Law Text Culture – Volume 16, Issue 1 (2012)
Guest Editors: Luis Gomez Romero and Ian Dahlman

Justice Framed is born of the passionate and rich – though not always peaceful or courteous – nexus between two long-time companions: comics and law. Comics are utterly gripped by issues of legality, order and justice, but their theoretical and ideological partnership has been conspicuously neglected in legal scholarship. Even in the emerging field of law and the visual, or in the firmly established disciplines of criminal justice studies or law and popular culture, jurisprudential and sociopolitical texts addressing law’s manifestations in, around, and through the comic frame are still an odd rarity – with a few remarkable exceptions. While law’s fascination with control and order is reflected in the existing literature dealing with the governance of comics by legal rules – the law of art – the ways in which comics imagine and depict law – the art of law – are still academically underestimated and underexamined. Fortunately, the situation seems to be rapidly ameliorating. This special issue of Law Text Culture reflects a growing interest among scholars in the insight and opportunity comics provide for illuminating, developing and critiquing law.


  • “Introduction – Justice framed: law in comics and graphic novels” – Luis Gomez Romero and Ian Dahlman
  • “Krazy Kat (review)” – K N. Llewellyn
  • “The legal surrealism of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat – Ian Dahlman
  • “‘What had been many became one’: continuity, the common law, and Crisis on Infinite Earths” – Benjamin Authers
  • “Justice in the gutter: representing everyday trauma in the graphic novels of Art Spiegelman” – Karen Crawley and Honni van Rijswijk
  • “‘Sakaarson the World Breaker’: violence and différance in the political and legal theory of Marvel’s sovereign” – Chris Lloyd
  • “Chewing in the name of justice: the taste of law in action” – Anita Lam
  • “Magic and modernity in Tintin au Congo (1930) and the Sierra Leone Special Court” – René Provost
  • “Spider-Man, the question and the meta-zone: exception, objectivism and the comics of Steve Ditko” – Jason Bainbridge
  • “Comic book mythology: Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and the grounding of good in evil” – Timothy D. Peters
  • “‘Come a Day there Won’t be Room for Naughty Men Like Us to Slip About at All’: the multi-media outlaws of Serenity and the possibilities of post-literate justice” – Kieran Tranter
  • “The aesthetics of supervillainy” – Jack Fennell
  • “The punisher and the politics of retributive justice” – Kent Worcester
  • “‘Riddle me this…?’ Would the world need superheroes if the law could actually deliver ‘justice’?” – Cassandra Sharp
  • “Noir justice: Law, crime and morality in Díaz Canales and Guarnido’s Blacksad: Somewhere within the shadows and Arctic-nation” – Jane Hanley
  • “The story of Bohemia or, why there is nothing to rebel against anymore” – John Hanamy

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