We are particularly happy to be featuring a special panel on Thinking about Digital Comics through Practice which will bring together four speakers who navigate the traditionnally wide spectrum between practice and theory – ranging from a researcher practising comics as scholarship, to two hybrid practicioners who co-mingle theory and practice in a feedback loop, to a graphic artist with a keen eye for self-theorizing.
- Nicolas Labarre is Associate Professor at the Université Bordeaux-Montaigne and he has been interested in how to make comics as scholarship, that is how to produce scientific discourse in the form of comics. Through his research blog Picturing it!, he is publishing his own reflections on the process and stakes of drawing an ‘academic comics.’ At the conference, he won’t so much present his own production as much as analyze various cases of ‘comics as scholarship’ and how these are framed in terms of genre, users and interpretative communities. His blog features an interview about the University of Florida’s Sequentials project, which will feed into the presentation.
- Anthony Rageul‘s approach to digital comics was, from scratch, weaved in with an academic framework: for his master thesis, he designed the digital comic Prise de tête, which received a large echo in the comics world, marking a significant point in the development of French digital comics. While completing a PhD thesis on digital comics at the Université Rennes 2, he simultaneously realized several works hosted on various platforms. Often subtitled “bande dessinée interactive,” his comics aim at fully taking advantage of the interactivity of digital comics. In his talk, he will highlight the relationship between coding and interface in the creation of digital comics and the importance of the stage of designing the interface in shaping up the narrative told.
- Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, comics artist and new media lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, is undoubtedly the British counterpart of Rageul. A prolific and innovative comic creator, Goodbrey has gained international recognition as a leading expert in the field of experimental digital comics. His hypercomic work received the International Clickburg Webcomic Award in Holland in 2006 while his work in print was awarded with the Isotope Award for Excellence In Comics in San Francisco in 2005. His smartphone app, A Duck Has an Adventure was shortlisted in the 2012 New Media Writing Prize. Academic-wise he wrote numerous articles on digital comics and co-edited a special issue of MeCCSA on digital comics.
- Yannis LaMacchia is a Swiss comics artist living in Lyon. He has been particularly involved with the Hécatombe publishing collective, which distinctively pursues alternate ways of making books exploring their materiality in a way that brings comics close to the field of artists’ books. Following these ideas, LaMacchia has come up with the idea of a “Fanzine carré” that literally is a cube of equal proportions, which led him to rethink the whole production process because of the challenges posed by its feasibility. With his Racontars project, he has been experimenting with new ways of narrative and seriality that is partly based on reader feedback and suggestions. Readers are indeed invited to post their own “racontars” (French for gossip) with which LaMacchia then improvises his fragmented stories.
Image credit: Yannis LaMacchia, Racontars