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Phew! Whaam! Aaargh! Boo!: Sense, Sensation, and Picturing Sound

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The artists who created the conventions of comic strip graphics invented a way of visualizing noise that no predecessors had attempted. Since Popeye first landed his fist to a resounding Splat! or Batman and Captain America laid about them to accompanying sound effects, visualized noises have become a defining feature of this storytelling medium. This article explores the noises that material things make. In this article, Marina Warner offers insights on how sounds play a crucial part in defining the unique quality of objects, with reference to comics, Schwitters, Beckett, Dante and Tacita Dean.
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Keywords: Splat; Whaam; comics; inferno; sensation; sound

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Essex.

Publication date: 2008-08-18

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  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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