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Comics: More Than Words

Inactive Research Group

Between 2021 and 2023, this research group established a bridge among people working on comics from different disciplines. It gathered artists, scholars, and comic fans and conducted research on comics from a transnational, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary perspective. By looking at the world from the academically peripheral standpoints of graphic narratives, popular culture, fandom, visual studies, and superheroes; this group offered a uniquely critical insight into modern societies. During its existence, Comics: More than Words organized events around six different topics at the core of recent scholarly endeavors:

-Post-Colonial and De-Colonial Edition
-Feminist Edition
-Super-Heroines and Super-Heroes Edition
-Manga Edition
-Computer Science Edition
-Comic Theory Edition

This group explored comics through a transnational, transcultural and transdisciplinary perspective. Presentations and discussions could touch on a variety of subjects such as 1940’s African American comics, Indian 1970s political comics and cartoons, recent Japanese Anime and Manga, the history of comics in Colombia, or Ukrainian memes. Working with comics from different areas of the world heightened the interest of the entire Stanford community and brought together a very diverse group of participants. The group also encouraged undergraduate and graduate students to present their original work and/or lead and organize reading and discussion sessions.

Undergraduate and graduate students who participated in this group came from over 30 different disciplines across Stanford. Some of these academic programs were: African and African American Studies; Art Practice; Business Administration (MBA); Classics; Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity; Computer Science; East Asian Studies; Economics; Education; English; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Film and Media Studies; History; Human Biology; International Policy; International Relations; Japanese; Mathematics; Political Science; Philosophy; Sociology; Symbolic Systems and several Engineering programs.



"[This group] helped me understand that comics are a unique form of visual storytelling that encourages experimentation, pushes the boundaries of creativity, and provides an escape from reality." 

~Estefania Acuña Lacarieri, undergraduate student in Political Science and Communication


"Attending the group's talks has expanded my understanding of the potential of comics and graphic novels as vehicles for storytelling and academic exploration." 

~Andrea Brown, Events Coordinator and Media Administrator at the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL)


"As a presenter, I got the chance to share the adventure and process behind an endeavor near and dear to my heart—a CS educational comic—in front of a crowd and moderators that were engaged and curious. […] I think that lots of other Stanford students can derive great value out of this experience, whether it is realizing the creative potential and impact of comics or viewing them in a new light." 

~Ecy King, undergraduate student in Symbolic Systems and master’s in computer science


"It's no secret that the popularity of comics, including manga, is on the rise, but academia still lacks many places and communities where we can discuss them. However, this research group provides us with opportunities to learn, share, and discuss comics."

~Ryo Nomura, PhD student in Japanese


"The Comics course was the best Humanities course I was lucky enough to attend. […] I will always remember how it felt to be part of a multidisciplinary group and contribute my own experiences to the larger whole."

~Frieda Rong, PhD student in Computer Science


"The quality that sets Comics: More than Words apart is the way it validates comics as an artform worthy of academic inquiry. It taught more about the historical and cultural importance of its subject matter in only three meetings, where other courses took ten."

~Lillian Wolfe, PhD student in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS)


For more information on our group, activities, and comics around Stanford, visit


Founding Members

Cristian Felipe Soler Reyes

Cynthia Laura Vialle-Giancotti

Faculty PIs

Héctor Hoyos

Héctor Hoyos


Krystal Ramirez

Ximena Briceño

Ximena Briceño

Scott Bukatman

Lea Pao

Lea Pao

Fatoumata Seck


Past Events

Tuesday, May 30, 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 12:00pm
Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 6:00pm
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 12:00pm - 1:00pm