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Dittmer, Jason and Alan Latham. "The rut and the gutter: Space and time in graphic narrative." Cultural Geographies 22. (2015): 427–44. 
Added by: joachim (6/14/14, 11:38 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (10/1/15, 11:15 AM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1177/1474474014536518
BibTeX citation key: Dittmer2015
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Categories: General
Keywords: "The Rut", McKean. Dave, Space, United Kingdom
Creators: Dittmer, Latham
Collection: Cultural Geographies
Views: 21/675
This paper brings together comics studies and geography to consider how space operates both on and off the comics page. We integrate discussion of comics’ formal properties with a site-specific comics installation (Dave McKean’s The Rut) to show the intertwining of these spaces. Our argument is articulated through juxtaposition of the literature on space-time in comics with our case study. This montage speaks to graphic narratives’ formal properties, especially its alchemic, emergent nature. Our argument begins by introducing The Rut as an example of how space and narrative can be intertwined. Our argument tacks back to the literature, discussing the pluralization of time-space(s) throughout recent writing within human geography and how this can help us think with The Rut. We then briefly describe the way The Rut is physically laid out. Returning once again to the literature, we argue that the topological figuration of comics is mediated by readers’ practices of relation-building and narrative construction, which are in turn impacted by the irreversible nature of time. This is demonstrated for The Rut through experience of the art as well as participant observation. Finally, we highlight how actual spaces are overlaid with virtual spaces that help shape the actualized version; we illustrate this by showing how the embodied experience of The Rut’s materiality was productive of a multiplicity of experiential spaces, both actual and virtual. We close by drawing three conclusions: the first about the implications of graphic narrative’s relational ontology for how social scientists narrate socio-spatial processes; the second, a call for more empirical work examining the emergence, evolution, and dissipation of topological spaces; and the third about the political possibility of initiating new practices of ‘reading’ spaces and times to produce and access new ways of being in the world.
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