It’s incredible how time flies. Our journey through Digital Genres is almost finished as this is my final blog. Here I will talk about an E-lit work from the Volume 2 that I found interesting and original, a new way of portraying comics on web.
Hobo Lobo of Hamelin
Hobo Lobo, a wolf, arrives to the town of Hamelin: a town that is over-run by human-like rats. The wolf sets up shop. Although Hobo Lobo’s pitched craft is to deal with simple problems, the mayor soon initiates his services for solving a heavy problem: getting rid of the rat population. Previous attempts have failed at keeping the rats at bay so Dick Mayor looks for some divin intervention. Now, the reason why this issue is so important is because Mayor hopes that by getting rid of this social problem, he will gain more votes in the upcoming election.
So Mayor, after visiting a fortune-teller, recruits the wolf in solving this issue with the promise of fabulous wealth and riches as compensation. For the money, Hobo Lobo does exterminate the rats, leading them off a cliff.
The repercussions are felt by the town, but not in a good way (as we can see in the images). Mayor happily takes responsibility for the improvement. Meanwhile, Hobo Lobo has not been paid.
So, after a reasonable time of waiting, Lobo calls up the mayor’s office, gets the receptionist, and is unsatisfactorily dismissed. Afterwards, Lobo walks straight up to the mayoral candidate in his office and gets cussed out. Mayor immediately has him tossed out.
Hobo Lobo resorts to suing the mayor, but due to the fact that there was no written contract, Hobo Lobo is labeled a liar by the court and the mayor. Now Hobo Lobo owes the mayor for two trials (after the mayor countersued him for blackmail and extortion). The mayor believes justice has been served; Hobo Lobo is now poorer than ever.
This is a digital pop-up book about a city, the rats from which it is invaded, a wolf, a selfish and opportunist mayor. This digital broadside adapts the story and setting of the medieval Pied Piper. It’s flat and 3D at the same time as the images overlap and move as the reader continues reading. It was built from scratch for the web (in HTML) as an exercise in medium synthesis. Hobo Lobo weaves a satirical fable that breaks with web comic conventions, from video games and animation in order to create something completely different and new.
Stevan Živadinović’s piece is one of the first examples of digital sequential art to make use of parallax and limited animation. A wolf turned Renaissance journeyman travels to the town of Hamelin where the local mayor refuses to pay him for ridding the town of rats. The story catches the reader’s attention by playing with static and kinetic imagery, together in hybrid ways. Rather than using the page breaks of traditional comics, Hobo Lobo’s polylinear timeline proceeds unbroken as the reader goes through the episodes. It’s a digital experience that gives the illusion that you’re looking inside a story box where a little technology can have a surprising and even old-fashioned effect.
While I was reading, a short sentence jumped at my eye. It is right after Hobo Lobo has taken care of the rats, and the town has had time to react to their disappearance. To describe how the citizens felt about it, the author writes, “This was noticed”. Simply, but very powerful, especially when you see the illustrations at the top where the kid kicks a ball at a wall, and looks very disappointed. His friend, who I think was a rat, is not there to play with him. That’s when you realize (and I believe that’s the author’s aim) that the rats weren’t as evil as the Mayor described them to be: they were friends, neighbors, other citizens of Hamelin. At this point, the tone of the story has turned less bright and more bleak. Maybe the townspeople might speak up against these actions and expel the mayor. But that is to be decided… Yes, because the story of Hamelin ends without really ending: it is only two sections long at the moment, but looks promising to be watched for coming updates. Furthermore, the author is making much of his code available under a Creative Commons License to allow other creators to make similarly comics.
Another thing I did is to create my own twitter bot by following instuctions. What is it?
A Twitter bot is a software program that sends out automated posts on Twitter.
Most Twitter bots work simply, sending out tweets periodically or responding to instances of specific phrases in user messages. More sophisticated Twitterbots perform various tasks, such as mining and analyzing tweets in real time. Socialbots, for example, incorporate artificial intelligence and sophisticated linguistic software to convincingly replicate human interaction.
Many Twitter bots are specialized for various purposes. Depending on what the particular purpose is, Twitter bots can be useful, informative, annoying or dangerous — just like human tweeters. According to The New York Times, on average, only 35 percent of the followers of any Twitter account are actual people. Presumably, the remaining 65 percent are Twitter bots.
About this course I can say that helped me a lot to understand and discover the digital world, the one we are living in. At first, my basic knowledge of computer made me think how difficult this course would be, but I was wrong. With the right teaching and method everything is possible. Now I’m ready to experience the digital world on my own.