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Tablet Computers and Partially Animated Comics

Now that multimedia capable and touchscreen driven tablet computers by both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have joined the iPad and its android analogues in the marketplace, I see the potential for a revolution in the type and form of comic books, especially those published by non-famous authors and artists.

Until like 2 years ago you average non-famous, but talented, comic book creator had the following crappy options-

1. Self publish something on the web and hope his work is noticed by big dead-tree publishers.

2. Self publish something on the web and try to monetize it by himself.

3. Create flash-based toons and put them on their own website, blog, YouTube or similar sites to gain cred and attempt 1 or 2– again.

As you can see, they lacked the ability to easily monetize their creativity. Moreover, even the best artist and creative mind cannot refine their craft if they don’t relieve adequate exposure and feedback.

The arrival of the iPad and its imitators created the ability to inexpensively view high quality visual content with the same ease as reading a book. The concurrent birth of a few unified marketplaces such as those created by apple and amazon to sell applications and content for their devices are the second piece of this potential revolution.

So, we now have a situation where independent comic book creators with good ideas and a decent computer plus some software could create something that can be easily monetized. While this new set of conditions is not going to make millionaires out of every aspiring comic book creator- they still represent a big improvement in the situation for aspiring comic book artists.

But few have paid attention to another aspect of this revolution- namely the revolutionary potential of the new format. Printed comics had to employ a variety of artistic techniques to create the illusion of motion and action. The change to a tablet computer format allows comic creators to create real action and motion within each frame of the strip.

They can now create AND easily monetize both full motion cartoons and frame based cartoon strips with user activated animation in a variety of formats ranging from classical 2D, 2.5D and 3D or any mixture thereof. I should mention that many of the old hindrances and obstacles to creating such content had previously fallen due to the availability of cheap computers and content creation software.

The tablet computer is going to become a far more versatile medium for comic books than its printed paper version could ever be. While the first major success on this new platform will resemble their printed paper version, the capabilities of these devices to render and present content in ways that are physically impossible on paper will result in the creation of comic books that are unlike anything today. It is also very likely that such path-breaking techniques will be discovered, utilized and optimized by non-famous independent cartoon creators.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. joe
    November 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    http://singularityhub.com/2011/08/27/games-pop-ups-3d-and-more-the-ipad-is-changing-books-forever/

    I had read that article when it came out and a similar one when the original iPad came out. My point is- what you have seen till now is a poor trailer for what the future will look like.

  2. George
    November 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    More artistic talent will be required, not less. But otherwise sound analysis.

    and it will come from non-famous people, not the old establishment types.

  3. November 15, 2011 at 11:39 pm
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