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The Language of Pop Culture

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The linguistic analysis of comics revolves largely around the print medium; in this study, however, linguistic analysis is extended into the category of web comics. The corpus draws from two web comics, Amazing Super Powers and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, to explore the interconnected relationship of the three major components of the main comic strip, the alt-text, and the hidden comic. Analysis reveals that web comics creators rely on character dialogue as well as narrator comments when they create alt-text and hidden comics. Further, it is revealed that comics makers at times create an authorial presence in the alt-text and hidden comic, resulting in a “metacomic” effect in certain circumstances. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future linguistic analysis of web comics.*

*I would like to express a special thanks to Zach Weinersmith and Wes & Tony for granting me permission to publish images of their comics in this study.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in THE LANGUAGE OF POP CULTURE on January 24, 2018, available online: or