Swatted is a series of short comics about a fly who dies in every story, created during my RCA MA.

I chose a fly as my main character. We struggle with flies in human spaces: we find them disgusting, they have a reputation of spreading diseases, and they’re constantly in conflict with human beings, making them ideal for driving story conflict.

Rules and gaps

Rules shape behaviour and outcome, and a missing rule (something undefined) is an opportunity for emergence. An emergent comic strip uses a computational approach to authoring a story, where a human plays the role of a computer following a program: with the fleshy, flawed ability to iterate on a storyline in a way computers cannot.

  1. Six panel stories
  2. The fly dies in every story
  3. A roll of the die determines the point at which the fly dies
  4. The fly is always relentlessly optimistic despite the circumstances
  5. The fly appears to be refined despite his true status
  6. Often a second story is happening in the background
  7. The primary voice is the fly, who always speaks directly to the camera
  8. After the fly's death, there is silence, though events may still be occurring

The comics

Patisserie

Entomologist

Hotel

Cat

Sceptre

Ointment