Tension, Sensation, and Pedagogy: Depictions of Childhood’s Struggle in Saga and Paper Girls

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Science fiction is untethered by assumptions of how people, things, and environments should act. The perceptions and portrayals of childhood in two science fiction comic series, Saga and Paper Girls , provide engagements with affective encounters. Attention to these encounters and the disruptive portrayals of childhood encourages the exploration of the pedagogic potential of sensation. Comics, as a genre, and childhood in each series inhabit ambiguity: comics blur the boundaries of popular culture objects and “properly” educative materials, while the younger characters in Saga and Paper Girls are not quite adult or child, nor innocent or monster. An examination of Chapters 1 through 48 of Saga and Issues 1 through 18 of Paper Girls reveals approaches to engaging sensations of tension and discomfort. Using affect and new materialism as guiding frameworks for this examination of two comic series, it is possible to sift through the provocations of affect suggested by interaction with the material comic itself and the meanings this exploration holds for reconsidering educational habits.

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