Archive for ‘Experimental Comics’

“3,856 Story Possibilities”

This book is going to be so, so, cool!

Many of us cartoonists already own Jason Shiga‘s original hand-printed version of this insane choose-own-adventure masterpiece (he even has a quote from me), but the idea of a full-out professionally printed version with tabs. Ah, be still my heart…

Best of all is the absolute certainty that whenever we see the number “3,856″ used to describe the many branching possibilities, it was Shiga himself that came up with the number and the number’s gonna be correct.

Learn more here and here.

Polaroid Swan Song

Photographer Reluctantgod writes with news of a cool project:

It is a sequential narrative composed of 73 Polaroids.  I utilized Autoviewer technology (from Simpleviewer.net) to create a Flash gallery where the photos are arranged in a continuous row, with no page breaks. Each new photo in the sequence is advanced from left to right in front of the viewer, by way of non-intrusive buttons and/or the arrow keys on the keyboard. Each time an image is centered, its corresponding caption is revealed in clear text, below the image.

When I found myself running out of Polaroid film (as it has now been officially discontinued by the Polaroid Corporation), I decided that I should do something “bigger,” something that was more intriguing and powerful, with my remaining film supply. I have always had a love for sequential art (that your books have truly re-enforced and strengthened), so I decided to undertake a challenging project that would be unique among works of instant film photography.

It’s called A Garden Not Lost to Us and it’s a spooky, interesting read. I especially like the idea of new tech being used to transmit the swan song for a dying tech.

Cent pour Cent: “ziRitz” (NSFW)

Now that France’s huge annual comics festival in Angoulême is concluded, I can share with you my contribution to Cent pour Cent (or “100 for 100″), an exhibition at the city’s newly refurbished comics museum.

One hundred comics artists from around the globe were asked to choose a piece of classic comics art from the museum’s vast collection of originals and then remix or re-imagine the work any way we liked.

I chose an Ernie Bushmiller Fritzi Ritz page (original here) and, deconstructed it to death. Take a look if you dare. (NSFW)

I wasn’t able to attend Angoulême this year, but I guess I was there in spirit, both in the exhibition, and in what seems now to be an annual tradition that I’m told grew out its stateside counterpart.

Dan Goldman’s Red Light Properties

Dan Goldman has a new comic up at Tor.com which loads one panel at a time. Works pretty smoothly.

What’s interesting for me (apart from the art and story, of course) is how seamless it felt on a fast connection where the panels dropped in right away, and how jarring it was on a slower connection when the whole page vanished between loads. Speed definitely improved the reading experience.

Since the early ’90s, I’ve struggled to look past glitches that had more to do with temporary technological limitations to the various new format ideas artists have been trying out. I’ve tried to look ahead to a time when all those problems would be solved—like, say, 2010. Ah well. Patience, patience…

Dan has an interesting interview about the project with Seth Kushner at Graphic NYC where he talks about the story and the process, with a nod to Yves Bigerel’s Digital Comics which helped inspire the format.

[Edit: Last night uploaded an unfinished version of this post, since I forgot to save the final. Above is the final version.]

The Original Nancy Remix

Here’s one from the vaults: The original Nancy collage that I made many years ago which helped inspire creation of the game.

I did a lot of strange things in those days.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Rudy Rucker writes to let us know that this Thursday, his daughter Isabel will debut “Unfurling,” a 400 foot long graphic novel drawn on a scroll of paper, at the SOMArts gallery in San Francisco. It’ll be on display through the 27th.

I didn’t see Rudy’s entry at first. Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing saw it and wrote about it Monday, but I didn’t see Cory’s entry right away either.

No, the reason I know that Cory Doctorow knows that Rudy Rucker’s daughter has a 400 foot long graphic novel scroll at a gallery in San Francisco is simply because the first comment on the BoingBoing thread (by “Shay Guy”) was “Somebody tell Scott McCloud.” And I was ego-surfing.

In the movie Beetlejuice, I always figured that the idea that you could summon the demon just by saying his name three times was meant to have a sort of childlike campfire ghost story quality to it. Ridiculous, but in a kid-logic, dreamtime way.

In Zot!, I played with the idea that all anyone had to do was type the proper name of my electric assassin 9-Jack-9 into any terminal anywhere in the world and he would appear. I figured that the unique quality of the name “J9AC9K” made the chance of anyone accidentally typing it infinitesimal, and therefore give it a certain weird credibility.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!


“Somebody tell Scott McCloud.”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

– Arthur C. Clarke

Comics without Pictures, Take Two

The deadline is coming up fast, but if anyone is interested, here’s a challenge to create a text-only comic (complete with prize) which some of you may want to take up.

As before, I’m sure the whole question of what even qualifies as a “picture” will come up, but I’m happy to let others decide that.

Google Map Comics?

Reader Sylvain Poitras emailed recently to suggest that the new ways people are using Google Maps to create online portfolios and game maps could also be applied to expanded canvas comics. It’s a cool idea. Anyone want to give it a try?

(And no, I have no idea why the last three blog post titles all ended in question marks.)

Comics Without Pictures?

Every once in a while someone gives it a try. Here’s the latest, courtesy of Tim Hall and Jen Ferguson at act-i-vate.

Can there be comics without pictures? Does manipulated, positioned text like this qualify as pictures on some level? Fun questions to ask once in a while.

[Update: Check comments for links to other interesting wordless comics.]

Abstraction Hunter

Artist and scholar Andrei Molotiu takes a look at the abstract side of Understanding Comics and Zot!

Might be fun to see how many other comics might be similarly mined.

[Update: Andrei has more here.]