Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Motion Comics or Interactive Storytelling?

   With the advent of the iPad and other tablet devices, creative individuals are searching for ways to harness the possibilities they offer for artistic expression. A few years ago, the Comic industry experimented with motion comics, with disastrous results in my opinion. As many observed, it strained the fabric of what make Comics Comics. This was a learning experience for everyone and I feel, even though an unsuccessful venture, it was valuable exploration.
   What caught my attention recently, are interactive, or what I'd like to call immersive experience Comics. It started in some of the first Children's offerings for the iPad. Alice In Wonderland from Atomic Antelope was an eye opener to what might be possible. Since, there have been a flood of such titles, again mostly in the Children's digital book market. No surprise. Such books have always been well received by their audience. Since the day of the popup book and those annoying read along and play books you see everywhere, publishers have been making the most of it.  One might be inclined then to lump interactive, immersive comics into either the failed or the puerile, but let me put forward a couple of examples that might prove otherwise. first,

                                         Bottom Of The Ninth by Ryan Woodward .
 Ryan is a phenomenal animator artist and storyteller, and now add innovator to his achievements. Now there may be some purists out there that might argue, but I say that he has made a step, a huge step in the evolution of Comics. As defined by Scott McCloud; "Comics- Juxtaposed pictorial And Other images in sequence intended to convey information and / or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer" The possibilities are so exciting to me. Not just Static images, but animated and interactive elements "Juxtaposed" to other content. In spite of a few technical glitches at first, I find Ryan's offering inspiring!
   Another offering that I most highly recommend is

                                      CIA. Operation Ajax from Cognito Comics.
 This work is simply astounding! In so many ways. in subject matter and in execution, exemplary. This not only suggests an advancement in entertainment but also in education. It enlivens the otherwise dry events of history and slaps you in the face with a huge dose of relevance. If you truly want to understand why the middle east hates the west so much, this will shine an unflinching light on the subject. I'll leave it up to others more skilled in word and critique than I to give a rounded evaluation, but just read it, NO, experience it. And if you are a creator like myself, be inspired by it.
   And not to leave you without a tool to do so, might I recommend downloading the first and only app at present for you to experiment with.

Demi Books Composer is an app that allows you to build an interactive story right on the iPad and the company offers you a way to make that available to everyone through the iTunes store. That particular portion of their offering I haven't fully explored yet, but the app is free to download and use.  
So what are you waiting on! Get busy! Get out there and start astounding people!