Friday, 8 November 2013


My dissertation is in a state of disarray so I'm going to write a daily diary in the hopes that I can sort out my thoughts.

I was hoping that I could make my dissertation a sort of handy guide on how to make unconventional graphic novels but apparently that's a little unacademic or something. *shrug*
I don't even know whether its graphic novels or hybrid novels I'm studying. A bit of digging on the internet using the only book I knew of that was the format I'm interested in: Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Caberet came up with the term "hybrid novel" but when I dig deeper I'm not so sure. According to the definition and examples used by ZoĆ« Sadokierski (she did a thesis on hybrid novels) hybrid novels use a number of visual devices like photography, ephemera, graphs and charts, typography and rarely use illustration as well. The books I've chosen are The Invention of Hugo Caberet as I said, and The Savage by David Almond, illustrated by Dave Mckean. Both have been described as Graphic novels and Hybrid novels (I think you could class The Savage as a post-modern picture book as well). I just want to define a kind of book that doesn't have the pictures added on at the end, doesn't conform to the Comic Books structure, combines image and text in thoughtful and meaningful ways and relies heavily on illustrated images. That's what I want to study, that's the kind of book I want to make.
My tutor, Chloe, assured me it was all right and the very term "hybrid novel" implies there is a hybridization of genres, so I can probably get away with encompassing these kind of books within that genre.

Currently I'm going through the history of comic books seeing if it will throw me a bone. I'm pretty sure reading up on the work of William Blake will help. I should probably study post-modern picture books too. There are cases where the text and the image depict differing narratives within the same whole, there.

Historically I've found that images and text even within the same book are destined to be read apart. Early Manuscripts catered separately for the illiterate and the literate with the cyclic system of illumination. I think the closest I'm going to get with historical literature is emblem books, I know for certain the image and the captioned moral underneath had to be read together to understand the whole meaning.

There are the emaki scrolls and E-hon picture books of Japan I suppose. My biggest worry is I won't get the information I need on them. I wish I could get some translated versions of them to peruse.

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