- Comparative literature studies
- Visual cultures
- Art studies and sciences not elsewhere classified
- Digital media
The project intends to examine a key corpus of digital comics from a formal perspective, analyzing the way they experiment with the features offered by the digital format. This involves reflecting on the forms that can be adopted in the digital environment once the page format is no longer a constraint. It also means investigating their specificities for what concerns multimodality (the inclusion of different modes, such as audio and animations) and interactivity (letting the reader actively navigate the structures she is facing). Finally, it implies reflecting on the question of the preservation of digital comics when faced to issues of technological obsolescence.
This project, therefore, deals with a recent subject that not much research has yet analyzed, especially in English. It investigates whether digital comics must be considered a new medium, and which characteristics they possess; it combines the existing literature about digital comics with research on narratology, digital literature, and game studies, resulting in an innovative critical framework that addresses concepts long discussed in those fields like storyworld and immersion, playability and design, experientiality and hypertextuality; it does so by confronting a vast and fragmented material, in the belief that the digital dimension of comics will be the main field of experimentation in terms of storytelling technique for the years to come.