Here are a few posts about our most recent readings.
Thierry Groensteen’s theory of braiding from The System of Comics: “Contrary to breakdown and page layout, braiding deploys itself simultaneously in two dimensions, requiring them to collaborate with each other: synchronically, that of the co-presence of panels on the surface of the same page; and diachronically, that of the reading, which recognizes in each new term of a series a recollection or an echo of an anterior term” (147).
Synchronically: for this dimension, you would use McCloud to speak about the transitions between side-by-side, adjacent panels in a tier and on a page.
Diachronically: think of the recurring, almost selfsame image of the apartment in Asterios Polyp; the peaches and that fateful street corner in Jimmy Corrigan; and the floating corpses and sweating bodies in Human Diastrophism.
Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen, who write the forward to System, write that these “non-narrative correspondences” are image-based (ix): images travel through time to unite disparate and distant events and temporalities. Braiding results in the “densification” of meaning, Groensteen says (147).