Research Dilemmas

In conversation analysis, transcription conventions have been established over several decades to show the timing of talk and to document other features of talk such as overlapping speech, pauses, loudness, pace of delivery, laughter and more. Many of these have counterparts in comic conventions.

There are four dilemmas that I took to the workshops:

1. The representation of time in comic strips which is complicated by the parallel durations of what is depicted in panels and the time produced by reading speech bubbles.

2. The placement of speech within panels to show the sequential order of speakers while also then obscuring (or not) features of the image.

3. The use of video grabs from the perspective of a camera (or multiple cameras) which then sets fairly strict limits on the perspectives on the action.

4. The maintenance of an evidentiary chain with earlier events which sets limits of the transformations from the video record that can be undertaken using comic conventions.

The video fragments transcribed during the workshops involved staff-customer activities in a café and come with a fairly severe if typical restriction which is that there is only camera recording the events. A major consequence is that one camera angle appears then to only allow for one perspective on the recorded events, though, as we shall see, this is not quite so.

The original collection fragments were brought together in order to examine how payment is accomplished at the café encounter.

Click the images below to learn about my adventures with comics.

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