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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago



The first scene from UBIK I chose to REMIX was when the inertials first arrived at Runciter’s office for briefing on their latest assignment. This scene establishes the uneasiness amongst the all the employees, including Joe Chip and Runciter in regards to the newest member, Pat. During this scene Pat uses her talent and in a sense, the scene repeats itself. When I first read this scene, the page of the X-Men comic I inserted the text into was the first image to enter my head. The concept of a group of super-power talented people gathering in a room for a mission is not a new one. Every story that includes a group of super heroes or employees with a leader and/or a boss includes at least one time when they all gather in an office and are told the next step. I am a pretty big fan of X-Men comics and generally view them as my default super heroes, so I was not surprised when this image popped in my head as I read the words of UBIK.

I continued to be intrigued by the idea of intertwining the scenes of Dick’s novel and the pages of various X-Men comics. While the inertials, Chip, and Runciter are all on Luna, I imagined the X-Men on one of their adventures in outer space, fighting people from another galaxy. I hope to find a comic with these scenes and continue to merge the imagery. For now, I kept to a few simple passages and to get a feel for this whole REMIXING thing.

By combining these two pieces of literature, UBIK takes on a whole new form. While the basic premise of the comic stays the same aside from different text being included, UBIK becomes more that just words on a page in a novel. No longer are the characters these malleable figures that each person will transform as they read. By placing them in an illustrated form, a definite image is created for the reader. Runciter is now a balding man constricted to a wheelchair, but with powers of the mind that are surpassed but none. Tippy Jackson takes on the form of an African Queen with powers to control a hurricane with her pinky. For some, this may take away from the literary experience as they no longer create the images for themselves. However, creative and intelligent processes are hardly hindered. With the adaptation of a concrete visual image, the text is thus truncated allowing new interpretations and mind games. What exactly is Wolverine doing over there by the window? Could he be G.G. Ashwood looking over the scene knowing very well of the plot he and Pat and Hollis have against these individuals? Or is he another inertial who just does not like to be in the foreground. Every thought and detail is not put to the page as one would find in reading the novel. The reader must create his or her own ideas of what is going on in the scene based on the characters facial expressions, stature, position on the page, etc.

Tragic heroes are always interesting to compare and contrast. In UBIK, the reader is introduced to Joe Chip, a poor bloke who must struggle with the idea, "Who is really dead?" Step by step, Dick takes his audience through the thought process and problem solving techniques of Mr. Chip. Despite the minute care put into to describing the scene and sequence of events, the reader will occasionally get lost in the same mass of ideas that Chip is dealing with. Joe Chip does not have a talent like the inertials and is not a multimillion corporate mastermind such as Runciter, but he is the top notch field tester at Runciter Associates and he is the one who keeps on going. We are introduced to what would seem as a pretty pathetic character, with no money, food, or any type of luxury that does not give him lip about providing the proper payment. Throughout the novel, Dick intermittently will remind the reader of the state Chip was in before going on the hunt for answers by describing his clothing, having him constantly ask for money, or having Pat mention his lifestyle as a mocking weapon. Joe Chip does not get any breaks in this novel.

The X-Man most like Joe Chip is Cyclops. The is comparison does not come from physical descriptions or because I think that at any moment Joe Chip is going to just send laser beams from his eyes and destroy everything, or at least Jory. No, the similarities come from their roles within each piece of literature and the group of characters they are interacting with. Cyclops mimics Joe in his leadership position. While Runciter runs the show and is the top man as he was Professor X teaching at is his school in a remote location in New York, Joe is the immediate team leader that calls the shots in Runciter’s absence. Neither Chip nor Cyclops deals with these positions easily. Both struggle with taking command and any bumps that they come along the way. In X-Men #96, the opening pages are of Cyclops walking the grounds of the Prof. Xavier’s school contemplating the death of a former and brief X-Man, Thunderbird. During a mission, Thunderbird commits suicide in order to defeat the enemy and save the others. Cyclops has a hard time with the death of this individual and reflects on the moment of the tragedy. He blames himself for not properly protecting his fellow X-Man. Contemplative scenes such as the one used in my REMIX are common for the powerful leader of mutant heroes. He is a troubled individual in that he (at this point in the series) has yet to gain full control of the intense beams that shoot from his eyes. Unlike the original students that included the Beast, Iceman, Angel, Marvel Girl, and others, Scott Summers (Cyclops) feels like an out of control menace to society.

Chapter Eight of Dick’s UBIK opens with Chip reviewing what happened on Luna and the moratorium. He is distraught from the idea that the technicians could not make contact with his employer. He looks around his hotel room and then picks up the phone to find Runciter’s voice on the other end. Chip freaks out, and is in quite a state when the moratorium owner comes to speak to him. Both of Chip and Cyclops are going through difficult times in their lives so this seemed to be the perfect combination. Alas, nothing is perfect. First of all, the pages from the comic book are not of a hotel room, not even indoors. Thus, I altered the text ever so slightly to reflect an out-of-doors landscape. The most drastic result of this remix is the emotion portrayed by Chip when he hears Runciter’s voice. While in the book he simply yells into the phone, the image in the comic is one of him blowing up trees and in complete despair. The mood changes in the scene from one of simply confusion to one of a person breaking down completely. The audience is given the freedom to determine why Chip cannot handle the pressure, because at this point they have no textual description to tell them otherwise. This remix creates a more dramatic turn in the plot and instead of working up to the complete break down of Joe Chip, the audience sees it from the very beginning.

I plan on continuing my REMIX adventures with the X-Men for my final project. There are few more scenes that I think with a little bit of digging, I can find just the right comic page.

This is really really cool. Just like you, I was pulled to a superhero group, the Turtles, and it just seems to fit. Even from the beginning, as you state in your explanation, we put Chip with the leadership role of the team. But with all the cartoons and hero groups of the past, the inertials just seem to fit right in, but the use of human mutants explemifies this perfectly. Truly, though, the creative use of actual cartoon blocking is awesome.



Call Me Ishmael


RoBoCoP, I really enjoyed reading your remix. When I read "...obviously, he was trying to determine whether Pat had changed in any way the composition of the group," I first looked only within the confines of the text and started to question whether Pat had turned them all into X-Men; but then realized that it was not the character Pat, but "outside forces"--the writer and reader. From the very beginning, your remix brings awareness to who makes the grass green.


Admittedly, I've never read the X-Men comics, but I did used to watch the cartoon show. I don't know if I would characterize Joe Chip or Cyclops as tragic heroes (perhaps my definition is off), but they certainly have commonalities--ones that you point out in your explanation, and is reflected in the remix itself. It was cool that you were able to merge Ubik and X-Men; the pictures and text worked together really well. I was a little confused at first as to who was speaking in the bottom and top of the comic-boxes, but then remembered that this is the point in Ubik where Joe hears the "dead" Runciter's voice over the telephone (which you did discuss in your explanation).


It's also worth noting that you did not crop out the "Chapter II" heading on the first page. The reader starts not at the beginning, but somewhere in-between; the linear reading habit is brought to light. Nice work! I concur with Ishmael: A. -loadstool

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