zondag 20 maart 2011

New research planned

The Animated Graphic Novel

The Graphic Novel is a medium that's rising in popularity and is more and more accepted as literature. In The Netherlands the medium is quite new and also rising in popularity as more and more graphic novels are being translated, and to be found in more and more bookstores. 
But just as soon, this medium is gaining popularity, a sub-genre is developping. The Animated Graphic Novel. 

Like in normal literature, graphic novel-readers can be dragged into the story, identify themselves with the characters etc. etc.. Propably due to the story's quality and the quality of the drawings.
The Animated Graphic Novel might be achieving the same effect with readers and I'm sure some allready are. I'm referring to Metal Gear Solid (video above). The reader determines it's own pace. But not all of these animated graphic novels allow the reader to determine it's own pace. 

This immediately approaches my thesis: These animated graphic novels are well developed. But in my opinion they can put too much pressure on the reader and it becomes difficult to be dragged into the story and have the reader, or in this case viewer, identify itself with the main-character in such a short time (3 min. / 10 min.). Besides, I find these formats more animation instead of animated graphic novel, and in that case almost an infringement on the medium. Once again, the ideal form for the reader would be to determine it's own pace.

Why this research?
New forms of media allow ideal opportunities for the animated graphic novel. Imagine the format like an e-book. Minimal animation and pace of reading determined by the reader. I hope to find out how the animated graphic novel could be applied at it's best! It's an upcoming market and I believe it can grow much more popular.

I'll do theoretical research and explore articles (An Online Graphic Novel: Students’ Experiences and Research Literacy Gains, Cartoon adults: What graphic novels tell us about consumer identity, Storytelling through computer animation)  and literature (Understanding Comics, The invisible art by Scott McCloud). I might set up polls and spread them under genre- and literature fans. Above placed videos, and others as well, will be analysed on positive and negative aspects. Next to that, I want to gather the possibilities with gadgets like the I-pad and other related gadgets.
I'll try and publish for the minor sound and image, an animated graphic novel myself based on this research, for I love to write and draw.

The research includes the comic-, graphic novel, literature and the gadget universe. In this case it would be very interesting for, publishers, writers, screenwriters, graphic novelists, animators, audio-engineers, students, teachers, genre-interested public, perhaps even autodidacts. Graphic Novels and comics are already being applied as teaching methods!
As for myself, as I already explained, I love to draw and write, and hope to publish a graphic novel someday as well. Be it animated or in book-form.

Via this blog I'll keep you updated about the research. Don't be confused if you might find sketches, drawings, short graphic novels or reviews I posted. As a matter of fact, I recommend you read "GodDAMN mother fucking BULLshitfuck shitFUCK! GodDAMN mother fucking BULLshitfuck shitFUCK!" A review I wrote about DMZ #4 Friendly Fire. It's about how the book managed to get me dragged into the story. How about you click the link above and start reading?

vrijdag 11 maart 2011

GodDAMN motherfucking BULLshitfuck shitFUCK! GodDAMN motherfucking BULLshitfuck shitFUCK!

What happens when ‘Black Hawk Down’ meets comics? You’ll get DMZ! The worst nightmare of the United States if it got caught in a second civil war. How bad can it get? Just really hard and ugly! Like every war off course. As the reader you get a glimpse of how it got started, and life in a city under siege that just can’t get- and be occupied by the main aggressors.
I'll tell you, it won’t happen very often, that I just get blown away by a comic. At least, I cannot remember the last time that I closed the book and sat down for at least 10 minutes and think about what I had just read. This happened after I had read ‘DMZ #4 Friendly Fire’. I bought the book at the local comic store, as I try to keep up with the series, settled in a chair in the Rotterdam Library on the third floor and entered the war. After one-and-a-half hour I closed the book and I couldn’t bring out any word for at least 10 minutes.

In the near future, New York City is the plaything of two entities during a second civil war. The United States of America and the Free States of America. Anti-establishment militias in the 50 states rise up as they are fed up with the wars fought overseas and push their way to the coasts. Eventually it comes to a standstill on a piece of land, that just none of both parties are able to occupy – Manhattan, better known as, the DMZ.

Wikipedia describes the term DMZ as follows: In military terms, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers (or alliances), where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice, or other bilateral or multilateral agreement. Often the demilitarized zone lies upon a line of control and forms a de-facto international border.
I’d give the following description for the DMZ in Manhattan, as I’m following this series: A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers (or alliances), where military activity is justnot… possible.

In DMZ #4 the main-protagonist, Matthew Roth a photojournalist for Liberty News, gets an interview with an enlisted U.S. Army soldier who is prosecuted for a massacre on day 204 of the war, in the DMZ. Roth searches answers for question’s as: Who gave the order? How far up does it go up the chain of command? Who is eventually really to blame? More questions arise and more shit and dirt is find as Roth digs in the story and the events of that day.

As with all the volumes, the story is written by Brian Wood and the drawings are done by Riccardo Burchielli. They get joined by guest artists, and in this edition by Nathan Fox, Viktor Kalvachev and Kristian Donaldson.
The story of the soldier that’s found guilty of the massacre is done by Fox. I’m not surprised if Fox was inspired by stories and pictures of the First World War. Because the first thing I noticed, and partly due to my history teacher-education and my interest of the latest century, was the mix of first world war – and modern uniforms of the U.S. Army soldiers. Add to it the brutal illustrations and design of the chapter. It digs up the tension and feeling of trench war and takes the reader into a nightmare.
Then follows the story about the massacre told by a platoon sergeant. Illustrated by Burchielli, Fox and Kalvachev. The nightmare is then confronted with the hardened and experienced background of the platoon commander.
A more neutral, but loaded like the other illustrators, style by Donaldson guides the story of the civilian survivors. Make no mistake, every artist applies his qualities at the best to carry the reader into the story and feel sympathy for the protagonists.

‘Friendly Fire is An Oxymoron’ is the title of the foreword by sergeant John G. Ford. Those are mild, but loaded and true words to start this volume of DMZ.