By Rosalind Krauss
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The Disney police are dragging him off because he’s not wearing his white gloves. Everything, even the style of drawing, is called into question. Mitchell: Since you brought up drawing, let’s turn to that question. It has always struck me that especially in this so called digital age, the idea of handmade, hand-drawn lines of paper can seem old-fashioned. And yet the handmade character of comics seems so essential to the many of the most innovative comic artists today, including many of those gathered here.
Ware’s Building Stories, which he unveiled for the first time at the conference, sold out its first print run; comics, a site-specific form that cannot be reflowed the way typeset prose can and is a boon in book publishing, is, in a sense, saving the concept of the book as object today. Yet, asked about the digital revolution, Spiegelman responded without the pessimism that has come to characterize the response of some print fetishists: This is really an amazing moment. I keep reading about the death of the book, and the odd thing is that as the book is so called dying, the most beautiful books possible since the middle ages are much easier to make because of the thing that’s supposedly killing them: the digital revolution makes beautiful printing possible at a much more reasonable cost than ever before.
This ARG’s form of play departed from the “fun” associated with most consumer-oriented games and transmedia entertainment products. Speculation promoted an active, improvisational, and partially unscripted interplay between the game designers and an emergent collective of players. The game became less of a creator-driven work and more of a collaboration, a type of practice-based research, that mutated the core narrative in ways that the designers could not have initially predicted. Transmedia technique has grown widespread and visible in the twenty-first century, but as many of the essays in this volume suggest it has a history that long precedes contemporary digital games.