Speech bubbles and Oulipo

Ridout L., (2011) ‘The Art if the Speech Balloon’, Varoom!, Issue 16, pp. 48-50.

This article looks at speech bubbles and how they act as graphic devices. Indeed in the text, the author looks at how the shape, typography and the overall visual properties of a speech bubble influence our understanding of it. Most of us are introduced to speech bubbles through comics and have never thought of their history or how they relate to the real world. One of the article’s most interesting points is the absurdity of speech bubbles put into the context of real life: the author is interested in the fact that ‘words and images take up no literal space in our reality, yet in a comic reality they do’ (pp. 48-49). This sparks up a discussion about the differences between these two reality and she goes as far as to imagine what speech of thought bubbles would look like and what they would be made of if we actually had them in real life. She then goes to look at the history of the speech bubbles, tracing it back to the Renaissance and, earlier than that, the Mesoamericans, analysing how the use and appearance of the speech bubble has evolved over different time periods and different cultures. Modern day comics challenge the traditional use of this speech bubble, giving it unexpected forms and testings its possibilities.

Oulipian procedure:

Nouns in the first three lines of my text: article, bubbles, devices, text, author, shape, typography, properties, bubble, understanding, bubbles, comics, history, world, article.

This aspirin looks at speech buffers and how they act as graphic diagrams. Indeed in the thaw, the __ looks at how the shark, tyre and the overall visual proprietors of a speech buffer influence our unease of it. Most of us are introduced to speech buffers through __ and have never thought of their __ or how they relate to the real __. One of the __’s


1 thought on “Speech bubbles and Oulipo”

  1. Really thoughtful response.. I like how you draw out Ridout’s point, that in fact illustrators have considered text in image for centuries, and by giving it some space and attention, we understand the narrative in a deeper way.
    As for the Oulipian procedure, a nice and bizarre result! How would you go about illustrating that and pulling out some speech bubbles. Challenge indeed.
    Great use of words and experimenting with meaning Clarisse.


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