Theoretically in the Gutter: A Manga Essay Collection

“When I was very young, I had a recurrent daydream that the whole world was just a show put on for my benefit, that unless I was present to see things, they just – ceased to exist.” As described by the character in Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, what happens from one frame to the next in the space of the gutter, will be opened up to explore how an approach to academic theories and hypotheses outside writing can point to fresh perspectives that can also allow for an integration of the personal and accessible. How does approaching academia through artistic practice change the questions we raise and how we answer them? What are the potentials of shifting an interpretation of academia toward the language of images and sequential storytelling?

"The Manga Essay" was a special projects course facilitated at McGill University by Annie Harrisson and Hera Chan under the supervision of Professor Thomas Lamarre. Throughout the semester of fall 2015 students worked through one chosen academic essay in adapting it to a comic. The exercise was to find ways in which academic theory can be taken to the community and made relevant as a toolkit for interrogating knowledge production and how our stories are formed.


Alice Shen
Eric Collins
Jeff Hunt
Kaelan Doyle Myerscough
Linx Selby
Marianne Coquilleau
Viola Chen 陈宜晴


Annie Harrisson


Hera Chan

Cover printing

Lucas Huang (Fake Press)


Librarie Drawn & Quarterly

Using Format