Web Made Comics

This is my (ill thought out) idea for an activity at Mozilla Drumbeat: Media Freedom and the Web

Start with Scott McCloud and his Infinite Canvas ideas and various musings from Warren Ellis mix in some of that hacker powered Mozilla magic that made the Web Made Movies lab such a hit at the first Drumbeat festival and see if a) we can come up with a toolset that supports innovative ‘open’ web comics and b) a comic that explains Drumbeat itself (or one of the other activities – maybe a Hackasaurus solo tale!).

I’ve seen a couple of attempts at HTML5 (Canvas I guess) powered ‘comics’ but they have been pretty disappointing – though maybe not as bad as most of the mainstream stuff I read on my iPad via apps. I firmly believe that the things that define comics (I always liked the Will Eisner definition “the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea.”) still has alot to offer online – it just needs to make the same leap that the Web Made Movies team talk about – it “is on the web, but not of the web”.

Graphic.ly have been doing some interesting work in this area with a web based version of their app (as well as a Chrome extension/app) over in Boulder but I’m not sure what anyone else is up to (which isn’t to say there isn’t loads going on – just that I’ve not being following it too closely for a while!).

It would be interesting to get some creators involved from the start – to essentially act as ‘product owners’ and user testers – I think one of the key things Scott McCloud talked about was a Reader-Centered Philosophy which I think would need to be a strong focus (as well as making things that are creator friendly as well..)

If nothing else I reckon it could be a fun thing to try and I’ve got to believe that an event like Mozilla Drumbeat has more than its share of attendees who would have an interest in making comics work online 🙂


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