Monday, September 29, 2014

Special Issue of ImageText on Comics and Post-Secondary Education

I'm pleased to be a part of the new issue of ImageText, guest edited by James Bucky Carter and Najwa Al-Tabaa. Included in the issue is my article, "Webcomics, Multimodality, and Information Literacy."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Article: “There are no rules. And here they are”: Scott McCloud’s Making Comics as a Multimodal Rhetoric

The new issue of the Journal of Teaching Writing is just out and includes my article on Scott McCloud's Making Comics as a multimodal rhetoric. Here's an abstract:

The ways we read and compose and, more importantly, the ways our students read and compose, have become multimodal, involving not only words, but also images, sounds, video, spatial relationships, gestures, and other systems of signs through which meaning can be created. As English teachers we must broaden our views of what constitutes writing. We must address issues of not only alphabetic literacy, but also multimodal literacy—the means by which we compose and read meaning from and through multiple modes or sign systems. Since they are multimodal texts, comics can, in general, have an important place in such a shift in thinking and a text such as Scott McCloud’s Making Comics can, specifically, act as a flexible rhetorical framework for multimodal literacy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

UW Comics Theory Course Blog

If you follow this blog, you might be interested in the blog I've set up for the Comics Theory course I'm teaching this fall. It will feature some course content, but the main emphasis will be on student posts on comics theory and practice. As of now the syllabus is up and soon there will be content from the students. Check it out here: http://uwcomicstheory.blogspot.ca

Sunday, September 22, 2013



I will be speaking about Graphic Encounters at The Incredible Comic Show, a comic book art opening, on Saturday, September 28 at Glass Monkey Studios in Windsor. It should be an excellent night.

CFP: Comics, Multimodality, and Composition (A Special Issue of Composition Studies)

I'm editing a special issue of Composition Studies (Spring 2015) entitled "Comics, Multimodality, and Composition." Here's the CFP. Please consider submitting (the deadline is August 1, 2014) and please share the CFP widely.


CFP for 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Graphic Encounters: Comics and the Sponsorship of Multimodal Literacy

It's been a long time since my last post to this blog. The majority of the previous posts were written by students in the comics classes I have taught over the past several years. Since I am not teaching such a class this year, the blog will now revert back to my own explorations of comics and comics theory.

In the past couple of years I have been busy working on my book on comics and literacy. It's called Graphic Encounters: Comics and the Sponsorship of Multimodal Literacy and was published last week in North America by Bloomsbury Academic (out in October in the UK). To say the least, I'm very excited about its release.

Here's the description of the book and the Table of Contents:


Graphic Encounters moves beyond seeing the reading of comics as a debased or simplified word-based literacy. Dale Jacobs argues compellingly that we should consider comics as multimodal texts in which meaning is created through linguistic, visual, audio, gestural, and spatial realms in order to achieve effects and meanings that would not be possible in either a strictly print or strictly visual text. Jacobs advances two key ideas: one, that reading comics involves a complex, multimodal literacy and, two, that by studying how comics are used to sponsor multimodal literacy, we can engage more deeply with the ways students encounter and use these and other multimodal texts. Looking at the history of how comics have been used (by churches, schools, and libraries among others) will help us, as literacy teachers, best use that knowledge within our curricula, even as we act as sponsors ourselves.

Table Of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Secret Origins of Literacy Sponsorship

Chapter 3: To Blend In or Stand Out: Publishers’ Responses to “A National Disgrace” and the Comics Panic of the Early 1940s

Chapter 4: More at Stake: EC, Vampires, and the Sponsorship of Critical Literacy

Chapter 5: Oral Roberts Discovers Comics and Archie Goes to Church: Sponsoring Multimodal Literacy through Religious Comics

Chapter 6: Teaming Up for Literacy: Spider-Man, The Electric Company, and Cross-Media Literacy Sponsorship

Chapter 7: Libraries and the Sponsorship of Literacy through Comics


Now that the book is out, I will endeavour to be better about keeping up with the blog, particularly as I move forward with my next project. More on that later.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading.