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´!
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.
Before I actually began reading the piece I explored all the extra stuff on the page like clicking the “?” and the extra notes in the corners of the piece. I thought the site for the author was really creative and cool as well. When I began reading this piece I felt inclined to read the story out loud for some reason.
I believe that author narration would have been really helpful in this piece. On the other hand I still loved the silence. As they say silence speaks louder than words. The transitions were very surprising and eye catching as well.
I also felt like this piece was hilarious. There were times when I was shaking my head like "yes, this piece is so awesome!" At one point when the mayor went to see a psychic I was wondering where did the psychic come from.
At one point I thought that the author may have a vendetta against religious people when the mayor turned the removal of the rats into something solely based on the Divine. I think there is nothing wrong with thanking the Divine for a blessing but you should also thank the person God used to do so and you must keep your promises. It seems like the author was trying to explore criticizing hypocritical religious people. In my opinion I just hated that innuendo that I picked up on but that all religious people are just self-righteous.
This piece gets better as you proceed in the piece. I really wonder how the creator produced this.Where the author did add in music and sound effects were very complimentary in their placement. It had alot of symbolism in it too. I thought that this piece was kid friendly until I saw cursing and how the rats were actually "coked up." I was shocked and disappointed but I’m in love with this piece and can’t wait for the rest of it to be finished. When someone explores this piece for the first time, I would tell them to Expect The Unexpected.
STEVAN ŽIVADINOVIĆ’s Elit piece, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, was an amazing piece of literature. This “flat 3D” fable resembling that of a comic book easily captured my attention and maintained it throughout the use of words used. I liked the modern twist on it and it was a fun and easy way to explore the story. It seemed to me that throughout the story, each page, in which there were 7 different sections, would become more and more advanced in the graphic designs. The words began to appear less and less as the images and sounds appeared vigurously throughout the piece.
The first page starts with a problem of “coked up rats” running around their town and the mayor does not know how to handle this situation properly. He goes to see a psychic who recommends a professional and then the story moves on to page two. In this part the images appear and disappear as you scroll through the pages inside the pages and it is not until the final page within page one, where you discover some movement in the images. The crystal ball appears purple, unlike the rest of the colors on the images and it has some kind of movement to capture the readers attention and lead them into the world of what is about to happen. It is a good transition from the images not moving into what we discover later on in this piece.
On the second page we meet Hobo Lobo, and his role is significant as he promises to help anyone with any problem they may have. The mayor describes the problem of the rats and explains that Hobo Lobo will be paid for his work of disposing of the rats as long as he gets the job done. The images on this page become more intense as they being to pop up, 3D but not 3D because it is flat. Images begin to move a little and the colors green and yellow take over the illusion of this page.
The third page changes the sequence completely. There is music that begins and only one of the pages throughout this has words, the rest are images popping up and moving around. The music drastically changes from something cheerful to something gloomy, this indicating that something bad may occur soon. The colors go from blue to red as the music changes its tone.
On page four I found myself having trouble on what to focus on. I was going back and fourth between the images and the words written under those images. There was no sound, but each page had words to distract the reader from that. The story continues on and page five almost gave me a heart attack when the mayor’s face appears huge on the screen. Thank god there was no sound because that would have made it even worse! On page six Hobo decides to sue the mayor for not recognizing what he has done for him and the story continues one. The images are moving and things pop up randomly throughout the page.
The last page had me confused as to how this all ended. I suppose it really hasn’t ended at all because there is a “more to come” box indicating the story is not actually over. Overall I did enjoy navigating this story and it was more of a linear story in which the others are not. There was a beginning, middle and end to indicate when to stop… well at least for now!
My best description of “Hobo Lobo of Hamelin” would be as an interactive fable… set up almost like a storyboard, with the scenes as static animated images, moving from one point in the story to another. The creator, Steve Nivadinovic, says it’s meant to “do its own thing”.. He also points out that it’s meant to diverge from comic book artistry but there is a lot of that here. One notable aspect of his introduction is the mention of French moviemaker, Jacques Tati. I had never heard of Tati so I checked out a clip from one of his films, Playtime. It seems like the crux of his films is kind of a sight gag comedy that gets a lot of its fuel from how the average man interacts with the “modern” world. It’s kind of an absurdist comedy in a way. The creator says he drew inspiration from Tati’s ethos. I can see the correlation, as he juxtaposes a common man (the wolf) with the ways of the modern world (politics and technology) that he doesn’t seem equipped to handle.
“Hobo Lobo” was also, to me, a political satire. He chooses not to put it in any particular time or place (the idea that it’s “long ago” seems undermined when we get to the parts about modern communications). I think that helps him push a universal message about how the little guy ultimately gets screwed by the system. I love the way the art progresses across the screen from right to left, set almost as 3D static images so that you get the illusion of depth. Steve seems to work to draw your eye to the characters he wants you to see first by using color to make characters (even messages) stand out. It unfolds initially just the like the fable of the Pied Piper: there are a ton of rats, someone’s got to get them out of town, and a stranger ultimately stumbles onto the scene and takes care of it. But there are modern elements almost immediately. You see a gun in the princess’ basket in one of the first scenes, along with one of the rat kids carrying an IKEA box. Again, it seems like the author is trying to unmoor this story from a particular time or place, or even era. Or maybe he’s making the point that it is as it has always been – that no good deed ever goes unpunished. In fact, I only remembered the beginning of the legend of the Pied Piper and went back to read it. I had not remembered that most versions have the mayor of the town reneging on his promise to pay the piper and the piper leading the kids out of town to either die or drown (in most versions of the story). So this leads me back to the idea that Steve is trying to show parallels to our time, or to any time in history. I think it’s interesting that the rat kids are the same size as the regular kids. Maybe it’s to humanize the rats? Or to show that driving out the least desirable members of society doesn’t necessarily mean that they are actual rodents. In some cases, they can just be dehumanized in a way that makes society or the people in charge portray them as someone on the level of a rat. The green sky and giant moon point to an ominous turn as we reach the end of the the first act and the mayor offers an “insurmountable mountain of treasure”. We don’t get sound until the third act – and an option to control the volume which was a nice feature. I love the way this is set up. I found an interesting element to the way you can view it. While starting on page 1, you can click on page 17 and watch the entire scene roll by in a way that reminds me of a mural on giant rollers. Ah! I just made a discovery. In looking up murals on rollers, I stumbled upon an art technique called “Trompe l’oeil” – a type of art that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that depicted objects are actually existing in three dimensions. I think that is a very big part of the appeal of “Hobo Lobo” – and is a good description of how he is trying to depict his story. The way the audio in this scene gives way from peaceful crickets and the harmonica to the dark tone and bright reds of some bizarre imagery definitely heightens the urgency. I watched this scene back and forth a few times. So the sickle definitely portends death – and he talks about seeing if rats have wings. Everything after that seems to be imagery of modern life or modern luxury (packaged food, tailored clothes, etc) – and even a little nod to the absurdity of American life perhaps by showing the topless Statue of Liberty.
At this point, we get into the political satire or allegorical aspect of this story. The mayor (Mayor Dick – not very subtle ha ha) takes the place of the “government” and we get introduced to the Fourth Estate channel – the logo of which is modeled on Fox News and the “reporter” is dressed as a jester or clown. And the donkey guest symbolizes the Democratic liberal. Interesting that the mayor does =not= have the support of the Fourth Estate conservatives – I would have thought they’d love “law and order” types like him… When Lobo approaches the mayor, we see more symbolism – him naked, getting a statue made (I thought of the story of the Emperor wearing no clothes…) And of course, just as it is in the legend, Lobo gets tossed and plots his revenge. As we get into that piece, I want to note that there is something very Pink Floyd-esque in a lot of this art and it reminds me very much of The Wall. Not only do we have the judges with their curls, but the anchor for the Fourth Estate, looks like he came right out of the movie. I stared at his face for several minutes to see if I could make out other body parts or faces drawn into his eyes and nose. (Maybe he’s got two faces? Could that be it?)
We can tell through his conversation that the mayor is adept at using the institutions of power against the little guy – Hobo is turned away because he doesn’t have a properly executed contract and loses in the court of public opinion because the mayor can turn the conversation into a defense of the town’s children. He is the personification of the evil politician – knowing all the ways to get over on people, without any of the guilt. I love the last scene where Hobo gets his revenge – the music is kind of happy as it begins and you hear the kids’ laughter. But as they get closer to the cave (where you can see Hobo’s shadow on the wall), the violin gets added and it seems a little sadder and the laughter fades. You see demons appear and when it all ends and they manage to pull the big rock down, Hobo is there looking upset and exhausted. What more could be to come (as the story promises)? I guess some sort of revelation about the fate of the kids.
This was a very beautifully done story. It is interactive and is interesting in the sense that it has a clear direction for the narrative, but the reader is not only allowed to go backward and forward, but to jump to any point in the narrative at any time. As I’ve pointed out, there a lot of little commentaries, either in text or imagery, on the absurdity of the common man’s juxtaposition to the powers that be, but the creator does a good job weaving modern times and a very old legend into one story. it doesn’t quite feel like a retelling as much as it does a telling of the original story with a modern twist. The creator makes great use of sound, using it sparingly and only to set the mood. He could have made the text of the conversations into audio, but left it as text which I think allows the reader to use their imagination (and also substitute whatever their least favorite politician is for the mayor). I read somewhere when looking into this project that it was described as a “webtime” story and I can definitely see that. It has the simplicity of a bedtime story and the moral (don’t screw people over) and of course, the web aspect. One of the other interesting aspects of this story is all the links. Stevan obviously wants you to know how he made this (even if, as he says, he’s not sure exactly why he did it). By clicking the upper left corner, you go to a page that lays out his timetable and even explains exactly where he got the code (both so people understand his process and so others can follows his footsteps, I’m assuming). I also found it fascinating that he created social media accounts for his characters – on Tumblr and Twitter. Hobo even has a Facebook page. Stevan also always has a link to his own resume page (under Psss) making it easy for anyone who likes it to learn more about him, or, I assume, hire him. It seems clear to me that the creator wants these characters to live on in cyberspace and, as he promises, a future installment of his art.
The work is visually compelling. The images are a combination of what look like pencil drawings in muted, black and white color schemes, and bursts of darkened vibrant colors. Some of the images "pop up" at the reader, while others are animated such as the psychic's crystal ball.
In order the navigate the work, the reader clicks on "pages" and numbers at the top of the screen. The piece is not broken up into traditional pages; instead, as the reader clicks through, the story glides seamlessly forward. The plot of the story involves a mayor who's town has a "rat problem". These modern rats are drugged up criminals. After the mayor visits a psychic who has told him that he must hire a professional to solve the problem, Hobo Lobo comes to town offering "professional services". The mayor quietly offers him "an insurmountable mountain of treasure" in return for getting rid of the rats.
Music is used effectively in page 3 of the story as Hobo Lobo guides the rats off of a cliff. The music increases in volume as the reader navigates toward the conclusion of the page and as the rats navigate toward the cliff. The conclusion of page 3 is slightly confusing... There is a bright pink screen with images of food and clothing items, a kitchen sink, and a leather chair.
The story drops the music and regains the words on page 4. The mayor has taken credit for Hobo Lobo's work and refuses to pay him as they had agreed. Instead, he actually sues him for blackmail. The story ends on page 7 just as the children are being led from their houses in what appears to be Hobo Lobo's revenge.
This work is interesting to study because it is the first that I have encountered in this class that is not completed. The stats at on the work's website indicate that while the average update occurred every 23.3 days, the last update was 798.9 days ago-- July 31st, 2014.
The author writes, "Ahem, I am probably very sorry stuff is late". Readers are directed to the author's Twitter and Tumblr accounts in order to find news about the piece and its future. I went back 6 pages on the Tumblr account and couldn't find any news, but I did find something via Facebook. The author posted on May 31, 2015: "Before the story wraps up, I really wanted to go back and polish some of the more jarring features of the first two pages".
While I have not stumbled upon an incomplete piece in this class, this is something that I have encountered while reading fan fiction. As the reader of something being published serially, you are dependent upon the whims of the writer. You can become invested in a story, wait patiently (or impatiently) for updates, only to later realize that the author might not ever continue writing the story. When you begin reading something that is published in an incomplete form, there is no guarantee that it will ever become complete. As a reader, you are taking a bit of a risk, and I think that this is very interesting and worth discussing further.
By Andaiye Hall
When I got to the first draft, I thought that this was the last page of the story. Once I clicked the first bold sentence(s), I assumed that it was my choice on how I wanted to send my letter. I tried fixing all according to how I wanted it to be and when I clicked everything nothing happened. I did notice after certain clicks I couldn't go back using a click to the previous version. I didn't try pressing the previous button though. I saw no instructions saying edit all of the letter to continue. I feel like I truly experienced just working with the first draft and I liked the pop ups with how the narrator was thinking.
In terms of design, it kind of reminded me of my PowerPoint produced e-literature. Mine does have alot more things to catch the readers interest and actually keep it. I think it's so important when authors produce e-lit they make sure to actually utilize most if not all the tools provided in this format. I think this reading kind of fails to keep interest for people who are mostly visual.
“First Draft of the Revolution” by Emily Short is a very fascinating piece. From the eloquent book that opens up as the reader begins, to the beautiful calligraphy on each page (or letter rather) definitely fits the time period of the piece and helps to create a more realistic experience. As a writer myself, a reader of other’s work, and a writing consultant/coach I was all to ecstatic at the fact that this very piece centers around the idea and analyzation of writing processes. To draft, revise, edit, and publish is the routine of my life in many different aspects; this piece spoke to that for me. As the piece begins, the reader is drawn in by a bit of backstory before the first letter is shown, and is then immediately able to start making changes in the letters to be sent to the recipient (mostly Juliette writing to her husband and so on, but sometimes Juliette and her former convent mother superior are conversing back and forth as well).
Although this piece can definitely lose its reader in that it can be predictable (at times) and somewhat dreadfully boring to just keep clicking and revising to progress to the next letter, it is held together by a sort of pragmatic ideal about writing, what it is made of, and how it is carried out. To look at each line, the way it is worded, the possible changes, and thoughts behind the changes to be made not only says so much in regard to the character, but also in the way any individual partakes in the act of writing. One is able to organize their thoughts, see what is working and/or not working in real time, consider the audience and the best possible way to convey what is meant. “First Draft of the Revolution” emphasizes the importance of being particular about the words used, what message is being sent, if something is getting across to the reader in the right way, and how to fix it if it is not.
The way one speaks and writes, and their process in doing such, reveals so much about them. From this work I suggest that Juliette is somewhat submissive. She also second guesses herself and doesn’t seem to take many real risks in the beginning of this chain of letters back and forth to her husband. Before revisions are made, Juliette’s character seems to always want to tone down or get rid of altogether something of significance that may alter the outcome completely. Henri is very stern and upright if you will. He doesn’t seem to quiver or show too many signs of indecisiveness as much as Juliette does. He is strong and structured in the way that he prepares to write and then carries out that task. These characteristics speak heavily about the ways in which both men and women were perceived and still are. I appreciate the idea of a letter in itself being the focal point of the this piece of electronic literature. The letter definitely still correlates with the time period, but it slows things down and allows the reader to feel as though they are actually taking their time to craft these messages and advance the story in whichever way they choose.
All in all, this piece is packed with the momentousness of internalizing the writing process to produce not only logical pieces of written work but well-written and effective ones too. If one is not interested in delving that far into discussion about writing then I don’t know what they might take away from a piece like this, but it can still be enjoyable to navigate through.