Hyper/Comics/Con/Text: Institutional Contexts and Interface Design in Online Educational Hypercomics
When he first coined the term 'hyper-comics' in his 1970 essay 'No More Teacher's Dirty Looks,' Ted Nelson envisioned 'comic strip' images connected via hyperlinks for educational purposes (2003, 316). However, while Internet technologies have allowed for various narrative and artistic actualizations of Nelson's futurist prognostications, educational hypercomics remain largely understudied. This paper returns to Nelson's original themes by comparing interface designs and institutional origins of two educational hypercomics: Factoring with Mr. Yang and Mosley the Alien, a comics lecture series on algebraic factoring and The Secret in the Cellar, an annotated webcomic fictionalization of forensic anthropological field work. This analysis will show how sociocultural contexts created by institutional stakeholders give shape to multimodal designs of pedagogical discourse, in order to further knowledge of the evolving practices and processes of integrating comics into e-learning.