The comic strip in advertising: persuasion, gender, sexuality

Constance de Silva

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


This chapter investigates comic-strip advertising to discover how the advertiser constructs intended persuasive meanings within the characteristic format of word-and-picture sequential panels. While comic-strip advertisements mimic comic-strip stylistics, consideration of the comic strip in its functional role as a device to achieve marketplace goals exposes an undertow of social indexicals that formulate what it means to be man or woman. This raises the puzzle of a cartooning phenomenon that embeds formative messages of gender and sexuality for a consumerist readership. The analytical perspective of this study draws on Pascal Lefevre’s framework of mise en scène and framing to explore the communicative technique of panel-by-panel cartoon advertisements. The outcome of this research is two-fold: it adds to scholarship that defines narrative storytelling as a powerful form of communication, and it supports claims of advertising as instrumental in perpetuating the social myth of a male-female behavioural dichotomy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Gender and Sexuality in Comic Book Studies
EditorsFrederick Luis Aldama
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429264276
ISBN (Print)9780367209414
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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