To mark hitting 1,000 followers(!), here is a .pdf of Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik’s classic 1988 essay. This is a mind-blowing piece of comics theory, semiotically deconstructing Bushmiller’s idiosyncratic cartooning methods, and providing a staggeringly comprehensive formalist dissection of one particular Nancy strip.
This essay was a major inspiration for starting this blog, and it should give new readers a whole new set of analytical tools for appreciating not only the Nancy comic strip, but all comic strips and sequential art in general. It will, and I say this with complete sincerity, forever change the way you look at these and other comic panels.