Cited Works from “Storytelling in the Age of Divided Screens”

Animation, Comics, Electronic Literature, Games, Graphic Design, Interactive Design, Opertoon, User Experience
2/20/15

Here’s a list of links to works cited in my recent talk “Storytelling in the Age of Divided Screens” at Gallaudet University. Thanks to the Motion Light Lab for inviting me!.

 

Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens

Comics, Digital Humanities, Electronic Literature, Interactive Design
10/24/14

I’m very happy to announce the launch of “Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens,” a new website that explores what comics have to teach us about creative communication in the age of screen media. Through a combination of articles, videos, and short original works, and through the support of an ongoing Patreon campaign, I’ll be plumbing the depths of digital comics to surface their quirks, their promise, and their pitfalls as the medium continues to mature.

I’m kicking off the site with the release of a YouTube video (embedded below) called “Space Into Game, Time Into Book: What Comics and Screens Do Together,” adapted from a talk I gave at City University of Hong Kong as part of the at the Roundtable on New Technologies and the Future of the Humanities. A text-and-media version of the talk can also be found at the site, which was created using a free platform called Scalar that I’ve been helping develop over the last several years at The Alliance For Networking Visual Culture.

 

The prototype that led to Upgrade Soul

Comics, Experiments, Opertoon
10/31/12

To celebrate the launch of Upgrade Soul, here’s a screen shot of an eleven year old prototype I made that sets artwork from Will Eisner’s “The Treasure of Avenue ‘C’” (a story from New York: The Big City) in two dynamically resizable panels. At the time I was deep in production on Chroma, but my head was also ringing with inspiration from Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, and emboldened by a generous conversation with the man himself (who had been recently asked to comment by a New York Times reporter on whether Chroma was a graphic novel. The verdict? No, and rightly so).

It struck me that it would be pretty cool to make a comic with panels that could be resized, so I scanned in Eisner’s work and put this test together (complete with little window resizing icons in the lower-right corners to grab on to). Digital comics have been a passion for me ever since.

image

 

waiting in the wings

Authoring Tools, Comics, Opertoon
2/3/12

Overlapping dialogue bubbles from Upgrade Soul

Dialogue bubbles huddle together in the Unity authoring environment like backstage theatre performers awaiting their chance to shine in the forthcoming iOS and Android release Upgrade Soul, from Opertoon.

 

Precision Targets launches; interactive comic and essay within a navigable cube

Animation, Announcements, Comics, Digital Humanities, Flash, Flex
4/29/10

Screenshot from Precision Targets

A screenshot from Precision Targets.

It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m very happy to announce the official launch of Precision Targets, a collaboration with scholar Caren Kaplan that uses a hybrid comic/essay format to explore the militarization of everyday life through technologies like GPS. Precision Targets places the user inside a cube containing six parallel stories told through interactive comic panels that are married to threads of commentary by Kaplan.

Precision Targets was my first collaboration with illustrator Ezra Claytan Daniels, and my first experiment with digital comics. Each story consists of four panels which can be browsed by rotating a cube. Individual panels (some of which contain animation and interactivity) can be entered and navigated with the mouse. Every panel has associated commentary by Kaplan which can be expanded by clicking “more”. Clicking “more” again further expands the commentary to a full-screen view for more in-depth reading, making it possible for users to switch between visual, textual, or hybrid reading modes at will. (Be sure to try adjusting the window size; the piece will adapt to whatever aspect ratio you like.)

One element of the project that can be easily missed is the Index, a force-directed SpringGraph visualization of the image and textual elements that make up the piece (you can access this feature by clicking “Menu” and then “Index"). You’ll see the individual graphic elements that make up each panel linked together in an interactive network diagram—to my knowledge, the first time a visualization like this has been applied to the individual layers of comic book panels (feel free to correct me if I’m in error).

This project was conceived before the current “motion comics” trend, so I’m very curious what people will think of the approach, which takes a different tack than most works labeled as such.

 

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