Home > Uncategorized > counting backwards from 168

counting backwards from 168

About seven days ago I was trying to finish up my deck for the Federal Reserve’s WEDGE confence in Philadelphia. Since then, I’ve keynoted my first conference as an Adaptive Path employee, gotten blogged/critiqued for a speaking gig for the first time, and had my first essay published on the AP site.

That, in addition to my regular duties as a interaction designer, has effectively turned my brain to oatmeal.

I have absolutely no idea how Jesse handles talking to people he’s never met about AJAX, all the time, every day. I try to do it with jetlag and I wind up saying AJAX stood (at coining) for “asynchronous Java and XML” rather than “javascript and XML”. I don’t know how Dan can balance all the writing he’s doing to get his book cranked out, be an active blogger, and still kick ass as an interaction designer. I can’t fathom how Adam has more ideas to share with us immediately after people have started to understand just how important/brilliant the thoughts he laid out in Everyware are. I am surrounded by some really amazing people.

And I’ve no idea how they do it without collapsing.

In an effort to ensure I wouldn’t be expected to regularly come up with interesting commentary on what’s happening in anything related to my work, I swore the first post I would write after my traffic multiplied by several orders of magnitude (thanks, guys!) would be about comic books.

You know, to get people’s expectations down to a marginal level.

Despite my best efforts, tho, even the comics I read wind up referencing the business I’m in. For evidence, check out the letter column in New Avengers #18 (pick yours up at Isotope, if you live here in the City). In it, hotshot writer and eventual Marvel Editor in Chief Brian Michael Bendis had this to say:

Having spoken with many of my comics heroes from the generation before mine, I’ve learned that they had no idea if they were popular or influential or if anyone was even reading their comics. … My generation of comics creators, we get almost instant feedback. … There are now dedicated groups for any and all comic book series and creators. So many opportunities for discussion that you could easily take them for granted. … I love the accountability.

It goes on to serve as a pretty huge acknowledgement (by a luminary of the industry, no less) that the internet has fundamentally changed the nature of narrative in comics. Editor’s notes, recaps, and the relationships between creators and readers that feeds how stories evolve month to month – all of it has changed in very short order thanks to fansites, wiki entries and online critique.

A 60 year old industry is evolving in ways no one could have anticipated even a few years back… please tell me I’m not the only person on this side of the fence paying attention to that fact.

I’m not gonna tell you what to read, but you should be taking a look at this kind of stuff. It’s certainly more interesting than another f-ing article about MySpace.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 3, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    and that’s just the ‘normal’ stuff. check reverend ellis’ lyrics:

    “If you generated a wiki — essentially, a networked, highly-hyperlinked directory of information — in advance of a comics series’ release, and stamped the book with the URL of the wiki… and, conceivably, even somehow marked pages and panels with URLs that take you inside the wiki structure, in any of a variety of ways from subtle to as blatant and clunky as that old editorial-note caption box that littered Marvel comics of old… you invite a peculiarly modern involvement in the work. With a single book, in fact, you can create the sense of immersion in a universe that came, in the Sixties, from buying eight different lightly-connected Marvel comics. Immersion and, in a sense, interaction. Internet culture has become defined in part by what can be termed “extended comsumption.” Mash-ups. Making music videos out of mp3s and recut anime. The explosion of fanfiction. These things don’t always necessarily qualify as art, to some, but they do express a change in the way we relate to and handle our arts.”

    and furthermore…


  2. May 3, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    oh. the warren ellis quote was from here, btw:

  3. May 3, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    “Extended consumption” is probably the most inclusive piece of terminology I’ve heard for describing all the various ways people are stretching their engagements with entertainment they love/obsess over. It’s wish fulfillment, as best as I can see; that desire I had as a kid to live in the universes my books and movies portrayed, to continue well past the lifespan of the original passive experience.

    Both of those are fantastic links. Cheers for that.

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