Re-animating Theory is a project aimed at addressing an underlying problem in the academic setting, especially in regards to undergraduate students. A lack of enthusiasm and engagement with the required theory reading. The notion of presenting information in a digestible and entertaining fashion, it is hoped that this will allow students to synthesise the critical themes addressed, and extrapolate the information they have learned, into their own projects. As stated in the project proposals original documentation, “Recognising that the contemporary student is cine-literate we want to see if animating sections of theory helps students access the material and whether it helps them to synthesise the critical themes addressed there with their practical projects. The purpose of the animation is to explain and communicate key terms” [Brownie, Lees-Maffei, & Velody. 2017:01].
Designed in London in 2010, this cocktail dress is made of silk to which the design is then digitally printed on to. Printed with photographic images of reptile skins, displaying colours of green, blue and yellow.
Cap sleeves, ruched top layer of chiffon over bodice and skirt, low-cut V neckline, central back zip.
- Length: 88cm,
- Circumference: 67cm waist,
- Width: 5cm shoulders, 44cm armpit to armpit.
Designed in Britain in late 2002, this hooded coat is made of think, pale pink double sided cashmere.
Pieced together with contrasting tones, long tight sleeves, zip up forearms, and a metal zip down the centre front.
- Length: 110cm
- Circumference: 88cm bust, 68cm waist.
Designed in England, and made in Italy in 1995, this coat is made of a periwinkle blue cashmere blend, with a mandarin collar.
Seven black buttons from neckline to waist, two side front pockets with flaps, tan embroidery on front left gore along the hemline.
- Length: 128com
- Circumference: 96mc chest.
Designed in Great Britain in 1997, this jumpsuit is made of pink, maroon, triacetate and rayon twill with an open cut front.
Designed in Britain in 2004, this skirt suit is made of a black quilted silk in a dense lozenge pattern with a flower edged design.
Long frock coat, cut away at the front, eighteenth century style.
- Length: 108cm coat, 66cm skirt.
- Circumference: 68cm skirt waist.
Designed in Britain in 2010, this coat is made of jacquard-woven silk satin and tailored.
Black silk, woven with gold Jacquard design to show cranes, boats and Oriental imagery.
- Length: 112cm,
- Circumference: 70cm waist.
Designed in Britain in early 2007, this trouser suit is made of grey striped wool and silk.
Grey striped wool trouser suit, jacket-cum-waistcoat, silk waistcoat back, fitted waist with long wool sleeves, collar and lapels extended into long sash ties.
- Length: 55cm Jacket body, 120cm Jacket including lapels, 110cm trousers.
- Circumference: 70cm jacket waist.
Designed in the United Kingdom in 2010, this evening dress is made of printed silk and gilded feathers.
Short evening dress, one shoulder bodice, skirt of asymmetrically draped and swathered printed silk, single batwing sleeve.
- Height: 800mm
- Width: 500mm
- Length: 1600mm
Designed in the United Kingdom in 2010, and made in Italy, this evening dress is made of Jacquard-woven silk, sequins, beads, silk and satin.
Short evening dress, bodice made of Jacquard-woven silk, reproducing a Bosch painting and further accented with embroidery of gold beads and sequins, short pleated black skirt attached to the lower outside edge.
- Length: 91cm, 56cm sleeves,
- Width: 43.5cm, 39cm armpit to armpit,
- Circumference: 70cm waist.
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1317872/supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-coat-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed: 20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) Plato’s Atlantis. [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1156952/platos-atlantis-dress-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed:20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1193219/coat-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed: 20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O84303/jumpsuit-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed: 20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) Skirt Suit. [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1317874/skirt-suit-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed:20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1317876/coat-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed: 20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1317875/sarabande-trouser-suit-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed: 20/02/2017]
- Victoria & Albert Archives. (2017) Evening Dress. [Online] February 20th. Available from: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1224044/evening-dress-alexander-mcqueen/ [Last Accessed: 20/02/2017]
To keep some resemblance between the illustrations and the actual people being depicted, I worked off of photographs displayed in the Victoria & Albert archives. Out of comfort and to save time, the illustrations were created on a Samsung Galaxy Tab B, using the software, Autodesk SketchBook. Images would be imported in, the alpha would be lowered to around 20%, depending on how bright the original image is. On a second layer, I would sketch over the image in my own style. And finally, on the third layer, colour would be added. These would then be exported as .png files, taken into Photoshop on my computer, and edited to create the final product.
Scott McCloud is on the forefront of comics research. Still working now, his most notable work consists of Understanding Comics in 1993, Making Comics in 2006, and Reinventing Comics in 2000. Described in The New York Times as ‘’The Marshall McLuhan of comics’, McCloud dedicates a large portion of his theoretic work, into exploring the history, vocabulary and methods of the media. He explores all of these, while using the medium of comics, allowing him to demonstrate his conclusions within the medium in question. Along with his theory work, he is the author and artist of several short comics and graphic novels, as well as making appearances at convention panels and TED talks.
- TED (2009) Scott McCloud: Understanding Comics. [Online] YouTube. January 14th. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXYckRgsdjI [Last Accessed: 17/04/2017]
in More than Word: Comics as a Means of Teaching Multiple Literacies, Dale Jacob takes a much more academic approach than the previous examples. Jacob acknowledges the lower status that comics are seen by, describing them as “simplified version[s] of word-based texts” [Jacob. 2007:21]. Citing incidences in comic history, such as the publishing of Frederic Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, as one of the key sources for this mind set. However, Jacob brings to mind, the idea that a student may see this, especially in regards to using them as study, as an easier method to read. Viewing it less as work, and more as play.
“In comics, there are elements present besides words, but these elements are just as important in making meaning from the text. In fact, it is impossible to make full sense of the words on the page in isolation from the audio, visual, gestural, and spatial. For example, the first page of Polly and the Pirates (the first issue of a six-issue miniseries) opens with three panels of words from what the reader takes to be the story’s narrative voice. Why? Partially it is because of what the words say-how they introduce a character and begin to set up the story-but also it is because of the text boxes that enclose the words. That is, most people understand from their experiences of reading comics at some point in their history that words in text boxes almost always contain the story’s narrative voice and denote a different kind of voice than do words in dialogue balloons” [Jacob. 2007:22]
- Jacobs, D. (2007) More than words: Comics as a means of Teaching multiple literacies. The English Journal, Vol 96, No 3 (Jan 2007). pp. 19-25
In Why Teach with Comics?, Jennifer Haines, much like the other articles and studies I have read during my research, talks about the benefits of using comics for education. Unlike some of the other studies, Haines discusses, though briefly, the uses for comics when breaching a language barrier. Making note of how the combination of images and text can allow for the reader to connect deeper with the meaning.
“To a reluctant reader or an English Language Learner, a prose text can be incredibly daunting; it is a wall of words, overwhelming to start, impossible to finish. The key to getting these learners to read is to engage their imagination and interest. Comics are a perfect vehicle. They divide up the text into manageable chunks, which are supported by images. These images help readers increase their vocabulary through the connection between words and images. Comics are especially useful for English Language Learners from Korea, China, and Japan, for whom comics are an inherent part of their culture. By offering a style of reading with which these students are familiar, they will be more willing to make the effort to read.” [Haines. 2012]
“Even beyond the support given to reluctant readers and English Language Learners, the benefits of graphic novels and comics in the classroom are vast. They can:
- engage readers who learn visually, and who are comfortable with visual media, such as video games and computer graphics
- increase vocabulary
- encourage readers to explore different genres, and develop an appreciation for different literary and artistic styles
- teach positive messages, such as helping others, working to one’s best ability, working as a team, and persevering
- open a reader’s mind to new ways of storytelling, and increase their imagination, through the unique combination of text and pictures used in comics to convey the story.” [Haines. 2012]
- Haines, J. (2012) Why Teach with Comics? [Online] Reading with Pictures. Available from: http://www.readingwithpictures.org/2012/04/why-teach-with-comics/ [Last Accessed: 17/04/2017]
In an article for Comic Book Resources, Corey Blake discusses the benefits of comics in the classroom. He cites multiple studies, including Mathew Price’s 2013, NewsOK article, OU Study shows graphic novel readers retain more information versus traditional textbook users. Blake phrases his findings in a more general fashion, allowing for his point to be understood more easily. Describing a superheroes fans ability to recall trivial pieces of information, and applying such logic to something like a history text book.
“Just look at how easily we superhero fans memorize our favourite character’s power levels, sound effects, costumes and history. I could chronologically sort Cyclops’ outfits over the past 50 years faster than I could list the first 10 presidents of the United States. Why? Because there is a colourful narrative in comics form tied to Cyclops that captured my imagination when I was young. Meanwhile, there was a dry narrative tied to the U.S. presidents, probably more like a litany of facts occasionally brought to life by a good teacher. That doesn’t mean a history comic needs to give George Washington a ruby-quartz visor and Spandex, of course (although that would be pretty awesome!). U.S. history is actually pretty crazy and interesting on its own, but the engagement level will increase exponentially if we actually experience the story of Washington crossing the Delaware.” [Blake. 2013]
- Blake, C. (2013) The Benefits and Risks of Comics in Education. [Online] CBR. January 30th. Available from: http://www.cbr.com/the-benefits-and-risks-of-comics-in-education/ [Last Accessed: 17/04/2017]
In Michelle Manno’s Comics in the Classroom: Why Comics? She explores the versatility of images, and the abilitity for people to digest them, easier, in some cases, than written word. Manno uses a structure known as ‘The Three E’s of Comics’, originally set forward by Josh Elder. These ‘Es’ are: Engagement, Efficiency, and Effectiveness. Each with a different goal in mind when using comics as an educational tool.
- “Engagement: Comics impart meaning through the reader’s active engagement with written language and juxtaposed sequential images. Readers must actively make meaning from the interplay of text and images, as well as by filling in the gaps between panels.
- Efficiency: The comic format conveys large amounts of information in a short time. This is especially effective for teaching content in the subject areas (math, science, social studies, etc.).
- Effectiveness: Processing text and images together leads to better recall and transfer of learning. Neurological experiments have shown that we process text and images in different areas of the brain: known as the Dual-Coding Theory of Cognition. These experiments also indicate that pairing an image with text leads to increased memory retention for both. With comics, students not only learn the material faster, they learn it better.” [Manno.2014]
- Manno, M. (2014) Comics in the Classroom: Why Comics?. [Online] Teach.com. August 4th. Available from: https://teach.com/blog/why-comics/ [Last Accessed: 12/04/2017]