Law Text Culture


We don’t usually think that lawyers and comic book readers have much in common. Certainly, unflattering representations and stereotypes of each abound. Less obviously, perhaps, each also has a disciplinary veneration of the accumulation of textual knowledge and of often obscure narrative detail. For the contemporary comic book reader, there are voluminous collections of past stories, reprinted in hardcover, paperback, and digitally. Taken together, these offer a rich body of fictional work to be consumed for its own sake, as well as to enhance the enjoyment of new stories printed in hundreds of monthly titles. For lawyers, the corpus of case law, an archive whose mastery is one of the ostensible aims of legal training in common law jurisdictions, acts in a similar fashion, having meaning itself as well as giving legal consequence and context to the matter in dispute.