Material Information

"Action to the Word, Word to the Action: Considerations in a Projector-based Live Graphic Novel Adaptation"
Toby Malone
Patrick W. Mathis
SUNY Oswego Creative Writing Program
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Graphic novel


In April of 2011, Toronto's Young Centre for the Performing Arts premiered Kill Shakespeare, a live staged reading adaptation of a graphic novel series which featured projected comic book panels projected on a large screen and voiced by eight actors. Kill Shakespeare was packaged as a flexible touring unit, able to be mounted at short notice at special events, ComicCons, and café readings, all based around a static deck of PowerPoint slides. While this rudimentary approach to the live graphic novel was nominally successful, the inherent limitations of projecting a finite collection of frames (all pulled from the comic book) meant the project could not sustain interest over the course of a two-hour performance. Such limitations were particularly problematic in the sense of audience gaze, adaptation challenges, and action sequences. This paper is based on a 2020 adaptation of the original play script, undertaken by this paper's authors and endorsed by the creators of the Kill Shakespeare brand. This adaptation utilized a combination of projection mapping of static images and parallax animation to create a living, adaptable framework for live graphic novel innovation. To facilitate flexibility, we deviated from the original PowerPoint presentation format and restructured the content delivery system. Using Qlab running on an Apple Mac Pro as the central platform, we worked to package the visual media elements and sound beds in a single playback file that could be transitioned easily from one venue to another. This allowed us to restructure the panels and choose their arrangement, as well as when and for how long each element was presented. In this paper, we consider decisions which worked to activate and enliven the process of a live graphic novel, where dynamic panels replace static slides, with a built-in sound design, all still based around the foundational aspect of live actor voices and foley.
Collected for SUNY Oswego Institutional Repository by the online self-submittal tool. Submitted by Toby Malone.
General Note:
This is listed as 'We Band of Prodigals: the Kill Shakespeare Live Graphic Novel Process' in the Quest Virtual guide

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SUNY Oswego Institutional Repository
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SUNY Oswego
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