Brooke Gladstone, longtime cohost of On the Media, NPR’s weekly radio show on journalism and media, has turned to comics: The Influencing. Q and A with Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld. First off, Brooke, what is “The Influencing Machine” besides the title of your book? Victor Tausk, one of Freud’s . The Influencing Machine has ratings and reviews. Diane said: Everything I’ve been reading lately is a reaction to November’s presidential elect.. .
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Essentially, they are searching for influencihg reason for their pain and find it in the Machine. Thus, they absolve themselves of responsibility.
In the book, I argue that throughout the ages, all of us have viewed the media hte a kind of Influencing Machine, poisoning the culture, stupefying and infantilizing us. So who is this book for — insiders or outsiders? The point is to demonstrate through a selective but illuminating hop across the centuries that there never was a Golden Age of Journalism, that objectivity can undermine reporting, that our current fears about the Internet were also expressed about the printing press, the brooek, radio and television.
We show that, fundamentally, humans are wired to believe what they want to believe, regardless of the facts.
But as fans of radio know, it is also the most intimate medium. Broole consumers rely on the voice of the reporter to lead them through places and people and the march of events, and voices are very personal.
The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone
In newspapers, often we are entirely unaware of the narrator. But the radio relationship feels one-on-one. I wanted to replicate that somehow.
So we created an avatar that flies through time, changing her wardrobe and sometimes her shape. She turns into a dog, a cavewoman, the bride of Frankenstein, Spider-Man, Medusa, and on and on. Also, given the volume of media books I have a huge stack of them I wanted to experiment with building my case visually as well as verbally. I gkadstone by words. Brooke and I developed a good creative rapport right from the beginning.
And, coming off of A. I was already a fan of On the Media and I looked forward to illustrating the book while soaking up all the ideas it contained. Drawing The Influencing Machine challenged my drawing chops in many ways. During the course of the book I had to illustrate everything from ancient Guatemala to the killing fields of World Influenfing I, from scenes of Hell to talking orangutans. And thr every time and place I drew had to feature Brooke in appropriate costume!
But Brooke did an amazing thing, which was to provide me with reference illustrations to inform almost every panel of the book. I can’t imagine how much time it took her to find all that stuff, but when it came time to start drawing it saved me a tremendous amount of work to have all that research done in advance.
In many ways, the collaboration worked pretty typically for the form — the way mainstream comics have been made since the s.
We put the book together section by section chapter by chapter. Once Brooke had written a script, she would deliver it to me. Occasionally, I would find image ideas or script elements that I felt could be clarified, and we would talk those over before I actually broke the script down on paper. But for the most part the scripts were fully formed.
Influencing Machine (book) – Wikipedia
After I produced a fairly detailed set of layouts, and editor Tom Mayer had had a chance to weigh in, I proceeded to full pencils, inks, and then colors. The preliminary work — laying out the whole book with the text slotted into the captions and speech bubbles — was something I had never done on any previous projects.
It was quite time-intensive, but in the end it saved me from doing a lot of subsequent revisions. We did end up in a bit of a time crunch at the end, which is why the dynamic duo of Randy Jones and Susann-Ferris Jones come on late in the project to pencil some later chapters based on my pre-visualizations.
I then inked and colored their pencils. For the most part, I would pencil, ink, and color a whole chapter at a time, and then move on to the next section. And so we built the book. Both books are very much part of the world of journalism. As I mentioned before, I looked forward to working on The Influencing Machine for the selfish reason of deepening my own experience in the world of journalism.
And I’m really grateful for the experience. Cart Support Signed in as: Available Our Retail Price: But that also is a delusion. The Media is not a machine. What was the collaborative process like?