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Revealing An Invisible Storyline With Berg’s Graphic Novela Experiment

Revealing An Invisible Storyline With Berg’s Graphic Novela Experiment
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SVK is a graphic novella complete with an object that reveals its invisible ink.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 7 july 2011

Berg has collaborated with writer Warren Ellis and artist Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker to create SVK, an experimental comic book with a corresponding ‘reader object.’ According to Berg:

Comics break the rules of storytelling, invent new ones, and break them again – more often than almost any other medium. This graphic novella is about looking – an investigation into perception, storytelling and optical experimentation that inherits some of the curiosities behind the previous work of BERG.

The comic book is printed on silk paper in tones of black and blue, utilizing a third ink that is only visibile through the SVK reader object (a UV light source). Reading the novel with the reader object unlocks hidden layers in the comic book, which is admittedly about ‘cities, technology and surveillance, mixed with human themes of the power, corruption and lies that lurk in the data-smog of our near-future’. The story is told through the eyes of Thomas Woodkind – the lead in this modern detective story (described by Ellis as ‘Franz Kafka’s Bourne Identity’).

We love this idea for its sense of experimentation around the notion of perception and looking. Given Berg’s body of work and the graphic novel genre, SVK can safely be expected to be highly visual and compelling. The third ink is interesting, and reminds us of childhood toys like this. It’s also an interesting, more analog choice for Berg, whom has been highly digital and technologically sophisticated with its previous work. We also wonder if Berg will collect or catalog any of the reactions or differences in perception among its readers. As an ‘investigation into perception’, does the storyline also leave aspects open to different perceptions? We’re curious…

SVK can be purchased direct from BERG online (shipped from the UK).

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