Monday, March 11, 2013

The Seed

Comics are typically thought of as a print medium. For years they have been formatted to fit nicely on the page of the funnies in your daily newspaper or your latest superhero comic book. They come in 3 to 8 panels or they are fit into a rectangle roughly 1:1.5. This is fine, especially if you are trying to keep these comics on a bookshelf or fit them in between crossword puzzles in the Sunday newspaper.

I think that print comics are totally rad, I buy them all the time. I also think that digital comics that look like print comics are totally sweet as well. I think many of the best comics began as or are still internet self published comics. The scope of subject matter and styles is staggering. Many comics that would never have made it past a comic publisher’s trashcan have gone on to become huge successes. The internet’s effect on comics has been the best thing to happen to the medium since printing. Almost as exciting as digital distribution is digital formatting of comics. If the comic will never exist beyond digital form it can be any shape and size. It can even do things that print comics will never be able to do and take shapes completely impractical for a print comic. I wrote a pretty long paper on this subject and Scott McCloud tells it better than me anyway. You can read my master’s thesis about it here and Scott McCloud has a website about the topic as well.

The Seed is my latest experiment in digital formatting in comics. There are two ways to view The Seed.

Method 1: Html 5 interface. This method is recommended to those on a desktop or laptop. The coding for the interface was done by Christian Hahn. It takes about a minute to load on a super fast connection, about 2-3 minutes on Time Warner’s pretty average cable internet plan, probably make yourself a sandwich or something if you are on dial up.

Method 2: A static image. This is recommended for people with an ipad or mobile device that can turn off the auto-rotation. Also its pretty fast to load. Web help provided by Melissa Cell

There are plenty of really talented comic artists playing around with digital formatting in comics. Here is a list of some that I thought of off the top of my head.

Like all of Emily Carrolls comics.
Magical Game Time, by Zac Gorman (uses lots of sweet gifs)
I don't know if nawlz is a comic, game, or animation but I do know that its pretty cool.
hobo lobo
and lots more, leave em in the comments if you can think of them.

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