I have been creating a series of mashup responses to Nick Sousanis’ grand vision of the world, his graphic dissertation, Unflattening. He and Kevin Hodgson and I have been tweeting back and forth about some of his other illustration and writing including a marvelous collection called Possibilities, some of which you can see here.
One of his pages has a panel full of rabbit-ish allusions that serve as an object lesson in what comix have to teach us ‘too busy’ adults. A lot. In fact I have included a public, shareable, editable ‘Thinglink’ annotated image below so that you can follow his trail or my trail or blaze your own trail.
I find that the benefit of annotation is very similar to reading a poem out loud–it allows the reader to haunt the poet. In this case it allows me to slowly (and that is the damned key, slow down as a reader) consider what Sousanis has written and drawn. Part of that reconsideration is commenting upon, adding to (and I hope not distracting and subtracting from) and translating his work into my heart. Or to use the poetry analogy above–I am breathing exactly the same breaths the poet wants me to breathe as I speak the words aloud. Only in this case I am ‘breathing ‘ through his eyes, seeing and considering as he has.
This is not just close reading: this is macro reading. And we can think this together with Thinglink. What I am discovering is old nodes and new and the connective sparks between. For example, I hadn’t thought about how common the rabbit trope is and that makes me wonder why. Nor had I thought about a comix page as a game board to be played which I immediately connect one of my favorite thinkers, James Carse, and the idea of infinite games. So play the infinite game of connecting and linking and sharing with us here or on Thinglink. Or start your own and invite me over.
Bonus Question: can you see the Fibonacci sequence on the page? I didn’t at first and had to have it pointed out to me.