Humour through the Visual Narrative of Comicbook Characters' Emotional States Analysing Fullmetal Alchemist
Chen, Li-Chi Lee
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This study analyses how humour is constructed through multimodal devices in Fullmetal Alchemist. The results of analysis show that comicbook characters’ positive and negative emotions can be used as a source of humour via the drawing techniques of super-deformation (i.e., a style of art used to render normally proportioned characters into smaller and cuter forms); symbols (i.e., arbitrary or conventional signs used to represent the invisible); episodisation (i.e., a process of creating a fictional episode); mimetics (i.e., sound-symbolic words); circumfixes (i.e., a class of bound morphemes around a character); suppletion (i.e., an umlaut-style substitute); and symbolic acts (i.e., characters’ acts used to portray their emotions and which are symbolic within a certain culture). These drawings techniques are used to portray or exaggerate characters’ emotional states. We conclude that the comicbook series analysed involves complex multimodal interactions between text and image, and that characters’ various emotional states are perceived as amusing, in the sense that they are associated with human behavioural attributes.
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