How to REALLY Make Digital Comics

While I’m in the embedding mood, here is some work by a guy pushing the envelope with digital comics. I have to say that I found this the most compelling argument I’ve ever seen for the value of digital comics, and moreover it practices what it preaches. It actually out-McClouds Scott McCloud by presenting the argument about the medium in the form of the medium itself, but going much farther than Scott has on digital comics.

I also really like the point that too much of digital comics is about replicating online the experience of a printed page, and not enough about doing things not possible in print. This idea is absolutely the first time I’ve seen it presented, that print comics are about replicating the experience of time in space, and in the digital comic you don’t have to represent – you can actually use time as time.

Don’t read my analysis, though, go look at the thing. Arrow your way through it and see if it doesn’t completely change your perception of digital comics. I recently heard someone saying that you couldn’t read comics on an iPhone or G1 because there wasn’t enough real estate on the screen. This one flash presentation exposes that attitude as not being forward thinking enough. If the idea is that digital comics have to exactly replicate a 7″ X 11″ representation of a page, then you have already lost the debate. My thinking about what digital comics should be are going to be way different tomorrow than yesterday, and its because of this presentation. Nice work, Balak01, whoever you are.

Link via Scott Kurtz of PVP.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

5 thoughts on “How to REALLY Make Digital Comics”

  1. Andre Pope says:

    Here goes some info on your elusive comics guy.
    Name: Yves Bigerel (French?)

    I have actually seen his movie before

    Here is the sequel

  2. Brian says:

    I agree that the presentation was innovative, and highly entertaining. That piece was an awesome approach. However, I did find myself feeling some click-fatigue.

    I don’t think that the presentation of digital comics has to mimic the paper format, but I think that we have to recognize that the user-interface of “turn page and focus attention from place to place” is hard to match in the digital realm.

    On a desktop, maybe it will be eye-tracking; on portables like the iPhone and G1, maybe tilt-sensing?

  3. dave says:

    I didn’t click once, I just used the left and right arrows. At least a few times, I felt the need to go back and see a transition again. I’m guessing that’s way more pleasant than clicking a little box.

  4. AA says:

    I think this is an interesting idea, but it just seems a bit tedious to me. (Lazy – don’t make me click)

    One of the web comics I REALLY liked involved a giant image that one could “scroll” through. It wasn’t a linear thing, you could move up down sideways or backwards and it really used the web medium to its fullest extent. I’d like to see Balack01 incorporate some alternate options to the straight click click more forward through time setup.

    I’ll try and look up the example above to better explain. Great find Dave!

  5. Chris C. says:

    I really appreciated the keyboard nav, which I tried right from the first frame and was happy to see that it Just Worked. Obviously he calls it out towards the end there. I luv keyboard nav, everywhere.

    Interesting that some folks didn’t find it intuitive to try it, and suffered with clicking.

    He does a beautiful job all around, visually, functionally and most important in making in his case. Thanks!

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