First Advisor

Sarah Lincoln

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and University Honors




Brian Wood (1972- ). The massive, Science fiction comic books strips etc, Environmental disasters -- Comic books strips etc, End of the world -- Comic books strips etc




In Brian Wood's The Massive, a comic detailing a world suffering from ecological destruction due to the actions of the Anthropocene, Environmental and Trauma Studies are uniquely positioned to find a new medium of representation in the hybrid word and image form of comics. This series, which consists of serialized issues with both an individual and collective narrative structure, must work to both maintain the overall narrative while telling smaller stories within each issue. In The Massive, each issue works to situate the reader within the framework of the story through flashbacks of individual characters and the climate apocalypse, thus concurrently offering graphic images of both the horrifying present and the chilling past. These flashbacks, reflecting both individual and collective trauma, place the reader in a precarious position in relation to space and its importance in comics. To utilize this space accordingly, artists must make effective use of framing in panel compositions, page layouts, bleeds, and stylistic choices, thus working to create the construct of the extradiegetic space in which the reader resides and making them susceptible to the environmental trauma the text supplies. Therefore, the repetitiveness of the serialized format in The Massive not only shows a linear progression of the story but operates like the recurring nature of traumatic events, thus exposing the reader to environmental violence and trauma in a format unparalleled by other mediums and ultimately requiring the reader to produce modes of empathy and agency through the trespassing of the comic into the extradiegetic space of their own world.


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