Wednesday, November 21, 2007

PCA/ACA Conference

Well, I just received an e-mail telling me that my abstract on Codeflesh has been accepted for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in San Francisco March 19-22. Yeah, didn't really expect that to happen.

My abstract:

In the final chapter of Codeflesh, Joe Casey and Charlie Adlard tell the story in a unique manner by distancing the text and visuals. The comic itself appears normal with the standard sequential images, word balloons and sound effects, but in the place of the text we expect (such as dialogue) is a letter written by the protagonist. In doing so, Casey and Adlard highlight three levels of reading a comic: the textual, the visual, and the textual with the visual. Usually, the last level is the only one considered, as comics are a medium where the interaction of words and images is central. However, as the letter and the visuals are incongruent, both essentially stand on their own, telling two separate stories that are understood independent of one another. The text and the images do work together, but in a less direct way than they do in most comics. Because of the incongruity, there is a more subtle interaction between the words and pictures, creating emotional resonances and glimpses into the minds of characters through stark juxtaposition. A close reading of the final chapter of Codeflesh shows that Casey and Adlard create a story that has three possible readings, and also draws attention to the ways in which words and images work with and against one another in comics.


Basically, it will be an expansion and update on the short essay I wrote on the subject a couple of years ago. It does seem strangely appropriate to deliver this paper in SF since that's where my copy of the Codeflesh collection came from--as James Sime at the Isotope was nice enough to get Casey to sign a copy at the launch party for the book and then send it to me. Looks like I may have a chance to thank him in person.

Wow, weirdly exciting.


In other news, some of my eBay stuff has come including the complete Warlock & The Infinity Watch. I should continue my look at Jim Starlin's work once my final one arrives as it contains issues 1-5 of Infinity Crusade, which is essential and, hopefully, I'll be able to get issue 6 when I'm in London this weekend. Then, I should be able to continue without a break until I hit Thanos (although, maybe the shop in London will have issues 2-6). Quite a lot to look at, but some very interesting stuff.