The Far-Flung Future of (Web) Comics?

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Harry Myland (IV)
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The Far-Flung Future of (Web) Comics?

Post by Harry Myland (IV) » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:25 pm

I stumbled upon these tonight and they made my jaw drop. In the right hands, this could totally be the future of comics on the web (or at least, become its own genre of comics).

If nothing else, from a formatting perspective these are incredibly fascinating.

About Digital Comics:
http://balak01.deviantart.com/art/about ... -111966969

ABOUT About Digital Comics:
http://balak01.deviantart.com/art/ABOUt ... -112523191
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OdinChen
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Post by OdinChen » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:45 am

Really funny comics! And yeah, that can be the future of webcomics. Flash loads comic images very fast. Especially if the comic is drawn directly in the Flash file.

If only iPhone can display Flash....sigh... :(

Actually, my friends and I are building a site where hundred of images can be put together in a Flash player, called "digital comic book". Can I ask you to take a look and tell me what you think?

The url is www.mahshelf.com
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warren wucinich
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Post by warren wucinich » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:35 pm

Those a really fun!

I think the real potential lies in the "pop" panels.

Now I gotta go learn flash...

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Post by nateomedia » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:48 am

I don't know, it sort of reminds me of the cut scenes from a Japanese RPG video game. I think readers will get tired of pressing an arrow to see the next panel. (I only say this because I get tired of pressing the x button in the aforementioned video games.)

In the end, I think it starts to enter a space better served by animation. I mean, on the web there's room for any kind of formal experiment one wants to try, I just don't see this becoming popular with audiences.

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Post by Harry Myland (IV) » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:05 pm

nateomedia wrote:I don't know, it sort of reminds me of the cut scenes from a Japanese RPG video game. I think readers will get tired of pressing an arrow to see the next panel. (I only say this because I get tired of pressing the x button in the aforementioned video games.)

In the end, I think it starts to enter a space better served by animation. I mean, on the web there's room for any kind of formal experiment one wants to try, I just don't see this becoming popular with audiences.
I dunno, I mean, if people are willing to click through an archive, why not this? I don't think it's perfect, it definitely needs to be played with more before becoming viable. But there are certainly bonuses to doing it this way that can't be ignored. It almost seems to me that this would bring in new people to comics because it's more of an experience that TV or movies can bring to the table... but it's pure comic, which is awesome (which, note, that's what I'm for. I wouldn't want cheap computer gimmicks getting in the way).

I could just see this becoming, something.. for instance, how cool would it be to read comics like this on the Kindle? The best way I think I could liken this to would be like how kids use to get a thrill picking up a comic in the 30's, when there wasn't TV or movies or internet.

Of course, this is also likely to fuel the dreaded paper vs digital feud that's on the horizon. :)
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Post by Josh-Ulrich » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:10 pm

This is cool, but my concern is how do you make this viable? How do I turn this experience into a book that I can sell? And even if you made it into a dvd or something you could sell, why would anybody buy it? The experience is no different then just viewing it online. You wont be able to make money off your actual product, only merchandise associated with it.

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Harry Myland (IV)
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Post by Harry Myland (IV) » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:21 pm

Josh-Ulrich wrote:This is cool, but my concern is how do you make this viable? How do I turn this experience into a book that I can sell? And even if you made it into a dvd or something you could sell, why would anybody buy it? The experience is no different then just viewing it online. You wont be able to make money off your actual product, only merchandise associated with it.
My question to you would then be how does any web comic make it? You can go to PVP or Penny Arcade or wherever else and read it for free everyday, but people buy their books... this isn't really all that different. Why not just sell it as a comic, that's what it is (or a DVD, or put it up on e-books like the Kindle once that takes off, etc. etc.)

(.. I also feel like I'm defending this, which I'm totally not meaning to... I'm just, trying to keep a very open mind, I guess?)
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Post by Josh-Ulrich » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:51 pm

No, I fully understand how webcomics make money selling their books. What I was trying to say is that the comics shown in those examples are more of an experience then a book. Paper takes away what those comics were able to do. He was able to stack panels ontop of other panels, place panels in orders that we wouldn't normally read IE from bottom to top. I mean, I can understand some ways that it could be translated to paper, but doesn't that defeat the whole purpose? You would have to be designing the comic, knowing that it has to be able to work on paper, which is limiting you once again to the constraints of the print world.

The whole Kindle, and digital paper trend you're talking about is about the only way I think this could be monotized without compromising the integrity of the book. Frankly I think that's still a far ways off, but who knows.

I think it's neat, but I think it's ahead of it's time. Society as a whole hasn't embraced the kind of technology needed yet for somebody to make an honest living with this kind of work.

To tell you the truth though, even if these kind of comics become successful, I believe that ordinary comics will still do just as well. It's like the 3D being added to movies now, it's cool and it makes for a fun experience, but it doesn't make the story better.

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Post by Harry Myland (IV) » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:57 pm

Heh, I basically completely agree with you.

Ahead of its time is the key word there, as is "the far-flung future of webcomics" :P

But still.. like I said before, in the right hands this (or something akin to this) idea could really go far, and is likely to down the line.. I think, anyways.
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Post by Dresden Codak » Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:52 pm

I'm more of a fan of removing as much clicking as possible. With my webcomic I usually make each story fit on one super tall page, and integrate the paneling so that the flow downward seems natural. I think there are a lot of untapped methods of webcomickry out there, although I prefer to set it up so the delivery system is as invisible as possible.


And just as a professional note: my webcomics can't fit into regular books but they still support me exclusively. There are lots of ways to monetize digital content.
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Post by thirdeyeh » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:14 pm

Really fascinating and fun. I enjoyed it. Not sure the full application of it, but I don't want to make that the point too much. It is a really interesting way of conveying a story. And while the capitalization of it may not be in place yet, I had fun just experiencing this uniquely told story.
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Post by Gunwhale » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:44 pm

I thought this was very interesting. I don't really mind having to click ahead panel by panel, only because there are some times when reading a traditional comic book where I will unintentionally spoil a buildup of panels by instinctively looking at the next page. It's because both pages (or panels) are within my eyespan, and I think the way the guy presents his comic lets you avoid that by choosing when you want to move on to the next panel.

However, that can have trade-offs. One of the joys of traditional comics is viewing the page as a whole, with each panel in relation to the ones surrounding it. When it's done right, whether through a double spread or just awesome pacing, it's worth stopping and taking it all in. I don't see how that's possible with this guy's format, unless he increases the size of his 'page' to do that.

But, I do like the two slides that featured two panels changing from instant to instant simultaneously. (the girl and guy from Twilight embracing). I think that's a strength of this type of presentation, and I'm wondering if that's already possible in traditional comics. It probably is, but it looks pretty appealing the way he did it. And I also like how he's able to change direction from left to right, to right to left, as well as expand a panel's size.

I don't know. I think as far as digital only presentation goes, this is a good next step. But just like when it comes to literature, there's always going to be those who want to hold paper, and I'm kind of in that group right now.
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Post by thirdeyeh » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:12 pm

I'm actually going to venture a bit more and say that I don't really see this as comics at all.. i don't mean that in a bad way. It's fantastic, but the general indea of comics are the flowing of a narrative through time and space. Moving across a plane of some sort. In this example, the experience is more through time. The element of space isn't involved. In this presentation it is more animation than comic. If, however, brought to the printed form,it would then have a spacial element to its presentation and be a comic.

I really liked it. But some of the things I think people are coming up with are more... awesome hybrids than anything else.

I enjoyed myself, either way.
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Post by OdinChen » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:29 pm

Dresden Codak wrote:With my webcomic I usually make each story fit on one super tall page, and integrate the paneling so that the flow downward seems natural.

And just as a professional note: my webcomics can't fit into regular books but they still support me exclusively. There are lots of ways to monetize digital content.
I think your comic is really great the way it is. But don't you think breaking the story into more panels and pages can also help the readers feel time, space, emotions...better? Like the one we're talking about. Don't get me wrong, there are many exceptions, and Dresden Codak is one imho.

I mean, in general, when an artist wants to deliver his/her comics to more readers, the "flow" of the story should be as smooth as possible. Comparing to superheroes comics, manga has more panels to express the whole story. And that is why my friends and I prefer reading manga more than other comic styles. When it comes to animations, videos and games do best. For comics, it's about time, space and the detail of emotions.

If comic is a way to express oneself, it's ok to do whatever you want with it. But if you want it to be a hit in sales, you have to think about the masses. Make it easier to understand, have more high quality artworks, and listen to what the readers want.
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