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Attack of the 400-Foot Comic Book

Scott McCloud came up with the idea of the “infinite canvas” — where the digital medium allows creators to make comics that can scroll forever without the limits of a traditional page — nine years ago, and while the concept is an exciting one, perhaps its biggest problem with is that it is often impossible to translate into print.

Isabel Rucker might disagree, after creating a 400-foot long comic by hand, on three 150-foot rolls that are currently on display at the SOMArts gallery in San Francisco.

The piece is titled “Unfurling,” and traces Rucker’s decision to “free herself from the size of regular pieces of paper, canvas or sketchpad” as well as her move from San Francisco to the relative isolation and natural beauty of Pinedale, Wyoming.

Ironically, while the best and most convenient way to display for the piece would ultimately be on the web, the process of scanning and compiling it into a digital format might be almost as difficult as converting most infinite canvas pieces to print. Maybe next time?

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