Sunday, December 25, 2016

Th3 Anomaly: Crossing the Rubicon

One of the highlights of my year was to speak about Th3 Anomaly, a unique, fantastic experience. It's both an art installation and a graphic novel. Funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, this steampunk narrative stars Nikola Tesla, Jules Verne, and Sarah Bernhardt as wayward travelers who end up embroiled in a time travel caper. They sail flying pirate ships, contend with ninjas, assassins, and cyborg warriors. They strive against the machinations of a shadow organization who seeks to find, steal, and exploit puzzle devices called Rubicons that hold the key to traveling through time and space. There are also romantic and family relationships that complicate matters, and the plot is a fun one that holds up well with further readings. (Personally, I felt the book was pretty dense the first time through, but I got much more out of it during return readings).
As you can see from the excerpt above and below, the artwork is gorgeously rendered through paintings, which are also available from their author/creator David Landry.

It was my distinct pleasure to get to speak about this work during the Integrative Research Panel that closed the 2016 Literacy Research Association Conference in Nashville, TN. It was great to hear about varying views and analyses of the work, as well as hearing the author speak about it. Also, getting to see a chapter's worth of paintings as well as some of the props and costumes used to stage and create the artwork was a very rewarding and thrilling experience.

Personally, I found it fascinating to speak about the mechanics of comprehending comics with how they represent and filter experiences of time and space when talking about a work that so explicitly trucks with those concepts in terms of its story and composition. At some point the talk will be posted at the LRA Conference page, and I feel it will be well worth checking out or revisiting.

Th3 Anomaly was a project from abrasiveMedia, and you can buy the book digitally or in hard copy directly from them here. You can also learn more about abrasiveMedia in this article.

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