into question the imperial operations of intertextuality—the accumulation of meanings across different texts, where one image refers to another, or has its meaning altered by being read in the context of other images (Hall 233)—materially exposing, renegotiating, and contesting the forged link between the colonized and the colonizer's imagination, exhibiting the reinvention of signifying social constructs in the medium itself. The social realist discourse moreover indicates the value of comics as a medium, like in the Frankfurt School in the early 20th century, when Brecht said, "reality changes; in order to represent it modes of representation must also change," (Adams 37) and advocated practices that resist dominant order through normalization and assimilation in pop and avant garde art forms.
Fuller 9Since comics is commonly unacknowledged as anything other than convenient pop culture, “perceived as intrinsically 'commercial', mass produced for a lowest common denominator audience, and therefore outside the notions of artistic credibility,” (Sabin 8) comics remains outside of the critical machinery that comes with such status, allowing creators in the medium a freedom to appreciate the borderless space in which to play and experiment with creative and mobilizing forms of sociopolitical commentary. Adams (referring to the plural term graphic novels) describes resultant innovations of this experimentation,They employ the means of popular and commodity culture, and yet seem to remain resistant to it; they adopt the visual detritus of that culture... and yet produce effects of considerable profundity; they are often ambiguous in their sequence and juxtaposition of image with narrative, but manage to reference moments of great importance and gravity, and authenticity is achieved by seemingly inauthentic means. (64-65) With the use repetitive images and recognizable symbols, comics as a medium can effectively expose discursive iconography and establish conscious, overt modes of representation through their engagement of feelings, attitudes, and emotions and mobilization of fears and anxieties in the viewer at deeper levels. Comics' heritage within, and literal embodiment of, mass media intertextuality—comics are a language in that they combine to constitute a weave of writing and art which has its own syntax, grammar and conventions, and which can communicate ideas in a totally unique fashion: words and images are juxtaposed together to generate a mood; timing between images is manipulated for dramatic effect; and cinematic cutting of frames creates extra movement—has leant comics-creators the flexibility and the devices with which to reorient normative representations in language and images.
Fuller 10The deconstructive and reorienting artifice within comics form lends itself to subject matter that is similarly countercultural, and for Dahl this content goes beyond contesting discursive, metaphorical representations of illness to address the material manifestations of cultural hegemonic structures in the experience of illness. In America's consumer culture, as the