Story Elements

Story elements are fun things that occur in many stories.  It is fun to see what different writers do with these to add their own flavor and twist.  Some of these have sub-categories too.


A Mile in My Shoes

Definition:  Find out what its like to live like someone else. Examples: American Born Chinese, Swallow Me Whole, The Arrival


Definition:  It’s the end of the world as we know it. A term for stories detailing with the events leading up to, during or the aftermath of an apocalypse. Examples: Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man, Chew

Funny but not funny

Definition:  So the story is heavy and dark, or so sad you tear up, but damn if that one character does not make you laugh all the time! Comics with an over all affect that may not be humorous, but with significant sprinkling of humor that adds to the experience of reading. Examples: Courtney Crumrine, Y The Last Man

Little Hero Big War

Definition:  Not every hero single-highhandedly saves the world, or even singe-highhandedly saves the day. These are stories about heroes who live out their own conflict, within the context of a larger struggle like an epic war or impending apocalypse. Examples: Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man


Definition:  Dear Diary. Journal stories contain personal recollection of events and thoughts. The subjective memory and recording is of utmost importance. Examples: The Fixer, Persepolis, Paying For It


Definition:  Blurring the boundaries, often between the reader and the work of fiction. This also includes comics that consistently make reference to and play with the reader’s knowledge of other works of fiction. Examples: The Invisibles, Animal Man


Definition:  Whodunnit? And how and why? Puzzle stories present a mystery or riddle to be solved and unraveled. Expect to be fed clues along the way and making some guesses of your own.


Definition:  And so the journey begins. The search for the holy grail or some other McGuffin, often with companions in tow.


Definition: To be human, or mutant, is to have relationships. Relationship stories are about how people get along, and how they don’t. Indexer’s notes: Use narrower terms when indexing single issues and story arcs. Use this for broad description of a comic.

Thought Experiment

Definition: What if… These comics create an extreme situation with the goal of making you think or telling truths about humanity, society or reality. Example: Y: The Last Man

Travel Log

Definition: A record of travel, often to exotic or exciting places although sometimes the exciting part is about the journey of the characters and not their destination. Examples: Shenzhen, Pyongyang, Palestine Indexer’s notes: Travel Logs are often a variety of the Journal, if so, both terms may be applied.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>