Explain Yourself: The Projector (1971) by Martin Vaughn-James and the Reinvention of Narrative

TitleExplain Yourself: The Projector (1971) by Martin Vaughn-James and the Reinvention of Narrative
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Peters, J.
Affiliation (1st Author)Concordia University (Montreal)
Section or WGComic Art Working Group
DateThurs 27 June
Slot CodeCOMT1a
Slot Code (Keyword)COMT1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
RoomHG06
Session TitleComics and Graphic Novels
Submission ID5467
Abstract

As is again the case today, in the 1960s and early 1970s there was a widespread perception that technological developments were rapidly bringing about the demise of traditional modes of reader engagement with the printed word. The Projector (1971), a “visual novel” created in Toronto by the British-born artist Martin Vaughn-James, constitutes a remarkable response to this perceived crisis. This graphic narrative features a combination of images and text inspired by comics and by Surrealist and Situationist experimentation, and informed by contemporaneous media and literary theories. As a comics-derived, book-length narrative intended for adult readers, The Projector anticipates the graphic novel. However, Vaughn-James aims at a far more radical subversion of traditional narrative than a mere transposition of form. My presentation will focus on The Projector’s deliberate attempt to confound the imposition of any preconceived logical order upon it, encouraging readers to actively participate in constructing meaning within its pages.

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