Reading Comics on New Media

20 Aug

First off, apologies again for not posting more often. I really should, given the number of saved drafts I have for this account but time and time again life comes along and bites me in the ass. I’ll be stepping into the working world soon and I’m trying hard not to think about how I’ll keep my life in check in the future at the moment. Anyway, on to the content!

Ever since I attended the first session of BubbleFlip I’ve been pondering about the e-book/new media wave and how it’s going to affect the comic production process. From what I’ve heard and read so far, people seem to be more concerned on how these new gadgets will affect readers’ consumption of things they’re used to as opposed to how creators will have to adapt to this new technology. This question seems to be more pertinent when it comes to comic creators because bodies of text alone are usually presented with less versatility (digitally ‘flipping’ a page or scrolling) as compared to a combination of both text and images.

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    Comics on the iPad. Sweet?


Over at Comic Book Resources, Kelly Thompson wrote an article about her top 10 favourite webcomics where she brings up the issue about new media and comics as well, though it’s more about physical copies of comics versus their digital equivalents. To quote some parts of her article, she muses that:

I was struck as I researched and wrote this post by the whole iPad/comics reader advent and how in a way it means nothing to webcomics…except maybe even more traffic? Many of the webcomics I read and many listed here have pretty successful print versions of their online material that sell well, despite the original content being available for free. …Will the print vs. digital war really just be growing pains that will one day (sooner than we all think) be laughed about and then all but forgotten?

Funnily enough, I found this article through a link on Lucy Knisley’s site where Lucy was summarizing her thoughts on comics in the new media…in comic form.

However, I disagree with Lucy on the part where she says that she’d ‘rather not worry how the words are delivered, and instead concentrate on the quality and content of the words’. I’m pretty sure that new technologies will be able to mimic and retain the ‘traditional’ way of reading comics (e.g.: by flipping digital pages etc) but why not push the boundaries of what comics can become?

A good example of what digital comics could be like one day was presented to me a long time ago when I was browsing Balak01’s Deviantart account where he attempts to explain how comics can exploit storytelling methods that could only be done digitally. By the time I reached the end of his ‘presentation’ I was a convert, and hopefully you’ll feel the same way. He also did a second attempt after the positive response to his first try, and admits that Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics gave him the push to do this experiment.

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Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics is the only book of his that I do not own…yet

As much as I’m a ink-and-paper kind of guy, it still blows my mind thinking about what this digital age can do for comics. At the end of the day, as we grapple and feel our way through the different ways of creating comics, I guess it just boils down to the basics: the accessibility of our comics to the readers and their enjoyment.

EDIT: I just got this from Scott McCloud’s Twitter feed. Definitely a new way of enjoying comics!

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