Contact person:
Gunnar Krantz
  • Swedish Research Council
Responsible at MaU:
Gunnar Krantz
Time frame:
01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024
Research subject:

About the project

Materiality plays a significant role in all art forms. In comics, it is predominantly the inked black line that is used to construct the narrative. Inking, putting black ink on top of pencil drawings to make them suitable for mechanical reproduction, is a practice that is so deeply intertwined with comics that it is taken for granted. Inking comics has not been subject to any deeper artistic problematization, nor extensive scholarly interest. This is unfortunate since inking was a crucial part of Swiss artist, author and cartoonist Rodolphe Töpffer's (1799-1846) innovation literature en estampes [graphic literature]. The literature on Töpffer – today credited as the father of comics – is extensive but is often vague in the description of autography, the printing technique that allowed him to draw and write without having to reverse images and text. This project will experiment with and explore inking in relation to autography and the similar, modern duplication technique risography, that challenges the current dematerialization of narratives and art.


The aim is to gain knowledge of new narrative features in comics through the production of prototypes and develop these using the concept of double exposure, both in the sense of practice, combining different visual material and narrative features – and as a metaphor for the layers of time and space in comics. It will result in a significant work – a graphic novel.