On Digital Comics

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Marvel have just announced their new iTunes incentive, that will bring “animated” versions of old favourites and new strips to the platform, complete with dynamic movement and voiceovers.

I cannot begin to tell you what a dreadful idea I think this is. Comics do not need to be animated (presumably, this will mean clunky moving zooms and frames whizzing in and out of shot in an entirely arbitrary manner). They do not need lazy, phoned-in voiceovers slapped over the top, and they certainly do not need a soundtrack. The joy of comics is that they are interactive in a completely different way, and one that actively involves the participant in a way that no other media can manage.

An example. I know what Superman’s voice sounds like, and I can absolutely guarantee that it’s different to the way you think Superman sounds.

I could, I suppose, start banging on about Scott McCloud about now, but instead I’d like to direct you toward Yves Bigeral’s outstanding presentation on DeviantArt, that shows one way that comics can go that embraces new technology and the internet, while still keeping hold of the stylistic devices that make the comics form so compelling in the first place. Recommended for a slow five minutes. Really.

(Graphic from Toothpaste For Dinner. Yve’s work via Warren Ellis, the Marvel thing via MacUser. Blogging whilst ill in bed, BTW. Sympathy now.)

***UPDATE***
Just seen a trailer for the Marvel thing. It’s worse than I thought.

In fact, i’ve just sussed what it reminds me of. CLUTCH CARGO!

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Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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