Bleeding Panels, Leaking Forms: Reading the Abject in Emily Carroll's Through the Woods (2014)

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Seeking to move beyond Scott McCloud's spatio-temporal reading of the bleed (1993: 103), this article explores how Canadian writer/artist Emily Carroll's graphic narrative Through the Woods (2014) employs the bleed as a means to give form to a mode of horror known as the ‘abject’. Employing theories of embodiment that excavate historical conflations of femininity and nature, in addition to socio-cultural discourses that figure the female body as more uncontrollable than the male, this article explores the anxieties experienced by Carroll's adolescent protagonists as they traverse the boundary separating girlhood from womanhood. By paying particular attention to Carroll's excessive use of bleeds, this article argues that the stylistic convention of the bleed is utilised to adumbrate and illustrate the abject horror of such boundary crossings.




Corcoran, M. (2020). Bleeding Panels, Leaking Forms: Reading the Abject in Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods (2014). Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 10(1), 1–32.

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