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The comic book in the age of digital reproduction

Priego Ramirez, E.F.; (2011) The comic book in the age of digital reproduction. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This dissertation discusses the changing nature of comics and comic books in a digital age. Its focus is on comics as an artistic form that developed in connection with technologies belonging to print culture and the age of mechanical reproduction. This fact is both reflected and challenged by the digitization of printed comics, digital comics (comics created with computers that can be read on different electronic platforms, either networked or not) and webcomics (comics made mainly to be read on computers online). It claims that comics as a communicative and artistic system has expressed itself as a type of materiality. Materiality in this case refers not only to the publications themselves but the processes involved in their creation and in their interaction with the reader in specific settings. Through an analysis that combines previous comics scholarship with critical theory, theories of electronic text and the history of the book, this thesis argues comic books' materiality is distinct and yet interacts with other media such as traditional books, film electonic texts, etc. The materiality of comics produces and is simultaneously the consequence of particular textual topologies, which have made comics partially untranslatable to digital and other media, or that at least interrogate the idea that such translation (or migration) can be done without significant loss or without becoming something else. The study concludes that digital media is presenting unique opportunities for comics textuality. Amongst other risks, were there to be a total migration from a printed culture to a digital one, a complex dimension of comic book reading as an interactive social experience organised around physical, historical materiality would be lost and replaced by an altogether different one. The evidence indicates that the current digital revolution in comic books fully includes, and not excludes, the culture of print.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The comic book in the age of digital reproduction
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Information Studies

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