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America elect: a graphic novel

America Elect: a graphic novel
excerpt from America Elect: a graphic novel

With all the hype around US elections this morning, I was keeping an eye out for the unusual when this gem leapt out of the ether, grabbing my attention.

America elect: the graphic novel provides a very brief summary of US politics in the lead up to this election.  What makes this unique and, in my opinion, worthy of mention on this website, is the dynamic style.

The image above is fairly typical of the stark black & white imagery with which most images are drawn, but what I cannot capture here is the interactivity of the medium.  As you scroll down the page, images and text boxes roll in and out of view.  One person in an image becomes a crowd then an individual takes the focal point in front of the crowd.  An image of a treasure chest with icons around it swirls, reminiscent of 1970s LSD-inspired artwork and iconography.  This graphic novel has to be seen, it needs to be interacted with on the webz to fully appreciate the level of creativity and dynamism.

In the interests of objectivity and a well-rounded review I suppose I should add criticism although I am reluctant to do so.  As I scroll down the images can move unevenly.  I’m guessing this is because scrolling is analogous to activating a flicker book, the kind where you flick the pages rapidly and the images combine to give the illusion of movement.  I scroll down and the page doesn’t seem to move because the scrolling action is activating movement within the (subjectively) static image; once that movement is complete the image continues to scroll downwards.  This creates the appearance of jerky movement between frames.  My personal thoughts?  Criticising this level of creativity for such a minor feature is analogous to criticising a well-written SF TV series for low-budget special effects.  I’ll trade good writing and creativity for top-quality SFX with bad writing any day of the week.

I strongly suspect that some devices may have difficulties interacting with this graphic novel; as I don’t use other devices for interacting with the webz I don’t have a means of testing this hypothesis.   If you have trouble viewing this graphic novel on a mobile device, I recommend bookmarking it and viewing it on your PC.  It’s well worth the extra effort.

America elect takes the medium of the internet, effectively using its potential without straining download capacity even for wireless users (I’m not sure about dial-up).  I’d love to see more artwork and creativity along these lines.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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