The Color of Paper

Seeing Race in the Comics Medium


  • Chris Gavaler

Parole chiave:

Race, negative space, color, whiteness, paper


For uncolored works in the comics medium, ink is paradigmatically black and paper is paradigmatically white, creating conceptually complex relationships for images representing race. When characters are rendered as the negative spaces within lines that frame the interiors of bodies, the actual background color of the page represents skin color. If the actual page is literally white, then that whiteness represents the non-literally white skin of both racially white and nonwhite characters. Whatever its actual color, a page may also be understood as conceptually white: a uniformly blank default background denoting no color. Both page and racial whitenesses are composed of many of the same light-tone colors which are often grouped and conceptualized as a single monolithic metaphorical color treated as an unacknowledged background norm.




Come citare

Gavaler, C. (2023). The Color of Paper: Seeing Race in the Comics Medium. Mediascapes Journal, 22(2), 14–28. Recuperato da