Multiverse: Control & Purpose

Cover image: Figure 1. Digital artwork for Multiverse (both sides).

My tutor and I had a conversation about my work so far, and one of her points about Multiverse was that the viewer has little time to take in each combination as a whole story. She suggested a different form over which a reader might have more control. Furthermore, I had noticed that the threads didn’t naturally turn as much as I thought they would, and the same combinations would come up again and again, as the threads either returned to their resting position or flipped over in unison.

So, when it came time for me to digitally refine the artwork, I began to think of other physical forms the comic could take other than a mobile, in which the narrative could still be randomised or at least in motion. I had the idea of having the panels set in a ‘page,’ but with some sort of pin running through them (in my sketch I specify a cocktail stick) so they turn around to reveal an alternate panel on the other side:

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Figure 2. Sketch of alternative Multiverse concept. 

However, this seemed like a difficult thing to practically construct, so I had another idea of the panels being set into the page like jigsaw pieces, which a reader could take out and put back in a different order. At this point I had the idea for the comic being part of an album cover, to more tangibly link it to the inspiration for its content, and signify a real-world context and purpose for this particular comic-artefact.

I drew new artwork based on the ideas I had already generated, and consciously tried to link them more cohesively together, using devices such as the smoke (which weaves throughout the background of the comic), the skyline, and the ladder to the moon:

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Figure 3. Digital artwork for Multiverse (side 1).
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Figure 4. Digital artwork for Multiverse (side 2).

I then printed this artwork on to sticker paper, which I used to cover sheets of greyboard. I then laser cut the frame and panels out of the greyboard, using experience I gained from making the dice for Black & White. I also made a sleeve to hold a CD on the other side.

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Figure 5. Pull-out-panel version of Multiverse.
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Figure 6. Close-up of pull-out panel.
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Figure 7. Close-up of pull-out panel.
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Figure 8. Pull-out-panel version of Multiverse, reverse side.
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Figure 9. Pull-out-panel version of Multiverse.

I’m extremely pleased with how the pull-out-panels concept turned out. However, I might make another version, because several problems could be ironed out. Firstly, and most importantly – the sleeve is too small to fit a CD! This was a really basic error that I could easily have rectified if I’d made a quick prototype. Second, the laser cutter left small (but noticeable) brown scorch marks in places, so I might try putting masking tape over the artwork to protect it while being cut.

In any case, I think I’m done with this particular concept. I like the way the interactivity has a point to it, in a way which reflects the ideas behind the content (the Many Worlds Interpretation and creative responses to trauma), but I’d be interested to explore other ideas which tried to deconstruct a particular topic with more purpose (as I attempted to do previously with my dice).

 

References:

Eels. (1998). Electro-shock blues [CD]. DreamWorks.

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