Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts by patcrosmun

“Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray” questions about authorship

“Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray” questions about authorship

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

For my Oscar Wilde Seminar this semester I’ve been working on an essay that deals with an interesting concept; adaptation.  In my essay, I look at the Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray with the aim of evaluating its effectiveness as an adaptation. One of the points that has been really fascinating to think about however has been the question of authorship.  A graphic novel is a text that has many contributors to get it off the ground and make it into an effective vessel for narrative.  If there are many people contributing to the creation of the narrative and the artifact that conveys it who then do we call the author? All of them? None of them? Is Wilde still the only author? First lets consider some of the hands that go into producing a graphic novel: we’ve got a “writer”, an “artist”, a “colorist”, a “letterer” and one or more “editors”.  Ok so of this list let’s remove the editors, they don’t really go into “producing” the narrative they really are more involved in the process of “refining” it. Now For this particular text this leaves the writer: Roy Thomas, the artist: Sebastian Fiumara, The colorist: Giulia Brusco, and the letterer: Dave Sharpe.  Each of these individuals contributes to the way a reader experiences the adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray.  However, does that really let us say that they are authors in their own right? Thomas is the adaptive writer; it’s his job to take Wilde’s initial text and generate from it a version that is usable in comic form.  In the introduction to the trade hardback of Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray Thomas states that the “aim was to tell Wilde’s story, in the author’s own words wherever possible.” Thomas set out not to retell Wilde’s story but rather to adapt what existed into a form that was readily usable in the comic form.  This resulted in the truncation of many of the longer philosophical dialogs but still, Thomas added very little “text” to Wilde’s initial work while converting it into a form that allowed the rest of the team to build a comic around it. Fiumara, Brusco and Sharpe have...

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Canonicity and Storytelling in RPG’s

Canonicity and Storytelling in RPG’s

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

Some months ago now, as I was perusing the Dragon Age Facebook page, the DA team had posted a wonderful piece of fan art by a Deviant Artist named Alteya who’s other work can be found Here. I was initially very impressed with the piece of art, but what truly astonished me was the amount of controversy that this seemingly innocuous piece of art had managed to create.  This depiction of a fan’s Hawke caused out cry about what constituted the “canon” Hawke in Dragon Age II. On one side of argument, we have a collection of players (mostly, if not exclusively male) that insist that Hawke is canonically male.   On the other side, which is much less polarized by gender, arguing against the notion of male Hawke as being canon or the notion of their being a canon at all. screenshot taken of fan discussion on Dragon Age Facebook page screenshot taken of fan discussion on Dragon Age Facebook page screenshot taken of fan discussion on Dragon Age Facebook page screenshot taken of fan discussion on Dragon Age Facebook page This got me thinking, did I believe in the idea of a canonical version of the story?  My immediate answer was “no” but then I stopped to think about it.  If we treat the game as a text, then the text has multiple narratives it can tell and each of those narratives have a host of different readings.  The game itself adapts and changes based on the decisions a player makes at the time of character creation and more so throughout gameplay.   My favorite initial character set up of “Female” “Mage” Hawke leads to different sorts of narratological interpretations then a friend of mine’s set up of “Male” “Warrior” Hawke. If we consider the narrative as a sort of nebula of possibilities, each decision we make impacts the potential outcomes. At the outset, we narrow our narrative’s potentiality fairly significantly. The choice of mage vs. non-mage is rather important, it dictates which of your Hawke’s siblings survives and how your character will be perceived (as much as the game is capable of handling such things) in the world.  Mage Hawke is just going to logically be more sympathetic...

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