Graham Rawle’s experimental multimodal literature and design research has revolutionised diverse creative industry sectors internationally, including fiction, comic illustration, graphic novels, music and film, to produce a new way of storytelling.
He has prompted editors and publishing houses to reconsider their strategies around popular forms of fiction. Challenging the role of readership, materials, form and content, his work has become embedded within higher education creative writing programmes internationally, while consistently challenging readers to rethink how they read, absorb and learn from novels. A long-time tutor at the University of Brighton, Graham Rawle's ingenuity and enthusiasm for narrative experiment have been passed onto hundreds of successful graduates of the internationally respected Masters in Sequential Design/Illustration, a course which he and Margaret Huber developed and expanded after its initial creation by Bruce Brown, John Vernon Lord and George Hardie in 1989.
Graham Rawle has developed innovative techniques in multimodality, involving the interplay between text and image (or text as image) as a way to carry an additional narrative dimension that is neither written nor illustrated, but which emerges through the combined reading of both.
This has resulted in the production of experimental novels that include Woman’s World (2005), The Card (2012) and Overland (2018). Though the designs and layouts differ from book to book according to the characteristics of the story, each work challenges literary traditions by using visual elements to create sub-textual indicators within the narrative. These engender particularly intense reader experiences through the enhanced visualisation that is possible, in particular for the narrative ‘voice’, the dramatic mood or the geographical space.