Comics are great. What could be better than comics?
Comics within comics, duh.
The sequential art version of the play within a play is a reliable, versatile trope that does a lot more than let the creators and readers feel clever—it’s a vehicle for the minute and cosmic.
On an intimate scale, a comic book character reading a comic creates instant relatability. On the macro side, comics within comics can allude to a web of multiverses including the reader (and, at times, Captain Carrot). Such comics are also prime vehicles for creators to comment on the comics industry. And like a Russian nesting doll, these meta-marvels are just plain fun. In the list below, we comment on the most notable examples of the paneled Matryoshka.
Mark Peters is the author of Bullshit: A Lexicon. Follow him on Twitter.