Format: A.I. generated short format comic – 10 pages
“ENTERING THE DATA CORE”
Images by #midjourney – 100% fully A.I. generated
Written and assembled by Christen Bach
There is a lot of focus on A.I. generated imagery these days, and with it a debate about its value to the arts. What is the merit of these tools? can it be categorized as original? Will it steal our jobs? Is it cheating? Is it copyright infringement? Is it art at all?
A couple of weeks ago I decided to dip into the A.I. pool and do a little project softly inspired by @davidoreilly s musing on the subject – and @booker_makes ‘ beautiful A.I. comic “The terrible misfortunes of an intergalactic traveler” – among plenty other things.
I find the entire Midjourney/Dall-e/Disco Diffusion generated imagery a super interesting tool for us as visual storytellers. I do not however believe the images has any merit on their own. There are a lot of nice pictures being generated, but it is not a skillful process: It is a chance generator you are curating more than anything else.
I see it like this: These new tools have an immense power. They are super fast. They can tirelessly generate new variations on a theme. They are a collaborator that can excite and surprise you in the creative process (as well as frustrate you when you are out for something really specific). They can help loosen your mind from your normal creative patterns. BUT… it is not about the pictures being generated, it is about how we as artists or storytellers choose to use/curate/stage those pictures.
I started out in comics years ago and have been thinking about getting back into it for a long time. I just haven’t had the time between being a parent and being totally swamped in animation- and VFX-work. As I started playing around with “the Tools” it dawned on me how quick it would be to generate quite complex imagery and string it into a narrative – and decided to reignite my old love for the comic book format. The process comes with a cost though. You will have to view the A.I. as a collaborator. You can notch it in a direction, but you don’t have 100% control, so you need to keep a flexible mind. I generated hundreds of images for these 10 pages, and constantly had to compromise on the images and sequences I had locked in my mind while writing it. Still I was able to churn everything out in about 3 workdays (ca. 24 hours collected) from nothing to final result.
There are areas where the prompts will definitely take over in a very near future: Commercial mood-boards, presentations for clients, as an inspirational tool for visual development, they will eat a chunk of the stock image marked – and we will probably see them plastered on album covers and promotional posters all over the place. But as I mentioned earlier: the images does not have any merit on their own!
We are artists because we infuse what we do with a human spirit; channeling our ideas, thoughts, emotions, quirks, hopes and fears through images, stories, music etc. We do it to pass on experiences, share emotions and ideas – and ultimately to create connections (or feel connected). It will take a long time for an A.I. to be able to replicate that…
I have a lot of further thoughts on the subject, but for now it is just a rant on the creative side of it. Morals and philosophy is a talk for another time…
Read the entire comic on my Instagram profile