A Hobo Lobo Adventure is very different from the other pieces we have looked through throughout the semester. I actually regret not finding it first because I enjoyed it that much. There is just one thing I did not like from this piece and it is the lack of music in the beginning. Something I point out first from all previous pieces is the sound. It was something I definitely missed because the sounds usually help me focus on the piece and follow through until the end. I followed through and finished it even without a lot of sound.
After noticing sound I focus on interaction with the viewer/reader. I as the reader got to interact with this quite often. I loved the pop ups and the movement and how my participation was required to help keep the piece moving.
When beginning this piece I saw the title and had no idea what it meant. I looked it up real quick to find that lobo meant timber wolf and hamlet meant a small village. I assumed hobo meant what everyone knows it stands for which is a homeless person and I was correct. The hobo lobo is the main character in the piece. He is seen as a possible hero when there is news about rats being all around the village. Hobo lobo is expected to take care of the situation by the mayor.
Speaking of the mayor, my favorite part was when his face popped up on the screen so unexpectedly. I love when I cant predict something coming in a piece and that for sure I did not see coming.
There were many pop ups that moved all around the screen jumping around and sliding and bouncing. This could be distracting to some but I did enjoy the craziness of it all. The illustrations were great and really played a big part in making the characters come to life.
Initially, I was not expecting that I would enjoy this piece - I think something about the title suggested it was "medieval" sounding, and if I'm being honest, that's not really my style. However, one of the first things the piece does is poke fun at its "medieval" origins by saying, "Once upon a time, where someone probably doesn't care about because of this old-sounding time period," or something akin to that. That's what started to grab my attention that I had pegged this piece as something completely different.
Additionally, the three-dimensional aspect of the art is incredible. I love the take of this fairytale pop-up style that turns into like an almost animated movie: I think it's aesthetically beautiful and creatively brilliant. Not to mention, the narrative itself is incredibly smart. Even though it takes place in a "medieval" setting, supposedly, the political crux of the whole story is completely relevant to what is happening today.
To add, it's presented in a way that could still be read to children; consequently, it's important to remember that fairytales themselves, while family-friendly, often have deep, underlying meanings behind them that are often a lot uglier and adult-oriented, rather than just being explicitly created for children. Hobo Lobo combines the fairytale elements to create a continuing visually appealing, entertaining, and intellectual narrative, and I wish that this piece of electronic lit had more for us to explore.
I am ecstatic that Katherine chose Hobo Lobo of Hamelin for her presentation because this is such a dynamic piece. I did not come across this piece in my search of the three volumes when looking for the work that I would present, but I am glad that I had the chance to experience it. I was immediately pulled in by the sterling description of the piece because it captures the very essence within the work in that it can be “flat yet 3D, still yet animated, linear yet temporally scrubbable”. The very feel and appearance of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin embodies this sort of inverted child-like nature that’s hard to look away from, and too intriguing to not continue through. Every aspect of the work is particularly placed right down to the names that portray the characters they are bestowed upon (e.g. Hobo Lobo, which literally means homeless timber wolf or Dick Mayor seeing as how the mayor is exactly what his first name implies, or at least I thought so).
I feel that there is something to be said about motion in digital contexts with this piece alone: the way in which it can work or may not work, and the affordances it brings to the field. Hobo Lobo of Hamelin definitely confirms the ways in which motion, or rather the illusion of it, can defy what traditional electronic pieces offer. Now, this piece did not emphasize sound, but when sound was used it was important. If I can recall correctly, only a couple of the “pages” used sound effects, but I think they effectively evoked a particular emotion in the audience to go along with where the story was at the time. In addition, I did, at first, have some reservations about the way items kept moving and changing as I read on some of the pages, but I quickly realized that I could pause that particular changing reel, which helped me to focus on what I was reading a little better.
Moving along, I would like to say that I took note of the description before entering this digital pop-up book. Stevan Živadinovic´’s work, as the description points out, is inspired by the work of Jaques Tati. In my research of this French filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter, it was interesting to find that his first three films (name them all here) possessed this recurring theme of western society’s fixation on material goods. This concept speaks heavily to the way Hobo Lobo looks for wealth and bragging rights for the job he is hired to do in taking care of the rats in Hamelin. The mayor does not follow through in paying Hobo Lobo, so essentially Hobo Lobo loses out on what he wanted, but maybe his intentions in securing wealth and gaining bragging rights for his deed (as if it would improve the quality of his life) is what harmed him more and left him in an even worse position than when he started. I was saddened that the story was not completely finished, but it only gives readers that much more to look forward to when this piece is finally finished. I thoroughly enjoyed navigating through this work. Hats off to Stevan Živadinovic´!
Here is a link to a GoogleDocs version of my E-Lit review: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_TUNY6S7RnmowsHXElTZuXMQURM3Z-Etola2aRXpeEs/edit
I also shared the document with everyone through e-mail. The version I shared via e-mail contains the proper formatting, whereas the GoogleDocs version looks kind of weird. The content is basically the same, though.
I'm looking forward to sharing this piece with all of you tonight!
First and foremost, I would like to point out how much this story reminded me of my childhood, except, it was an animated version. When first opening up the hobo lobo hyperlink I imagined something very immature and dry, but it was the total opposite. Looking at the story at first reminded me of the story of the big bad wolf. A story of something that is playful and has a hidden message behind it leaving it up to you to find out what that is by the end of the story. There were many parts where I was excited to continue reading because this playful banter including some bad words, was clever enough to actually have an underlying message behind it. The story talks about a peasant wolf hired to get rid of disturbing rats in the town of Hamelin.
Rats being actual characters in the story, the mayor wants help in getting rid of them and getting them out of town. This wolf decides to help for money and bragging rights in return. What is expected of the mayor after getting rid of the rats was not met. As the wolf waited for his reward for getting rid of the rats, the mayor decides to say that there was no written contract in his payment agreement. The wolf then took the mayor to court but it ended up going to the best interest of the mayor. So by the end of the story, the wolf, ended up more broke than ever. What I got out of the story, and what I feel the underlying message was is how, in the end, you can’t expect money, earned by doing a distasteful wealthy- job, to lead you anywhere wholesome yet doing what you like will. The mayor the whole time did not have good intentions for this wolf helping him out.
These are great life lessons to be aware of in this dog eat dog world we live in. At first I thought I was going to read about the story of the three little pigs. I was clearly wrong. Once I started seeing the curse words, I knew that this was clearly going to be a strong and adult like story. The way the stories images dragged from left to right and moved with the words was so cool to see. I feel like the animation as well as the sounds and dark moments in the story had impact on how the author wanted the tone to feel like in that specific part. It was so amazing how you felt the anger and every other emotion while reading certain parts. I would definitely recommend this story to other readers that are interested in e- lit. The many ways this story was a success can mean the same for many others.