Form and function.  As I’m about to launch my first web comic – I’ve basically been scanning the pages as is.  They are comics drawn and ready for print.  But the web isn’t a paper page, so the form isn’t exactly the same.  I’ve struggled with this – only going for web comics or digital comics when I couldn’t find them, or just had to read something, or if there was one of Comixology’s stupid good sales where they slash the price by 75% or something.

I’ve often wondered, why are we doing comics the same way we do them on print, for the web.  It’s different.  Books are not film, TV is not film, comic pages are not the same as web pages.  I know it has the word “pages” but it’s not the same.

So, while I was thinking of just throwing up a page (that is basically a digital file of what a printed page would look like) I think I’m going to actually move the panels around to take advantage of the web.

I like this for a couple reasons:

  1. I’ve never been super comfortable with the idea of transposing comics intended for print, onto the web.
    1. Although I’ve been drawing with print in mind, I think I can shop up the panels to take advantage of the web as a medium.
  2. This way there is some difference in the print and digital versions.  There is some reason to buy the print, vs the digital.  Print will also be in color probably.  So, there’s that.

So, we’ll see.  This ted talk by Scott McCloud got me thinking about it and has encouraged me to try it:

I think I’m going to spend some more time talking about web comics that take advantage of the form.

The talk was interesting – a very heady analysis of the form.  I think you have to be armed with a certain background in comics as a form, or McCloud in general.  I read his “understanding comics” in college in a cinema class for some reason.  So, Scott McCloud has definitely written “the book” on comics.

Another idea I had – that I just thought of was dialogue.  With dialogue, I had an idea for a while that if you could have a comic on an ipad, and everytime you touch the screen, more dialogue bubbles appear – this takes advantage of the urge to poke and click the ipad touchscreen — but I could try a version of that with the image — by having different images, with different dialogue — you could scroll down and have the image repeat – but the dialogue bubbles would be different —

There are some comics that take advantage of this on Mark Waid’s Thrillbent:  But it is a click, it’s a clicking motion that gives you the next image directly over the one you’re watching – so it takes a sort of poor man’s animation feel – which I’m not sure I’m comfortable with.

There is no gutter. The gutter is whatever load time is between you clicking, and the next image.

This way, things would scroll down, and there would be a gutter inbetween the images.  The gutter is the space between images – that’s where your imagination as the reader makes the leap from one image to the next.

We’ll talk more about this, I’ll probably eventually pull this into a formal thought that collates all these ideas with examples.

Here’s an interesting/depressing article on comic shops and the Direct Market (DM):