"Once the pencil hits the paper, everything changes." An exploration of children's comic-making

Sackett, H (2020) "Once the pencil hits the paper, everything changes." An exploration of children's comic-making. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.


This thesis presents an exploration of children's comic-making from within the discipline of education. Children's practices of making and sharing their own comics have received little academic study, and this thesis contributes new and detailed evidence on this subject. The study employs approaches from new materialism and posthumanism, in order to develop an understanding of the material and embodied, as well as the conceptual, aspects of comic-making. The research draws on the work of a number of theorists and philosophers, in particular the writings of theoretical physicist and feminist theorist Karen Barad, and the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari. The thesis is written from the perspective of situated knowledge/knowing in being, taking account of the academic's position and responsibilities within the world. The thesis presents new evidence regarding the nature and scope of children's comic­-making practices in the UK, and connects the study of children's comic-making to a number of related fields - including comics studies, research into children's drawing and children's art, the history of arts education in England, and non-hierarchical approaches to education. The research project draws on the work of cartoonist and academic Pat Grant, in particular his work on comics and performance, and artist and educator Brent Wilson, in particular his research into 'third site', non-hierarchical pedagogies. The thesis consists of two stages of research, the first involving interviews with cartoonists and the second involving the documentation of children in the process of making comics. The two stages of research are connected, with the interviews being used to map the activities carried out in the second stage of research. After a preliminary analysis of the two stages of research, the two studies are brought into relation with one another, in order to examine the connections and changes created through the process of making comics. The thesis concludes with an exploration of the research questions (developed over the course of the research), suggesting new approaches to the study and documentation of children's comic-making, looking at non-hierarchical approaches to making art, and asking whether 'good encounters' can be created from making comics with children.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)

The research conducted in this PhD was published in a subsequent journal article written in 2021 for the journal 'Visual Arts Research'. The link to the open access article is below.

Keywords: children's art, arts education, comics studies, cartoons, comic-making, posthumanism, interviews, Karen Barad, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Pat Grant, Brent Wilson
Divisions: School of Education
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Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 17:43
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 18:50
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14297
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