Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Media Arts

First Advisor

Maureen Nappi

Committee Chair and Members

Maureen Nappi, Chair

Marjan Moghaddam


Aesthetic, Comic, Digital comics, Visual language, Visual narrative, Webtoon


Comics are a unique way for artists to tell stories. The production and distribution of comics are affected by technological development. In this process, comics formed their special narrative language and aesthetic system. With the development of digital technology and portable devices, comics as a medium is undergoing major transformations towards digitization. However, most digital comics still abide by the format and layout that traditional printed comics have used for so long. Although some platforms have tried to innovate their design and layout to be delivered digitally, not all of these attempts have been successful. Webtoon originated in South Korea as one form of digital comics. It adopts the vertical reading format associated with smartphones and integrates multimedia elements as well. As a new form of comics, webtoons have brought new narrative manners and aesthetic changes. Through comparative analysis between traditional printed comics and webtoons, this paper examines these potential adaptive, narrative and aesthetic changes brought on by this transformation from print comics to digital comics. Several aspects such as space, time, composition, panels, transition between scenes, the blending of images and texts, reading modes, and the impact of the control of multimedia elements on readers’ reading will be examined. Creators should be alert to the impact of these potential changes as comics transform from print to digital. This can promote the innovation of the comics so that the industry can maintain its unique art charm in the world of creative multimedia.