Bartosch, Sebastian: "Understanding comics’ mediality as an actor-network. Some elements of translation in the works of Brian Fies and Dylan Horrocks." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 7.3 (2016), S. 242–253.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Bartosch2016
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Keywords: "Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen", "Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?", Fies. Brian, Horrocks. Dylan, Latour. Bruno, Materiality, Metaisierung, New Zealand, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Drawing on accounts that describe media as ensembles of heterogeneous elements, this article proposes to understand the mediality of comics as an actor-network: as outlined by Bruno Latour and others, actor-networks consist of associations between different actors, who are identified and assembled in processes of translation. Complementing this notion, such actors can be further understood as materialised entities, which only emerge as distinct in relation to other actors. To demonstrate how the mediality of contemporary comics is shaped by translations within these actor-networks, two examples are employed: in Brian Fies’ Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, the materiality of old comic books is emulated by assembling recent actors, ranging from humans via materials to technology. In Dylan Horrocks’ Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, the agential roles of comics’ creators and readers emerge in relation to the comic as a material object. As both cases show, the mediality of comics is subject to continuous change and cannot be grasped as a static essence.
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