Cartoonist Susie Cagle and Cartoon Movement are at it again with “Down in Smoke” a report on the pot wars of Oakland. All of Cartoon Movements comics are thoughtful piece of original journalism—but it’s also on the cutting edge of comics technology, with charts, timelines, animation and in this case, an “audio comic’ that includes embedded interviews with the people in the comics. Impressive.
by Serhend Sirkecioglu
My common complaint with the current wave of interactive/digital comics is the lack of ingenuity, risk, and execution, which fall into three camps. The first is the artist-centric camp where the person who made the comic is a competent cartoonist but has no knowledge of programming and is unconscious of interactivity, so the function feels gimmicky and not worth my time. The second is the program-centric, where the design is strong but the story is not much of a looker or read, and can feel more like a proof of concept than a whole-hearted piece. Finally, the third camp is the ones that peter out because the time and energy put into it outweighs the pay off, leading to burnout and an unfinished story.
A new comic up at Cartoon Movement by Dan Carino is a tragic look at self-immolation and the Tibetan situation.
by Serhend Sirkecioglu
Is this a potentially workable pay model for web comics?!
OK, personally for me, Zombies officially went passe the moment Robert Kirkman appeared on The View, but that’s not deterring people from overdoing it. This web comic, I’ll let it slide ’cause it did more with the tired formula.
Zombies Eat Republicans uses a scrolling format but where The First Word stops, ZER takes it further by incorporating sound and music (although looping, which can become annoying) and having the panels slide into place instead of being a static layout, making the read much more active. The comic employs a dragging command to move the story along; though the arrow keys are available, I suggest the mouse or touch for more control.
While Marvel’s corporate policies don’t allow for too much investment in their print business, they have been really ramping up the digital side of things. Why? Rob Salkowitz looks at the meta side of the new online comics line and AR experiments in terms of how it positions the company:
Yusuke Murata is the manga-ka behind the very popular American football manga EYESHIELD 21. In between massive ongoing series—his next project is called onepunchman—Murata started posting a webcomic via Twitter, bsed on yet another series, Hetappi Manga Research Lab R. The story involves Murata being chased over a cliff by an editor and looming deadlines—no paranoia there!—and he uses unique folded paper and lighting effects to give the story more impact.