by Orion Tippens, ADC
It's like I'm INSIDE THE COMICS! (Image of the future via Wikipedia)
Digital Comics, where are you going?
Recently, the leading digital comics multi-platform app, Comixology, achieved over 50 million downloads in single-issue comics and graphic novels. That is the good news for the comics industry, at least in knowing that many people are now exposed to the sequential-art storytelling format.
Of course, not all comics fanpeople will accept the new medium. Digital comics are all bits and bytes, with no real chance for resale of purchase and the fear that all purchases could disappear of the service permanently dies out. Those who favor the digital format will relish in the higher definition color, availability selection, and “light” reading. There have been breakthroughs to further the revolution of digital-comics reading, including the single-panel “Guided View” option, cross-platform account access with cheap digital exclusives, and free samples. Is that enough?
No, but the publishing industry is improving. As digital piracy will continue, innovation is needed to usher in this potential new digital golden era.
Marvel Comics, meanwhile, has announced its new “Marvel Infinite” imprint. Within are a few curious ideas to enhance traditional narratives including the “control the caption boxes and how they’re delivered to the reader.” Marvel also announced its new Augmented Reality system for mobile devices, where the scanning of strategically placed QR codes adds to its comics content.
However, a well-sequenced art narrative is all one needs to enjoy a comics story to its fullest. That being said, the industry should focus on innovative ways to get the readers better involved with published content. This can be done by enhancing not just the experience of reading the comic, but also getting involved with other aspects including the setting, the technology, and the invitation to new, innovative ideas.
Here, below, are my crazy ideas to ponder in the new and revolutionizing expanse of the comics-publishing biz. Interested companies, feel free to take note and steal (through credit would be nice). Ponder the possibilities. If such ideas are in the works, please point them out in the comments below. Or even better, add a few of your own.
Annotative tagging – Red Lanterns, Secret Invasions, Renegade Clonetroopers, obscure Grant Morrison characters got your head in a spin? Backtracking on such elaborate mythologies may procure in difficulty for those with empty wallets, or lacking in free time. A simple solution, especially for the new readers, would be genius. How about, for those fancy touch screens, a simple tagging system with access to some sort of large information collective on repeat characters, past events, and relevant back issues? Perhaps holding down on some returning character can pop up some information on background, abilities, favorite pie, whatever. Does this take away or distract from the story? As long as it is optional, then no. Also, think of the other possibilities Continue reading