The notion of a “comic book reader” can be explored from many different perspectives. This essay will focus on two approaches in particular. First, a comic book reader is a person who makes meaning from a text by engaging with the visual and linguistic codes in a comic. Second, a reader is a person who constructs her or his readerly identity by engaging in a wide range of possible sociocultural practices. These two aspects of the concept of reader apply not only to comics but also to readers of newspapers, academic journals, and novels, among others; however, the process of reading comics means recognizing that comics are a semiotic system relying on a wealth of visual and linguistic resources. While comic book readers are variously defined by institutions and groups in societies at large, it is also within comic book communities that definitions of reader are established.

This essay may be found on page 181 of the printed volume.

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