Montag (Oskar Werner) 'reads' his illustrated newspaper in bed. The scene is from François Truffaut's classic film treatment of Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel about a dystopian world where written books have been outlawed.
"Wardrip-Fruin builds upon the foundation laid by Lev Manovich, who, in his 2002 book The Language of New Media, suggested that the natural development of media studies in an age of 'programmable media' should be 'software studies' (a set of approaches which includes 'expressive processing' but also code studies which, in Wardrip-Fruin's words, looks at 'the specific text of code' written by developers).
Expressive Processing fulfills and extends the promise of Manovich's ideas, putting the theory into practice through a set of case studies of the artificial intelligence engines of a dozen or so software programs that might be loosely called 'games.' That the first real example of a software studies approach comes out of game studies is both to be expected and (somewhat) regretted. On one hand, games of the sort Wardrip-Fruin examines are a medium for storytelling and character creation, and as such are natural extensions of the work of previous literary and media studies scholars and thereby set up a convenient space for humanities scholars and teachers to consider the important cultural and technical issues raised by Wardrip-Fruin in an environment more familiar than, for instance, an analysis of the software that drives Walmart (one of Wardrip-Fruin's suggestions for another work of software studies scholarship). Unfortunately, like graphic novels and musical theater, the genre is still too easily dismissed as popular entertainment by too many of those who most need to hear Wardrip-Fruin's arguments."
(Doug Reside, 2010)
Reside, D. (Fall 2010). "A review of Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies." Digital Humanities Quarterly 4(2).
"For Isabel Greenberg, the winner of this year's Observer/ Jonathan Cape/Comica graphic short story prize, it is a case of third time lucky. 'I'd entered twice before,' she says. 'And once, I'd been a runner-up. But to win is such a nice thing. I'm so happy about it. Everyone tells you when you leave art school that it is going to be hard, but you never really know quite how hard until you're out there. It can be a bit depressing.' How will she spend her £1,000 prize money? 'I'm not sure. I should do something really sensible, like buy myself a copy of Photoshop.' She laughs. 'Or maybe 500 bottles of Winsor & Newton ink.'
Greenberg, who is 23, graduated from the University of Brighton, where she studied illustration, last year. She is now working as a freelance illustrator, and trying to finish her first graphic novel. Her winning entry, Love in a Very Cold Climate, tells the story of a marriage - only this couple, a south pole dweller and a north pole dweller, will never be able to touch one another, surrounded as they are by a magnetic force field. It's beautifully drawn, of course, from first to last frame, but it's also exquisitely written. In particular, the judges admired the way Greenberg handles time, somehow capturing a shared lifetime in just four pages."
(Rachel Cooke, 6 November 2011)
"Comic art is a vital, highly personal art form in which change-rapid and unpredictable-is the norm. In this exciting new anthology, comic artist Ivan Brunetti focuses on very recent works by contemporary artists engaged in this world of change. These outstanding cartoonists, selected by Brunetti for their graphic sophistication and literary style, are both expanding and transforming the vocabulary of their genre.
The book presents contemporary art comics produced by 75 artists, along with some classic comic strips and other related fine art and historical materials. Brunetti arranges the book to reflect the creative process itself, connecting stories and art to each other in surprising ways: nonlinear, elliptical, sometimes whimsical, even poetic. He emphasizes continuity from piece to piece, weaving themes and motifs throughout the volume.
As gorgeously produced as Brunetti's previous anthology of graphic fiction, this book does full justice to the creative work of Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Gary Panter, and the other prominent or emerging comic artists who are currently at work at the cutting edge of their medium."
(Yale University Press)
The ongoing femicides in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, a real and socially relevant and current, ongoing news story is something that I will attempt to present using comic art, adapting Kafka's story to use as a foundation for visual treatments of real horror. The themes of metamorphosis, alienation and the collapse of a family unit are shared in Kafka's text and the news coverage of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The comics medium will be used to communicate with the audience and have them interact with the issue.
I first heard of the situation in Juarez from my Spanish teacher while in Guadalajara, Mexico and the story stayed with me. A very different Mexico was depicted closer to the border than what I had seen in my experiences of travelling around the country. The ugliness of the murders is heightened by the ongoing corruption that surrounds them. I feel confident that I can now give the story a worthy visual treatment, something that has been lacking in recent film treatments of the situation. For years, young women have been preyed on by rapists and murderers while commuting to factories on the outskirts of the city. The killings continue and, to use imagery from Kafka, the men who commit these crimes are like vermin or cockroaches.
Fig.1 David Valente (2010). "Sister Midnight". Nottingham, Issuu.
Fig.2 Screen-shots from the music video for The Drive In (2001). 'Invalid Litter Dept'. USA, Grand Royal / Virgin: 6:07.
['Sister Midnight' is a comic book created by David Valente as part of his MA in Illustration at Nottingham Trent University (UK). The comic book was developed through a process of experimentation and discovery where Franz Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' was used as a study for exposing contemporary social issues in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.]