Mathews' Algorithm

My attempts to think of a poetry machine combining the combinatory characteristics of Texas hold'em led me to think of Mathews' algorithm, which is explained here and how it could be applied to comics (the link is in French, but its explanation is included in the Oulipo Compendium).

The 4x4 panel grid is rather rare in comics due to industry standards, which makes the reading difficult when the number of panels exceeds 3 by 3. We assume in this that all the information, textual and visual, is contained within the panel. But let's not have industry standards stop us in our thought. Besides, the following also works with 3x3 panels, although to a less elegant degree.

The recombination of full panels along the lines of Mathews' algorithm already promises in offering us a new narrative, although a bit disjointed (not a problem). But the formal nature of comics could let us do much more with the algorithm. For thought, comic strips have two dimensions that literature and painting do not have: pictosequential (the sequence of images within the grid) and textual. Let us assume that the text within the panels is displaced while the images remain fixed. Or vice-versa. Or that both text and image move, but in opposite directions.

This is where Oulipo's faith in the computer pays off. Before the age of the scanner, the making of such comic would have been very tedious. Now, with Photoshop and a lettering software (such as Comic Life on Mac OS X), the process can be automated.

Gary will probably tell me this has already been thought by a member of OuBaPo.
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