Adsurbism

Pic via

At interesting a couple of months back, Jack Schulze gave a passionate talk about his love for comic books and the things that make them great. One of the (many) cool things that he discussed was the creative use of the physical limitations of comics, that is, when characters broke out of their two-dimensional worlds, recognising they were part of a contained alternative universe, and began to interact with the space outside of the page. This, I thought, was awesome.

It reminded me of my A level English (back when they were real qualifications), and when I first watched Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Breaking the observer’s ‘suspension of disbelief’ (directing the viewer to the fact that they’re watching something that is, essentially, not real) by removing traditional theatrical boundaries was a trick employed to great effect by Stoppard (and many others in the Aburdist movement).

Although my reaction as the time probably wasn’t the same as when Jack was discussing The Filth, it was, nevertheless, an arresting device. Ignoring the pre-ordained rules about spacial limitations and challenging what the viewer expects to happen is a very powerful trick indeed.

This is all a bit of a rambling explanation as to why I like this so much. Although clearly not as sophisticated as the two examples above, anything that uses space so creatively, and challenges what the viewer thinks they are going to see, is always going to have impact.

Shame I don’t speak French.

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