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Searching for a Common Ancestry: Linguistic and Biological Analogies in Comic Art

González-Trujillo, R. & Priego, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-4418-369X (2021). Searching for a Common Ancestry: Linguistic and Biological Analogies in Comic Art. The Comics Grid : Journal of Comics Scholarship, 11(1), pp. 1-9. doi: 10.16995/cg.4351


Sometimes comic book readers randomly encounter images in a comic that closely resemble images in other comics. This artwork could appear to the reader to have been copied, even directly 'lifted' from older or better-known comics. Sometimes, however, it does seem like any similarities have been generated independently, by chance or serendipity. In this note we draw on the work of Umberto Eco, William Lethaby, Walter Benjamin and Carl Jung to describe a multidisciplinary conceptual framework to analyse similar images using a heuristic approach involving two analogy concepts drawn from two different disciplines: linguistics and biology. When the origin of similarity between images is well documented, we propose the linguistic analogy approach can explain the phenomenon of recurrent images. When the similarity between two images appears to be unexplainable, or the result of mere chance, we propose that the concept of biological analogy can be helpful to explain the superficial resemblance of elements that have different origins.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Gonzalez-Trujillo R. & Priego E., (2021) “Searching for a Common Ancestry: Linguistic and Biological Analogies in Comic Art”, The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship 11(1). doi: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).
Publisher Keywords: analogy; comics; intertextuality; semiology; theory
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
SWORD Depositor:
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