Inkers and Thinkers 2014 – M3D143N717Y: Letting the Network Take Over by Annick Pellegrin

Annick had the privilege of presenting the very first paper at Inkers and Thinkers 2014. Unfortunately the recording missed the first few minutes of her presentation. Annick’s presentation completes the first block of the Inkers and Thinkers symposium, which focused on the role of technology and digital tools in the consumption, creation and culture of comic books.

 

M3D143N717Y: Letting the Network Take Over by Annick Pellegrin

Released online in episodes from November 2012, and as a hardcover comic book by éditions Delcourtin August 2013, MediaEntity.01 is the first of four volumes in a series titled MediaEntity.[1] Marketed as a “thriller d’anticipation paranoïaque” (a paranoid science fiction thriller), the series follows the misadventures of the first victim of “mediatic mutation”, Eric Magoni, who must flee when his login is used to cause the bank where he works to lose five billion euros.[2] As is explained in the series trailer, a “mediatic mutation” occurs when an online identity takes on a life of its own and photographs of events that never took place begin appearing on screens.[3]

 

While the series, the second volume of which is soon to be released, focuses on the dangers of sharing personal information through online social networks and warns readers with statements such as “Switch off your life! Become invisible! The network will take over yout [sic] identity…” it also relies on its readers’ knowledge and use of such networks.[4] Notably the authors invite readers to get involved through a variety of media and by allowing them to copy, modify and redistribute their work under the creative commons licence.

 

To what extent does the series fit its label as a “paranoid” thriller? What is the place of social media in this series? To what extent does the use of digital and online media in this series contribute to innovate francophone comics? To what extent can the series be said to be a participative one?

 

[1]Emilie & Simon, MediaEntity. 01, MediaEntity, vol. 1, Paris: Delcourt, 2013; Emilie & Simon, “Episodes”, http://www.mediaentity.cc/net/accueil#episodes (06/01/2014); Emilie & Simon, MediaEntity, Emilie & Simon l’interview vidéo, Interview by Jacques Viel, 10/10/2013, http://www.fnac.com/MediaEntity-Emilie-et-Simon-l-interview-video/cp21776/w-4 (05/01/2014).

[2]MediaEntity: 1er Dossier de presse en Réalité Augmentée!, Paris: Delcourt, 2013 http://sd-6.archive-host.com/membres/up/f82bef8b100502c69542b56422592da04eba02a3/site/MEDIAENTITY_BD_-_DP.pdf; Emilie & Simon, “Episode 1”, http://www.mediaentity.cc/net/fr/episode1.php (06/01/2014); Emilie & Simon, “Episode 2”, http://www.mediaentity.cc/net/fr/episode2.php (06/01/2014).

[3]MEDIAENTITY, “Bande Annonce”, (26/10/2012), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5Cw12ylMd8 (06/01/2014).

[4]Emilie & Simon, MediaEntity. 02, MediaEntity, vol. 2, Paris: Delcourt, 2014; Emilie & Simon, “Home”, http://www.mediaentity.cc/net/home (06/01/2014).

 

Bibliography

Annick graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) (Honours) in 2009, with majors in French, Spanish, Italian and Linguistics. Her Honours thesis was completed under a joint supervision between the Department of French Studies (Associate Professor Bronwyn Winter) and the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies (Dr. Vek Lewis) and she was the first student to complete the honours program in the latter department. “Tintin and the Secret of Satire”, her thesis, was a study of the satire and the parody in Tintin et les Picaros, by the Belgian Hergé. Annick returned to The University of Sydney as a PhD candidate and recently completed her thesis “(Not) Looking Together in the Same Direction”, a comparative study of “Latin American” self-representation and the Franco-Belgian gaze on “Latin America” in a selection of “Latin American” and Franco-Belgian comics. Her full biogrpahy and list of publications can be found here.

Inkers and Thinkers 2014 – Discourse of Digital Comics by Troy Mayes

Abstract –

Since the introduction and subsequent growth of the tablet market the comic book industry has seen a renewed focus on experimental digital comic formats. Through this exploration of infinite comics, motion comics, guided-view comics and motion books the very core ideas of ‘what a comic is and does’ are being challenged, discussed and solidified. The focus of this presentation is how those creators involved with the new experimental digital comic formats, such as Marvel’s Infinite Comics, Madefire’s Motion Books and DC’s DC Squared, talk about the projects and formats they are working on. Through discourse analysis we are able to look at how creators are constructing both their own identity as well as the identity of the comic book industry and medium during this time of change. In particular, this presentation applies Sherry Ortner’s reactive discourse, a defensive discourse targeted at establishing what digital comics are not, and introduces what I call the relational discourse of digital comics, a more positive discourse focused on relating the new digital comic format to certain core comic book ideals. Utilising the reactive and relational discourse to analyse the talk of comic book creators places the practitioner back at the centre of comic book studies and allows us to examine what comics are for creators and how creators are responding to the ongoing digitisation of the comic book industry.

 

Bio –

Troy Mayes is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide in the Media Department. He holds a Bachelor of Media (Hons.) from the University of Adelaide. His thesis is on comic book workers and the digitisation of the comic book industry.

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