Daniel Byrne

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics


    The Usage (or Lack Therof) of Page Layouts in Calvin and Hobbes

    Calvin and Hobbes is a widely well regarded comic that is liked by the young and old alike. While the comic has much to say about art and philosophy, it can also be noted for it’s deliberate usage or occasional abandonment of a standard layout of it’s panels. While a good deal of the strips adhere to a more rigid and standard layout and let their content shine through, as the comic went on Watterson began to explore more novel layouts, allowing the interweaving of Calvin’s fantastic imagination his mundane world together in new and compelling ways, or creating strips that exist in a much more dynamic fashion with very few actual panels at all.

    An article could discuss how these panels and strips make use of both the traditional and the irregular to better serve the comic’s storytelling and narrative capabilities.

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      Latest Comments

      I think for me it’s always come down to the fact that video games, as a medium, are an art form capable of evoking human emotion. The reality of mediums as art is that they will all have notable and unremarkable examples, for every great painting there are numerous that call little attention to themselves or warrant it. For every Papers Please there are probably a thousand dodgy mobile games that function as a veil for little more than an attempt at dopamine-based money extortion. In looking to legitimize video games as an art form I sometimes feel we stretch too much justify the entirety of the medium when simply pointing to moments that truly elicit emotion or thinking in a way unique to games are proof enough.

      Games as Art: Displacement within the Art Gallery

      In addition to representation, I think one of the nicest parts about these silence-oriented movies is that they represent a more intentional approach to the aspects of film making that are often seemingly secondary in the production of Hollywood film. More and more we’re starting to see movies that are truly conscious of exactly what is onscreen and what is being heard. It’s thinking like this that makes film that truly embraces the medium and tells stories only film is capable of, and I think a push in that direction makes The Quiet Place and all it’s contemporaries and derivatives so worthwhile in terms of a lasting affect on film.

      Hollywood's Fascination with Silence and Horror

      I think what Crusader Kings does quite well and can in many ways make sense of a lot of the strange and amoral options given to a player in CKII is good old power politics. The traditional lowest common denominator of any kind of hierarchy. “Religious” wars existing as strictly a means to galvanize people to a cause and obtain wealth, killing a person because it’s the easiest way to maintain your hold on power, and so on. Hell, as said right at the beginning of the article: in Crusader Kings you take power because if you don’t, someone else will, and they’ll probably eventually take it from you.

      Crusader Kings II: The Necessary Evils of Medieval Politics

      It’s such a weird and interesting game. On the one hand it’s a grand strategy game with countless options and means to maneuver, a simulation of medieval politics and all that, and on the other hand some people only know it as that game where you can make a horse your vassal and accuse a newborn of plotting an assassination to remove them as a heir to your throne. The intersection of “historical simulation” and “game” leads for some really amusing and surreal moments.

      Crusader Kings II: The Necessary Evils of Medieval Politics