Download Akira Vol. 1, No. 2 by Katsuhiro Otomo PDF

By Katsuhiro Otomo

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Documentaries are commonly, if not always, constructions claiming authenticity while rendering their mediation and constructed character as invisible and imperceptible as possible. Such notions of guileless immediacy quickly disintegrate at closer scrutiny. Film, as record of any given event, is “a construction which intervenes in that reality separating out the to-be-recorded/reviewed from the seen and thus structuring an included scene and an excluded reality” (Cowie, 2009, 55). Moreover, the upshot of both pre- and post-production stages involved in the making of documentaries is that the reality supposedly “captured” is to a significant degree constructed.

However, in view of the diminished plausibility of the hope for representation to ever simultaneously achieve meaning and neutrality, this need not necessarily be a hindrance. The very self-consciousness in comics with regards to the separation between reality and its representation, that they “call attention to their own making” (Versaci, 2007, 12), might be perceived as gratifying precisely for this reason. That the illusion of a neutral or transparent representation cannot be upheld, even at the level of the image itself, paradoxically perhaps, opens up a different register of authenticity.

This chapter of the comic provides a useful opportunity to consider the complex and sometimes uncertain relationships between sound and its representation in comics. Already in the opening panel his eyes bulge and drops of sweat trickle and project from his brow, as staring out from the page in direct address to the reader he begins a litany of complaints. The complaints concern unfulfilled promises of a review of his latest comic in the Village Voice, and the lack of recognition of his work more generally.

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