Reading Words and Images: Factors Influencing Eye Movements in Comic Reading

Phillip Vaughan, Christopher Murray, Clare Kirtley, Benjamin Tatler

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Words and images frequently co-occur in everyday life: adverts, instruction manuals, comics, and cartoons are merely some instances in which both media are used to inform, entertain, or tell a story. This chapter intends to investigate the characteristics of comic reading shown in eye movements and compare these to the measures previously found in text reading. It examines what features of the comics themselves influence such characteristics of comic reading, such as the number of words, the nature of the image, and the location of text within a panel. High number and increased percentage occupancy of words was associated with longer dwell times on panels, along with character-focused images, and larger panels. That text exerts a strong influence on dwell time is unsurprising: text features have been found to capture attention when presented within real-world images. The size of saccades differed between text and image regions, with larger saccades within the image region than the text.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEmpirical Comics Research
    Subtitle of host publicationDigital, Multimodal and Cognitive Methods
    EditorsAlexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, Janina Wildfeuer
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351733885
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Advances in Comics Studies


    • Arts, Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Language & Literature, Research Methods
    • Humanities
    • Language & Literature
    • Research Methods


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