of particular media–but I can tell that this is potentially confusing.

Anyway, here’s a link to the podcast. Enjoy.


  1. Mark Sullivan says:

    I missed the original blog post, but I see your point about film terminology. It really has become ubiquitous in comics writing. I recently caught myself using “frames” instead of “panels” in a piece of mine.

  2. Ben says:

    Yeah, as mentioned in the original post and in that interview, I probably wouldn’t object as much to using all the film terminology, it it wasn’t used almost exclusively when discussing comics. I’d love to see us take useful/applicable terminology from across a broad spectrum of other arts and media.

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