A recurrent theme on WRT has been remediated paper interfaces like virtual books and virtual catalogs. Another has been hypermedia comics such as interactive comics with animated panels or comics generators producing comics mashups.

Bound By Law is both a mashup comic and a paper remediation. The comic is on copyright as it applies to documentary film making, and it is available through a Flash-based remediated paper interface. The art draws partly on the comics treatise style of Scott McCloud (exploring an infographical landscape) and partly on zineinfluenced mashup techniques, including photographs and newspaper clippings. Bound By Law was written by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, and drawn by Keith Aoki. It is distributed by Duke Law in HTML, PDF, and jpeg versions which are free for download under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Print copies are also available for purchase - they come in a large format with a nice cover, and are quite well done.

The subject matter is fascinating - I don’t think you can really follow contemporary art without being drawn into the intricacies of copyright law. Still, it is a testamony to the creators that I finished Bound By Law wishing for a sequel, or series of sequels. In particular, it would be interesting to see a more self-referential work that took on the unique intellectual property challenges of, for example, web comics and blogging - image sampling and remixing, screen captures, quotation, linking, the act of publication, the nested rights restrictions of host, domain, and content management system, etc. etc. etc….

2 Responses to “Remediated paper for copyright comics”

  1. 1 Jeremy Douglass

    Yet another remediated paper showcase is “Turning the Pages: Leaf through 15 great books and magnify the details” at The British Library website. It
    uses a shockwave remediated paper interface to full scans of 15 books, sometimes accompanied by text and audio. Includes the Carroll’s original “Alice”, Jane Austen’s early work, Leonardo’s sketchbook, Mozart’s musical diary and more.

    I’m waiting for someone to write the article on the history of the remediated paper interface, for various values of “paper” - perhaps starting at Xerox PARC and working forward. It seems like it is about time….

  2. 2 Jeremy Douglass

    As examples of remediated paper have piled up in a folder over the last year, I’ve been contemplating a short article on the history of remediated paper - not e-paper interfaces, but the digital interface that represents a recto-verso turning action, whether by a rich 3D image, wipe-transitions, or a simple corner-triangle that indicates the turned-down corner of the next page.

    The interest here, I suspect, is just the digital representation of textual surfaces as material (having, for example, the ability to bend or some transparent quality). I think it comes down to the recto-verso formation - the idea of obverse information. CRTs, LCDs, and even most epaper prototypes are simply not recto-verso technologies. It seems a long way from here until the day we arrive at a single sheet of double-sided e-paper that might use *turning* as an interface metaphor, something like use of motion and rotation in handheld displays such as the iPhone.

    Until then, turning interfaces in digital text may be the nostalgic remainder of another, wholly different form of media literacy.

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