We had another great #webcomicschat tonight, thanks to everyone that participated. Recently someone asked me why I didn’t use flash animation for my web comic. It seemed like a simple question, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. At the time I said, “Oh, it would take to much time, blah blah blah.” but now I’m wondering if there’s more to it. Marvel and DC have been creating “Motion” Comics for a while now and they seem to be successful. I’ve watched the Watchmen and the Spider Woman versions which I really like. I just don’t like calling them comics. To me they’re basic forms of animation not comics. Ironically they’re not too much different than the simplified animation Marvel produced in the 60′s based on Kirby drawings.
During our #webcomicschat a number of points were made about whether or not audio, FX, animation, etc could or should be added to webcomics. The Ghettomation podcast and Robot 13 were suggested as comics that are pushing the boundaries. Robot 13 apparently uses vibration in the iPhone version to suggest explosions and such which I assume works like an xbox controller. This sounds pretty cool although I’m not sure how I’d use it. One point that was made is that when a reader controls the pace of the story it’s more like comics, but when the pace of the story is controlled by the format you’re merely watching animation. Being a reader implies active participation while being a viewer is a passive activity. I also have a hard time calling something comics when it doesn’t contain any word balloons and the character voices are performed by actors. My definition of comics will always include text.
Ultimately what’s cool about webcomics is that a creator can DO whatever they want with their comic. There aren’t any rules. For me though it’s important to recognize why I like comics and for that matter, why I like animation. I want to create comic strips, which means I think something special happens when sequential art is joined with text. If I strayed too far from that and worried too much about adding “bells and whistles” then I wouldn’t have time to focus on my art and story. If I was more interested in animation then I’d probably feel differently and would love the idea of adding motion and audio. In any case, the artist’s preference is what matters and as long as it’s good I’m sure it will find an audience.