TED - 談漫畫的視覺魔力 The visual magic of comics

TED - 談漫畫的視覺魔力 The visual magic of comics

 
在這篇不可錯過的探討報告中,斯科特.麥克勞德一改傳統的報告形式,將漫畫的魔幻魅力轉化為卡通般的體驗.其多采多姿的變化,穿插著孩提時代的驚奇,與對未來的想像之中,使我們得以用眼睛去聆聽、觸摸。
In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.
 
演講者 : Scott McCloud : Cartoonist
Scott McCloud is author of Understanding Comics, a comic book about comics. He's an evangelist for comics as a valid literary form (as more than pulp and kids' stuff) and his admiring fans include a laundry list of superstar cartoonists. 
 
 
0:11
在五感中, 我最珍惜的是視覺, 而且我最不會把他視為理所當然. 我想這有部分是因為我的父親.他是盲人 這是一個他通常不會拿來大做文章的事實 有次,在(加拿大的)新斯科舍省, 我們去看日蝕的時候 對,就是卡麗·賽門(Carly Simon)在她的歌(You're so vain)裡面提到的那個 那是不是在影射 詹姆士·泰勒,華倫·比提或米克·傑格,就不得而知了 他們發給大家黑色的觀測用塑膠片 可以讓我們直視太陽 不會傷到眼睛 但我爸非常害怕 他不要我們那樣做 他希望我們用便宜的厚紙板觀測器代替 所以我們的眼睛連一丁點受到傷害的機會都沒有 我當時覺得有點奇怪
0:54
但我當時不知道的是 其實我爸生下來時視力是完好無缺的 當他跟他的姊妹馬莎還很小的時候 它們的母親帶他們去看全蝕 -- 正確的說是全日蝕 然後那之後沒多久 它們兩個的視力都開始退化 幾十年後 它們發現她們眼盲的原因 很有可能是某種細菌感染 據我們所知 跟那個全日蝕一點關係都沒有 但是我的祖母一直到進墳墓 都認為是她的錯
1:25
所以,我爹1946從哈佛畢業 跟我媽結婚 然後在麻省的列星頓買了個房子 就在美國1775年頭一次對英國開火的地方 雖然直到康科特鎮之前我們都沒有打中他們 他在雷神公司(Raytheon)找到了工作 設計飛彈導向系統 在那時那是屬於128公路高科技產業的中樞之一 128公路大概等同於七零年代的矽谷 我爸並不是那種很軍國主義的人 他只是對他在二戰時無法參戰這點感到很糟 因為他的身體障礙 雖然他們是有讓他通過 長達數小時的軍人體能測試 直到最後的那關 就是視力測驗 (笑)
2:07
所以,我爸開始累積很多的發明專利 然後他得到盲眼天才發明家,火箭科學家的名聲 不過對我們來說,他就只是我們的爸 而且我們的家庭生活還挺普通的 我小時候看了很多電視 還有很多很書呆子的興趣 像是礦物學或是微生物學還有太空活動 還有一點點的政治 我下很多西洋棋 但我14歲時 有個朋友讓我對漫畫起了興趣 我決定了我就是想靠這個吃飯
2:34
所以,我爸是這樣的人 他是科學家,他是工程師,然後他待在國防合約商 他有四個小孩 一個長大成為科學家 一個加入了海軍 一個成了工程師 然後是我: 漫畫家 (笑) 這順帶讓我成了迪恩卡門(Dean Kamen)的相反 因為我是科學家的漫畫家兒子 他是漫畫家的科學家兒子 (笑) 是真的 (鼓掌)
3:09
有意思的是,我老爸對我非常有信心 他對我身為漫畫家的能力有信心 雖然他完全不知道我做得好不好 他看到的只有一片模糊 這就是所謂的"盲信" 對我來說他並不帶有負面意義 信仰,也就是相信看不見或無法證實的事情存在 我從來就不是很了解 我比較喜歡科學 因為我們知道的 就是我們看到的或我們可以確認的
3:40
然後在這兩者之間也有個中間地帶 有些人在中間地帶,像是可憐的查爾斯·巴貝奇 和他的蒸氣電腦,雖然從未被建出來 沒人知道他的腦子裡面有怎樣的構想 除了艾妲拉弗雷斯 他直到臨終前都在追求他的夢想 萬尼瓦爾·布希和他的Memex(麥克斯存儲器) -- 一個讓所有人類知識都在你的手指邊的構想 他有這樣的一個視野 而且我想很多他那個時代的人 大概認為他有點瘋瘋癲癲的 沒錯,我們現在當然能說 哈哈--那不過是微縮影片-- 但這不是重點,重點是他當時就瞭解了未來的型態 還有利克萊德(J.C.R. Liklider) 和他對人類-電腦間的互動的見解 同樣的,他也掌握了未來的型態 就算那些構想 要到很久以後才能被其他人實踐 或是保羅巴倫(Paul Barron),還有他對分封交換技術(packet switching)的先見 在他的時代很少人理解他 或甚至是那些成功的實現了他們的想法的人 在BBN科技公司的那些人, 那些人畫出的架構 最後成了網際網路 畫在筆記本和衛生紙上 連在豪生餐廳吃晚飯時也爭論不休 他們就在麻省列星頓的128公路, 離在學習西洋棋(Queen's Gambit Deferred)的我不過兩哩 我正在聽格蕾蒂絲奈特 唱"到喬治亞州的午夜列車"-- (笑) 在我爸的大搖椅上
5:05
總之,看法有三種 一種是存在在看不見的事情上 看不見也無法證明 一種是已經被證明或確定的 還有第三種 這一種看法 是可以,是能夠 建立在已知的事物上,但還不能被證明 在科學的領域中,我們已經有看過很多人在追求著這類視野 但我認為這些人也存在在藝術和政治 甚至是個人成就
5:36
這些其實有四個基本原則: 向所有人學習 不盲目跟從任何人 仔細的觀察找出模式 還有努力的工作 我認為這是第三種視野需要的四個原則 尤其是第三項 因為第三項會讓對未來的視野 自動浮現 有趣的是這種特定的看法 我認為.只是四種方法中的一種 在各種領域成就中實踐的方法 在漫畫這個領域中,我知道 這變成了一種很正規的態度 去了解漫畫到底如何運作 而還有另外一種,用比較傳統的態度 去讚頌漫畫的美與技法 還有一種, 認為內容本身的純粹度與透明度才是重點 以及最後一種 專注於忠實的傳達真正的人生體驗 純粹而真實的經驗
6:23
這是四種很不同的看待世界的方法.我甚至給它們取了名字 古典派, 意識派, 形式派, 以及真實派 有趣的是這多多少少 與榮格口中的人類思考的四個分類有點像 這樣分類由藝術性和感性 分別占據在左邊和右邊 而傳統在上面,革命在下面 如果你斜著看,就會得到內容與形式 還有美與真實 同樣的規則大概也存在在 音樂,電影與純藝術中 有的已經跟視覺完全無關 所以,也跟我們今天的主題-- "從自然(Nature)中獲得靈感"無關 除非是在這個關於青蛙的寓言中 青蛙載著蠍子過河 因為蠍子說好不會螫他 但蠍子還是螫了,結果蠍子和青蛙都死了 青蛙問蠍子為什麼要螫他,蠍子說. "因為這是我的本性(Nature)" 以這層意義來說,是的 (笑) 所以-- 所以這是我的本性.當我回顧 我是如何尋找發現 我作品的重心 我是個什麼樣的人 我以為我只是慢慢的摸索出來的 其實我只是遵從我的本性 這表示 其實我離我的家族並沒有很遠
7:37
所以像我這樣的"科學思維" 能在藝術的領域做什麼呢? 當我開始畫漫畫時 我同時也開始研究他們 結果我發現,漫畫最重要的特點是 就是他是個單純只用視覺表現的媒體 但他試著用視覺去呈現聽覺,觸覺及所有其他的感覺 所以,漫畫裡不同的元素,譬如圖像和文字 不同的符號,以及 所有漫畫所呈現的 全都透過視覺這個單一管道 所以我們會利用一些表現 去模擬真實世界的特徵 我們能從幾個不同的方向去表現真實世界: 將真實世界的形象抽象化 但保留他的意義, 或者是將真實世界的形象去意義化,成為純粹的幾何圖案
8:19
將這三樣合起來,就會得到一個圖表 這圖表可以囊括所有的視覺符號 漫畫所能夠呈現的 再往右移,就是語言 因為那更抽象 但還是保留了他的意義 聽覺也可用視覺來表現 這需要去理解他們之間共通的特性 還有它們共同的歷史 漫畫也試著表現聲音的特質 還有透過視覺呈現聲音的特色 漫畫也要去取得那, 在看得見與看不見之間的平衡 漫畫是一種作者與讀者間的相互呼應 漫畫家們呈現 漫畫格裡面發生的事情 然後讓讀者自己去想像分格和分格間發生的事
9:04
漫畫試著用視覺去呈現的 另一種感覺是時間 連續性是漫畫中很重要的一部分 漫畫呈現了一種節奏譜 而這節奏譜給了漫畫活力 但我在想是不是也有其他的節奏 用不同的型式帶給圖畫活力 然後我在歷史當中找到一些 你能看到同樣的節奏感 同樣的方法也存在在這些古老的繪畫之中 事實上,藝術的型式會 跟當時的科技結合 不管是石頭上的壁畫,像是古埃及的墓碑圖文 或是沿著石柱盤旋而上的浮雕 或是2000英呎長的刺繡 或是印在鹿皮或樹皮上 橫跨88個折頁
9:50
有趣的是,當印刷術發明時 這張圖大概是1450年左右 所有現代漫畫的特徵都出現了 直線的分格排列法 簡單的黑白線條 還有由左至右的閱讀方式 在發展了一百年後 已經可以看到對話框和文字敘述 當時和現代漫畫真的只有很小的差距而已 所以我在1993年寫了一本有關這主題的書 但在我快寫完時 我需要做一些文字排版 我不想再到附近的影印店去 於是我買了台電腦 那時電腦還很簡單 --除了打打字外沒什麼其他功能 但是我老爸曾跟我提過摩爾定律 摩爾定律在七零年代的成長,所以我知道未來會發生什麼 所以靜觀其變 看是不是當初 印刷術帶給漫畫的巨大改變 會在我們邁入後印刷術時代時再度重現
10:42
我提出的第一個改變 就是我們可以將漫畫的視覺元素 跟聲音,動態和互動性做結合 像當時的CD-ROM一樣 當時,甚至還沒有網際網路 而且他們做的第一項嘗試 就是完全保留了漫畫的翻頁 然後直接移植到螢幕上 這是個典型的麥克盧恩式錯誤 沿用舊科技採用的型式 作為新科技的型式 它們還會做的一項嘗試 則是用既有的印刷漫畫的方式呈現漫畫 然後將聲音和動態加在上面 問題是,當你這樣做時 漫畫中特有的"空間等於時間"的基本概念 在帶入聲音和動態 這些只有利用時間才能表示的元素之後 漫畫所表現的連續性就被破壞了
11:28
互動性又是另一點 當時有超連結漫畫 但是超連結的問題是 就是所有的東西部是在這裡,就是不在這裡,不然就是連到這裡 他完全不具任何空間性 從林肯到林肯錢幣 到潘妮‧馬歇爾到馬歇爾計劃 到第九計劃到九條命的距離 通通都是一樣的 (笑) 而且-在漫畫裡 作品裡的每個元素 永遠跟其他的每個元素都有空間上的關係
11:54
所以問題在於 有沒有一種方法可以保存這種空間上的關係 但還是能夠運用 所有數位媒體所能帶給我們的利益? 我找到了我自己的答案 在剛剛給你們看過的古老漫畫中找到了 每件作品中都有一個單一連續的閱讀路徑 不管是在牆壁上崎嶇而行 或是沿著柱子盤旋而上 或者只是簡單的由左而右,甚至是往反方向曲折前進 穿過那八十八折的折頁 同樣的事情重複發生,那單純的 空間移動代表時間移動的本質 毫無妥協的在這些作品中表現了出來 但是當我們進入印刷後,開始有了一些妥協 相鄰的時間不再代表相鄰的空間 所以漫畫的本質就這樣被破壞 一而再再而三的被破壞
12:36
所以我想,好吧 如果這是真的,有沒有任何方法 當我們走過了印刷時代後 可以將當初的本質找回來? 現在,電腦螢幕 單純就物理上而言,跟書本一樣有很多限制 他的形狀不同,但除此之外 有著同樣的物理限制 但是那是因為你把螢幕只當成一本書的一頁來看 但如果你把螢幕想像成一扇窗戶
13:01
我認為,那我們或許可以將漫畫 創作在張無限的畫布上 沿著X軸,Y軸和樓梯 我們也可以有真的是圓型的環狀故事動線 在一個故事的轉折,我們也能讓他真的有個轉折 同時發生的故事路線可以真的並排 X,Y及Z 所以我有這麼多的想法,在九零年代後期 然後當時很多我的同行認為我還挺瘋狂的 但是也有很多人真的實踐了 接下來我們會看到其中一些範例
13:34
這個是Jason Lex所做的早期拼貼 注意看發生了什麼 我在尋找的是一個能夠長久流傳的新型態 我們都在尋找一個 當媒體進入新的時代 我們在尋找蛻變 能夠持續被傳承下去的新的蛻變 在接下來的作品中,我們保留了用視覺呈現漫畫的基本構想 從頭到尾完整的實現這個構想 你目前看到的,就是整部漫畫 濃縮在電腦螢幕裡 但雖然我們一次只經驗一部分 我們目前的科技只能做到這樣 當科技持續進步 當我們有更身臨其境的顯示方式 這些方法未來只會更加進步 漫畫的呈現方式將會去適應 這整個環境 這會是個永久的蛻變
14:26
再來看另一個作品,這是Drew Weing的作品; 這叫做 "狗狗想像著宇宙因過熱而毀滅" 看 當我們擁有無限大的畫布 你能夠創造出更純粹的表現 表現出漫畫是個什麼樣的媒材 我現在要快轉 我想給妳們看最後一格 (笑) 最後一格到了 (笑) (笑) 再看一件作品就好, 說到無限大的畫布 這是英國的Daniel Merlin Goodbrey的作品
15:51
為什麼這很重要? 我認為這很重要,因為媒體 所有的媒體 都提供了我們一扇觀察世界的窗 這扇窗可能是電影 或者,遲早會是,虛擬實境,或是類似的東西 某種身臨其境的顯示工具 能更有效率的讓我們脫離現實環境 這是為什麼大家都喜歡故事,為了脫離現實 但是媒體提供了我們一扇窗 讓我們能回到現實世界 而隨著媒體進步 不同的媒體也會發展出獨特的個性 因為你看到的東西,你現在所看到的漫畫是立體的 你現在看到的漫畫比過去更像漫畫,更有他的獨特性 當這些媒體都有獨特的特性時,我們就能有很多不同的方法 能從不同的窗戶重新觀察我們所處的世界 讓我們能多元交叉衡量我們的世界 看到他完整的形狀 這是為什麼我覺得這件事這麼重要 的其中一個原因。但,我現在得走了 很榮幸能在這裡演講
 
0:11
Of the five senses, vision is the one that I appreciate the most, and it's the one that I can least take for granted. I think this is partially due to my father, who was blind. It was a fact that he didn't make much of a fuss about, usually. One time in Nova Scotia, when we went to see a total eclipse of the sun -- yeah, same one as in the Carly Simon song, which may or may not refer to James Taylor, Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger; we're not really sure. They handed out these dark plastic viewers that allowed us to look directly at the sun without damaging our eyes. But Dad got really scared: he didn't want us doing that. He wanted us instead to use these cheap cardboard viewers so that there was no chance at all that our eyes would be damaged. I thought this was a little strange at the time.
0:54
What I didn't know at the time was that my father had actually been born with perfect eyesight. When he and his sister Martha were just very little, their mom took them out to see a total eclipse -- or actually, a solar eclipse -- and not long after that, both of them started losing their eyesight. Decades later, it turned out that the source of their blindness was most likely some sort of bacterial infection. As near as we can tell, it had nothing whatsoever to do with that solar eclipse, but by then my grandmother had already gone to her grave thinking it was her fault.
1:25
So, Dad graduated Harvard in 1946, married my mom, and bought a house in Lexington, Massachusetts, where the first shots were fired against the British in 1775, although we didn't actually hit any of them until Concord. He got a job working for Raytheon, designing guidance systems, which was part of the Route 128 high-tech axis in those days -- so the equivalent of Silicone Valley in the '70s. Dad wasn't a real militaristic kind of guy; he just really felt bad that he wasn't able to fight in World War II on account of his handicap, although they did let him get through the several-hour-long army physical exam before they got to the very last test, which was for vision. (Laughter)
2:07
So, Dad started racking up all of these patents and gaining a reputation as a blind genius, rocket scientist, inventor. But to us he was just Dad, and our home life was pretty normal. As a kid, I watched a lot of television and had lots of nerdy hobbies like mineralogy and microbiology and the space program and a little bit of politics. I played a lot of chess. But at the age of 14, a friend of mine got me interested in comic books, and I decided that was what I wanted to do for a living.
2:34
So, here's my dad: he's a scientist, he's an engineer and he's a military contractor. So, he has four kids, right? One grows up to become a computer scientist, one grows up to join the Navy, one grows up to become an engineer, and then there's me: the comic book artist. (Laughter) Which, incidentally, makes me the opposite of Dean Kamen, because I'm a comic book artist, son of an inventor, and he's an inventor, son of a comic book artist. (Laughter) Right, it's true. (Applause)
3:09
The funny thing is, Dad had a lot of faith in me. He had faith in my abilities as a cartoonist, even though he had no direct evidence that I was any good whatsoever: everything he saw was just a blur. Now, this gives a real meaning to the term "blind faith," which doesn't have the same negative connotation for me that it does for other people. Now, faith in things which cannot be seen, which cannot be proved, is not the sort of faith that I've ever really related to all that much. I tend to like science, where what we see and can ascertain are the foundation of what we know.
3:40
But there's a middle ground, too. A middle ground tread by people like poor old Charles Babbage, and his steam-driven computers that were never built. Nobody really understood what it was that he had in mind, except for Ada Lovelace, and he went to his grave trying to pursue that dream. Vannevar Bush with his Memex -- this idea of all of human knowledge at your fingertips -- he had this vision. And I think a lot of people in his day probably thought he was a bit of a kook. And, yeah, we can look back in retrospect and say, yeah, ha-ha, you know -- it's all microfilm. But that's -- that's not the point. He understood the shape of the future. So did J.C.R. Licklider and his notions for computer-human interaction. Same thing: he understood the shape of the future, even though it was something that would only be implemented by people much later. Or Paul Baran, and his vision for packet switching. Hardly anybody listened to him in his day. Or even the people who actually pulled it off, the people at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Boston, who just would sketch out these structures of what would eventually become a worldwide network, and sketching things on the back of napkins and on note papers and arguing over dinner at Howard Johnson's -- on Route 128 in Lexington, Massachusetts, just two miles from where I was studying the Queen's Gambit Deferred and listening to Gladys Knight & the Pips singing "Midnight Train to Georgia," while -- (Laughter) -- in my dad's big easy chair, you know?
5:05
So, three types of vision, right? Vision based on what one cannot see: the vision of that unseen and unknowable. The vision of that which has already been proven or can be ascertained. And this third kind of vision, of something which can be, which may be, based on knowledge, but is as yet unproven. Now, we've seen a lot of examples of people who are pursuing that sort of vision in science, but I think it's also true in the arts, it's true in politics, it's even true in personal endeavors.
5:36
What it comes down to, really, is four basic principles: learn from everyone, follow no one, watch for patterns, and work like hell. I think these are the four principles that go into this. And it's that third one, especially, where visions of the future begin to manifest themselves. What's interesting is that this particular way of looking at the world, is, I think, only one of four different ways that manifest themselves in different fields of endeavor. In comics, I know that it results in sort of a formalist attitude towards trying to understand how it works. Then there's another, more classical, attitude which embraces beauty and craft. Another one which believes in the pure transparency of content. And then another which emphasizes the authenticity of human experience -- and honesty, and rawness.
6:23
These are four very different ways of looking at the world. I even gave them names. The classicist, the animist, and formalist and iconoclast. Interestingly, it seemed to correspond more or less to Jung's four subdivisions of human thought. And they reflect a dichotomy of art and delight on left and the right; tradition and revolution on the top and the bottom. And if you go on the diagonal, you get content and form -- and then beauty and truth. And it probably applies just as much to music and to movies and to fine art, which has nothing whatsoever to do with vision at all, or for that matter, nothing to do with our conference theme of "Inspired by Nature" -- except to the extent of the fable of the frog who gives the ride to the scorpion on his back to get across the river because the scorpion promises not to sting him, but then the scorpion does sting him anyway and they both die, but not before the frog asks him why and the scorpion says, "Because it's my nature" -- in that sense, yes. (Laughter) So -- so this was my nature. The thing was, I saw that the route that I took to discovering this focus in my work and who I was, I saw it as just this road to discovery. Actually, it was just me embracing my nature, which means that I didn't actually fall that far from the tree after all.
7:37
So what does a "scientific mind" do in the arts? Well, I started making comics, but I also started trying to understand them, almost immediately. And one of the most important things about comics, I discovered, was that comics are a visual medium, but they try to embrace all of the senses within it. So, the different elements of comics, like pictures and words, and the different symbols and everything in between that comics presents are all funneled through the single conduit of vision. So you have things like resemblance, where something which resembles the physical world can be abstracted in a couple of different directions: abstracted from resemblance, but still retaining the complete meaning, or abstracted away from both resemblance and meaning towards the picture plan.
8:19
Put all these three together, and you have a nice little map of the entire boundary of visual iconography which comics can embrace. And if you move to the right you also get language, because that's abstracting even further from resemblance, but still maintaining meaning. Vision is called upon to represent sound and to understand the common properties of those two and their common heritage, as well. Also, to try to represent the texture of sound to capture its essential character through visuals. And there's also a balance between the visible and the invisible in comics. Comics is a kind of call and response in which the artist gives you something to see within the panels, and then gives you something to imagine between the panels.
9:04
Also, another sense which comics' vision represents, and that's time. Sequence is a very important aspect of comics. Comics presents a kind of temporal map. And this temporal map was something that energizes modern comics, but I was wondering if perhaps it also energizes other sorts of forms, and I found some in history. And you can see this same principle operating in these ancient versions of the same idea. What's happening is, the art form is colliding with the given technology, whether it's paint on stone, like the Tomb of the Scribe in ancient Egypt, or a bas-relief sculpture rising up a stone column, or a 200-foot-long embroidery, or painted deerskin and tree bark running across 88 accordion-folded pages.
9:50
What's interesting is, once you hit print -- and this is from 1450, by the way -- all of the artifacts of modern comics start to present themselves: rectilinear panel arrangements, simple line drawings without tone and a left-to-right reading sequence. And within 100 years, you already start to see word balloons and captions, and it's really just a hop, skip and a jump from here to here. So I wrote a book about this in '93, but as I was finishing the book, I had to do a little bit of typesetting, and I was tired of going to my local copy shop to do it, so I bought a computer. And it was just a little thing -- it wasn't good for much except text entry -- but my father had told me about Moore's Law, about Moore's Law back in the '70s, and I knew what was coming. And so, I kept my eyes peeled to see if the sort of changes that happened when we went from pre-print comics to print comics would happen when we went beyond, to post-print comics.
10:42
So, one of the first things that were proposed was that we could mix the visuals of comics with the sound, motion and interactivity of the CD-ROMs that were being made in those days. This was even before the Web. And one of the first things they did was, they tried to take the comics page as-is and transplant it to monitors, which was a classic McLuhanesque mistake of appropriating the shape of the previous technology as the content of the new technology. And so, what they would do is, they'd have these comic pages that resemble print comics pages, and they would introduce all this sound and motion. The problem was, that if you go with this idea -- this basic idea that space equals time in comics -- what happens is that when you introduce sound and motion, which are temporal phenomena that can only be represented through time, then they break with that continuity of presentation.
11:28
Interactivity was another thing. There were hypertext comics. But the thing about hypertext is that everything in hypertext is either here, not here or connected to here; it's profoundly non-spatial. The distance from Abraham Lincoln to a Lincoln penny, the Penny Marshall to the Marshall Plan to "Plan 9" to nine lives: it's all the same. (Laughter) And -- but in comics, in comics, every aspect of the work, every element of the work has a spatial relationship to every other element at all times.
11:54
So the question was: was there any way to preserve that spatial relationship while still taking advantage of all of the things that digital had to offer us? And I found my personal answer for this in those ancient comics that I was showing you. Each of them has a single unbroken reading line, whether it's going zigzag across the walls or spiraling up a column or just straight left to right, or even going in a backwards zigzag across those 88 accordion-folded pages. The same thing is happening, and that is that the basic idea that as you move through space you move through time is being carried out without any compromise, but there were compromises when print hit. Adjacent spaces were no longer adjacent moments, so the basic idea of comics was being broken again and again and again and again.
12:36
And I thought, O.K., well, if that's true, is there any way, when we go beyond today's print, to somehow bring that back? Now, the monitor is just as limited as the page, technically, right? It's a different shape, but other than that it's the same basic limitation. But that's only if you look at the monitor as a page, but not if you look at the monitor as a window.
13:01
And that's what I proposed: that perhaps we could create these comics on an infinite canvas: along the X axis and the Y axis and staircases. We could do circular narratives that were literally circular. We could do a turn in a story that was literally a turn. Parallel narratives could be literally parallel. X, Y and also Z. So I had all these notions. This was back in the late '90s, and other people in my business thought I was pretty crazy, but a lot of people then went on and actually did it. I'm going to show you a couple now.
13:34
This was an early collage comic by a fellow named Jason Lex. And notice what's going on here. What I'm searching for is a durable mutation -- that's what all of us are searching for. As media head into this new era, we are looking for mutations that are durable, that have some sort of staying power. Now, we're taking this basic idea of presenting comics in a visual medium, and then we're carrying it through all the way from beginning to end. That's that entire comic you just saw is up on the screen right now. But even though we're only experiencing it one piece at a time, that's just where the technology is right now. As the technology evolves, as you get full immersive displays and whatnot, this sort of thing will only grow. It will adapt. It will adapt to its environment: it's a durable mutation.
14:26
Here's another one I'll show you. This is by Drew Weing; this is called, "Pup Contemplates the Heat Death of the Universe." See what's going on here as we draw these stories on an infinite canvas is you're creating a more pure expression of what this medium is all about. We'll go by this a little quickly -- you get the idea. I just want to get to the last panel. (Laughter) There we go. (Laughter) (Laughter) Just one more. Talk about your infinite canvas. It's by a guy named Daniel Merlin Goodbrey in Britain.
15:51
Why is this important? I think this is important because media, all media, provide us a window back into our world. Now, it could be that motion pictures -- and eventually, virtual reality, or something equivalent to it -- some sort of immersive display, is going to provide us with our most efficient escape from the world that we're in. That's why most people turn to storytelling, is to escape. But media provides us with a window back into the world that we live in. And when media evolve so that the identity of the media becomes increasingly unique. Because what you're looking at is, you're looking at comics cubed: you're looking at comics that are more comics-like than they've ever been before. When that happens, you provide people with multiple ways of re-entering the world through different windows, and when you do that, it allows them to triangulate the world that they live in and see its shape. And that's why I think this is important. One of many reasons, but I've got to go now. Thank you for having me.

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