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Field Notes from the Digital Prairie

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moving Pictures

While I've always had a healthy (or maybe less unhealthy than some?) appreciation for comics and animation, I've never been an obsessive fan. Lately, however, it seems that these related media have been popping up in my consciousness quite often. First, my friend Charles gave me as a birthday gift the comic adaptations of two of the Indiana Jones movies, films which we were both deeply enamored with as kids (he found them at a flea market in Michigan). My friend Kim just wrote an excellent blog post about what The Watchmen loses in translation from paper to the big screen, and I listened to an engaging and hilarious conversation between cartoonists Marjane Satrapi (whose graphic novel Persepolis was turned into an excellent film) and Chris Ware, who designs incredibly elaborate comics that defy the standard conventions of movement across panels. Finally, I learned that Nina Paley, who created an amazing retelling of the Ramayana using Flash animation and old blues songs, will be appearing on campus at the University of Chicago to discuss her work.

There's little I can say about the power of these media that hasn't been said better by others, but it did make me realize that this a form of both graphic and narrative design to which I should be paying closer critical attention.

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