Things that matter: Representing everyday technological things in comics

Zara Dinnen

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This article will consider the representation of the things that constitute our digital everyday in Danica Novgorodoff’s Refresh Refresh (2009), and comic strips commissioned by The Guardian for a series titled ‘A cartoonist’s view on the world we live in’ (2012). It will study the work of drawing the digital: how do we depict computers and networks in graphic narratives? And what specific decisions and discourses are brought to bear through the affordances of image-text narratives? Taking an understanding of ‘things’ from Bill Brown’s ‘Thing theory’, and Bruno Latour’s ‘From matters of fact to matters of concern’, this article will argue that computers are elusive cultural objects that will always resist straightforward narrative, and that in representation, thinking of computers as things might proffer an expansive frame of reference. Using this assertion as a theoretical base it will offer a critical approach to graphic texts that are considered in their representation of the digital; suggesting that graphic narratives offer a particular set of representational tools for depicting the digital in all its complex thingliness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-329
JournalStudies in Comics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


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