Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Iron Feather: Infinite Canvas Comic

Back in June I finished up the comic I had been working on for roughly six months. The idea was to create a comic that couldn't be translated to print and to present a story that pushed the boundaries storytelling. When I was developing the story for the project, my committee member Matt Kaufhold, a scriptwriter told me that my story needed a beginning, middle, and end. This advice got me thinking, what if I didn't have the three basic parts of a story? I made a comic that was structured as circles (thus defying normal page logic) There is no page, just an unlimited canvas. Obviously I was heavily influenced by Scott McCloud's writings on the future of comics. This unlimited space allowed the story to take on a format that moves a story in ways we are not used to. For example, the comic is technically linear but you can enter into the comic at any point. At several points the story branches in two directions, not in the way a choose your own adventure novel branches, the story actually continues both paths (regardless the path the reader chooses), the reader can choose which character he or she would like to follow. Since the essential story is circular, the reader will eventually come back to that point in the story and can choose the other direction to get a wider understanding of the story.

To drive the comic I used a flash based presentation software called Prezi. To use it you click on a piece of art and the screen will zoom and rotate to focus on what you selected. This software was what made the comic possible but, at the same time, makes the comic difficult to read. You have to have a lot of patience to work with Prezi on this scale. I pushed the app to its limits. I invite you to read the comic and feel free to comment on it. Does it make sense? What do you get out of it?

The project was the product of my Master's thesis at Drexel University. If you are so inclined, you can read my thesis document on Drexel library's website.

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