1.1 to provide for all levels of possible viewer a visually orientated taxonomy of the ways in which pictures are used to tell stories. To provide wherever possible entire books, or at least indicative selections from key works which I believe to be important;

1.2 to commemorate individual artists whose contributions have been underestimated, and to celebrate those artists who have contributed significantly to the telling of stories in our world;

1.3 to make this material accessible to people of all races and cultures on a no-cost basis;

1.4 to keep in touch with students past and near-present.



01 the website was originally written by me in html coding using images I owned;

02 it began as course support for the MA Narrative Illustration/Editorial Design course at the University of Brighton for part-time working illustrators and designers, using material from freelance teaching 1970 - 1989, and gigs at the Norwich School of Art. The provision of lecture notes was useful for students on part-time course who sometimes could not attend;

03 almost immediately I added material from books I owned which I did not want to carry in - sometimes the material could not be found elsewhere on the WWW;

04 when I left the MA to supervise PhD theses, I documented individual projects and academic progress;

05 the site was never discussed nor supported within the University and it gradually appeared to conflict with other ideas the Faculty had for a Research website. I say 'appeared' because I never had the opportunity to discuss what I was trying to do with anybody. In January 2006 I removed all references to the PhD projects ;

06 with the appearence of dedicated applications such as Dreamweaver and Fireworks, the control of the interface, the weighting of size and editorial layout was possible beyond the limitations of html coding;

07 there was no teacher with overall responsibility for website design, and students largely taught themselves on their own equipment which was usually superior to thatprovided by the University;

08 the research community at the University was primarily logocentric despite lip-service to studio based research projects;

09 the University policy towards provision of websites seemed one of centralisation and all information to be held and supervised centrally;

10 I resigned with some bitterness at a lack of support and understanding. A major concern was the complete lack of understanding of the relationship between learning, image making and the new technologies despite some ingenious obfuscation;

11 In March 2005 I began reconstructing the site which had been summarily shut down on the basis of a flimsy excuse. The site could at last be systematised and supplemented in ways that were impossible before.

12. The site has encouraged artists and their friends/relatives to keep in touch. It has provided images on a non-commercial basis for interested parties.



In the light of the history of the site and my own career, the site is a plea for the greater understanding of the role that digital imagery can play in the learning process. I don't mean some inflated conference paper from a theoretical perpective, nor some workshop given by a teacher who has boned it up over the weekend. I have observed a palpable gap between those who understand the mechanics of the applications, and those who seek to deliver information - a sort of fragmentation where websites can be taught by application specialists -the Photoshop tutor, the Dreamweaver tutor, the Flash merchant, the Shockwave specialist, without ever meeting or discussing the entirety. Websites appear to be generated universally by the cartoonist or the librarian. What a lost opportunity!



The website of The Visual Telling of Stories aspires to being a Visual Lexicon, dedicated to the primacy of the Visual Proposition. Above all it tries to create an overall consistency of structure and environment, as if it was all taking place in one characteristic landscape through which you are allowed to wander. The main delight and challenge is the invention of non-linear means of navigation through spaces of knowledge with a created balance of reference and discovery.


Dr Chris Mullen






The page is part of the whole.

The whole can be a magazine, book or pamphlet.

The page design cannot ignore the margin. It cannot ignore the edge. It cannot ignore the surface upon which it is read.

The designed surface cannot ignore its verso.

Hence I resist the attempt to obliterate the back of the design by scanning with black behind.

There is charm as well as authenticity in leaving the faint whispers of another presence by scanning what is seen rather than what is preferred, the codes of reversed lettering, sudden inappropriate colours and trapped faces. It is how the page looks in your lap, how it feels and unfolds in your lap.

Exercise - imagine the unfolding magazine as a matrix of noises, one behind the other. That's why I preserve the actuality of the page




If it were possible I would send you the smell, the evocative odour of the period paper.

Exercise - hide three copies of the Saturday Evening Post in a room and you can smell them every time. They differ in their smell from FORTUNE, from KEN and from Popular Mechanix.






(being assembled)