The dialogue between paper and screen feels vitally important at this moment in time, particularly as our culture increasingly tilts toward online (and largely unconsidered) story space. It is an opportunity to learn from the lessons that print has taught us but then to also take this wisdom and apply it to new, exciting modes of storytelling. Considering print books have been around for over five hundred years, online publishing is still in its infancy. Much of the map remains blank.
Now that they’ve announced the impending publication of The Best American Infographics, it might be prudent to revisit Reif Larsen’s classic Millions article, “This Chart Is a Lonely Hunter: The Narrative Eros of the Infographic.”
My favorite book of 2012 was Chris Ware’s Building Stories…I found myself reconsidering some of my basic assumptions about what constituted bookishness: was a book defined by its composition? By an expectation of narrative? By a currency of pages? By its singular thingness?
…just because something looks good, doesn’t mean it says anything of value. And yet, as someone obsessed with the methodologies of storytelling, I cannot help but wonder about the hidden narrative mechanics behind the infographic. Perhaps my infogasm is not as superficial or ephemeral as it might first appear.
The infogasm is instantaneous, overwhelming, and usually transitory in nature, leaving you oddly exhausted.