Canadian poet bpNichol (1944-1988) explored the outer limits of words, sound, and pictures, starting with concrete poetry, moving through sound poetry, and creating a treasury of poetry comics.
In the poet’s own words: hence for me there is no discrepancy to pass back and forth between trad poetry, concrete poetry, sound poetry, film, comic strips, the novel or what have you in order to reproduce the muse that musses up my own brain. (Quoted in the introduction to bpNichol Comics (Talonbooks 2002))
He incorporated many of the restraints of comics into his poetry comics – lettering, frames and strips, superhero homage (Captain Poetry), recurring characters, captions, speech bubbles, and emanata. He also featured letters of the alphabet including a starring role for *H*, signifying H-section in Winnipeg where he lived as a child. But he also pushed against these restraints – ignored the frame, lettering ranging from precise to illegible…
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