(Fullmetal) alchemy: the monstrosity of reading words and pictures in Shonen Manga

Gallacher, Lesley-Anne (2011). (Fullmetal) alchemy: the monstrosity of reading words and pictures in Shonen Manga. Cultural Geographies, 18(4) pp. 457–473.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474010397639

Abstract

Shonen manga (Japanese comics aimed at an audience of teenage boys) are often teeming with monsters, but the texts themselves are more monstrous still. The monstrous combinations of words and picture dispersed across the manga page seem to expose and challenge a fissure within representation itself-but productively so. Through reading a short section of Hiromu Arakawa's Fullmetal Alchemist, this paper explores the ways in which words and pictures can be combined to produce monstrous composite texts, which remain open-ended even after they have been recognised and 'domesticated' through the practices of reading.

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