Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lee Smolin and Picture Books

In The Sunday Times I write about graphic novels and Lee Smolin's The Trouble with Physics, the best book about contemporary science I have ever read.

11 comments:

  1. Lee Smolin is truly the Gandalf of modern physics!

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  2. I seem to remember a Jeffrey Archer Gets Stuck in a Lift with Paris Hilton Theory on this very blog, which could be the door to truth these men of science are after. Sometimes it takes a layman to herald the dawn.

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  3. Nice article on graphic novels, although I was a little surprised the phenomenal growth of manga wasn't mentioned.

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  4. You sort of hinted at it towards the end of your piece, but I'd suggest that the graphic novel's passionate and blossoming affair with the video game is also important.

    There's been a huge amount of cross-fertilisation between the two media for years, both in terms of creative output and the people working behind the scenes.

    Indeed, having paid a flying work visit to last month's New York Comic-Con, I can assert there's superficially very little to differentiate between the geekier elements of the two sets of fans. Both terrify in equal measure. But gaming did have a strong presence on the show floor.

    There have been countless comics/graphic novels turned into games and vice-versa. The narrative universes of certain blockbuster games often, by their very nature, lend themselves perfectly to the graphic novel treatment, giving fans a rich extra helping of story beyond the fiction of the game. Microsoft's hugely popular Xbox sci-fi shooter, Halo, is a good Western example. In Japan, gaming and Manga are practically Siamese.

    We’ve had games based on comic licences for almost as long as there have been video games, of course. But it’s a more recent phenomenon, driven by vastly improved technology, where artists have had the means with which to express themselves fully, without artificial limitations; and this in turn is attracting storytellers, who are excited by the unique narrative challenges and possibilities thrown up by a medium in which the player-reader is in direct control of the hero or villain.

    You still get the brainlessly churned out licensed crap, sure; but then there’s also hugely promising endeavours such as the game incarnation of TopCow’s The Darkness – a dark, brutal, adult comic series which creator Mark Silvestri is actively involved in bringing to the small screen via a brilliant Swedish games developer. It gives fans a fresh and authentic appreciation of the franchise, while extending its appeal to a brand new audience.

    Anyway, I’m waffling, so I’ll button it. Enjoyed the article, though.

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  5. None of which explains what you were doing in Monte Carlo last week Bryan. Were you interviewing Jenson Coulthard or David Button in advance of the new Grand Prix season?

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  6. I never talk about future project, Gordon.

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  7. Yes you do, Bryan

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  8. Now that is a future project, Bryan

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  9. Grabber as my conscience? I don't think so.

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  10. Admitting first of all that this is a drive by and that I have been known to google Lee and his book, let me urge you to approach said book with a healthy dose of skepticism. He is not a disinterested reporter, and, in fact, the book is full of incorrect statements.

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