Exercise 2.1

Bring together a series of 12 images (a typology) in which a particular motif appears again and again. For this exercise, you may use found images (images you have at home as part of a family archive, for example) or images found online (from photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, for example). Select an appropriate way to display your series (as an animated slide presentation, in grid form, as single images, etc.) and present them on your learning log.

Look at the work of Corinne Vionnet. In her series Photo Opportunities, Vionnet uses Flickr archives to pull together vast series of images taken from a similar position in popular tourist sites. She then uses digital layering techniques to bring these images together into the one frame. See Link 3

Click on the image above for a larger view of the typology click on the images below for a larger view of the individual images


This work came from 2 sources. The first was the recommendation of my tutor to think about using the Scy-fi Marvel comic route as a source of further investigation.

The second was based on the idea I extracted from the paper I found in a search for more academic research into comics. The paper was published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics under the title Producing comics culture.  In which Brienza talks about a sociological approach to the study of comics and refers to the fact that many people produce comics.

I was struck by the fact that there is no one artist accredited with a particular Marvel character. Over the years, they have been penned and brushed by many different people.

In the case of Iron Man, one of my favourite characters, people tend to think Stan Lee and created him, and Jack Kirby drew him.

While there is some truth to this, he was the brainchild of Stan Lee and scripter Larry Lieber it was Don Heck and Jack Kirby who designed his look, Jack Kirby was primarily, the cover artist and Don Heck was responsible for the interior images of the comic.

Over the years, the pen and the brush have been passed to many different people to take up the mantle of iron man, which has resulted in different looks and different stories. While Ironman by nature changes his suit more than his underpants, this change in style can be seen across a wide range of the characters who have less reason to make costume changes. These changes in look and feel are, however often refreshing and have maintained the interests of an avid audience for over 70 years.

The next element I considered when looking at this exercise was the work of Corinne Vionnet, In her series Photo Opportunities. In this work, Vionnet took multiple images of the same places and montaged them over each other to create a blurred image hat still gave the feel of the place.

I decided to take an original comic cover and montage multiple different portrayals of the same character. To keep in the spirit of a common motif, every one of them was at some point a member of the avengers. I also sourced versions of the original comic that had the classic spiderman logo on the face. I discovered that for an extended period there were comics with this logo which in later issues became all sorts of other characters and sometimes a bar code. Research led me to discover that in the ’50s 60’ and early ’70s Marvel would put a bar code on all comics it produced for the retailers to use. They sold comics at two prices to direct sales and retailers. The cunning retailers found a way of buying the cheaper ones and returning the unsold ones at the higher price. Marvel fixed this problem by putting a barcode on the retail versions and the spiderman head on the direct sales.

This has led later to make some comics more valuable than others, depending on how they are marked.

For my montages, I took the original cover and put some of the critical elements on a separate top layer then sandwiched the variant superheroes between them. I lowered the opacity of all of the additional layers to 70% and switched all but the top one to hard light to make the blend more pleasing and to make one figure stand out and give a sense of who the comic was about.

I was quite pleased with the results though blending 20 images 12 times took a very long time and cutting out the individual people was a lot of work hopefully it worked well for an assignment