PhD in the Arts

Toward Another Graphic Novel: Word, Image and Narrative in Comics and the Historical Avant-Gardes (2016)

How do words and images interact? And what defines a graphic narrative? To answer these questions, my dissertation first zooms in on the graphic novel as an offshoot of the alternative trends within the field of comics. The graphic novel’s context and history as well as its specific aesthetic and literary development are explored. Subsequently, the notion of graphic narrativity is further studied: what constitutes a (narrative) image, what does it mean to tell stories and so what is a graphic narrative? Concepts as symptom, event, montage and appearance are foregrounded at this point. Finally, a series of imagetexts stemming from canonical comics, graphic novels as well as the historical avant-gardes are analysed in depth. Experiments from Dada and Surrealism, and especially the collage novels of Max Ernst, are scrutinized. These telling imagetexts each in their own way expand common views of the verbo-visual possibilities in graphic storytelling, past, present and future.

Full text (Dutch) available at LUCA School of Arts / University of Leuven:

Also available on paper at following locations:

HISK Ghent

KASK Ghent

LUCA Brussels


Lively letters!

Lively letters and the graphic narrative. Revisiting comics theory on word and image through the lens of two avant-garde children’s books.

An article on the interaction of words and images in 'About 2 Squares' by El Lissitzky and 'Die Scheuche' by Kurt Schwitters, Käte Steinitz and Theo Van Doesburg, compared to comics and graphic novels by Chris Ware and Pierre Duba amongst others.

Comics & critics

Meerdere artikels over strips, comics en graphic novels in het cultuurtijdschrift Rekto:Verso. (2011-2016)

Duration in Comics

An article with Tom Lambeens on Time, Rhythm and Duration in Comics and Graphic Novels. Published in European Comic Art, Winter 2012, Vol.5(2).

Betere beelden?

Betere beelden? Kritische elementen van het Vlaams, alternatief beeldverhaal 1995-2005. (2006) Proefschrift voorgelegd tot het bekomen van de graad van master na master in de Cultuurwetenschappen.