10 August 2013

Guided View Gone

I was disappointed to find that the second episode of the Batman 66 comic (digital issues #4-5, paper issue #2) does not have the digital tricks of the first.

As I described back here, the first story combined ComiXology’s “guided view” method of sliding from one panel to another with the sequences of similar panels as pioneered by Thrillbent to create a digital comic that has almost 300 “page turns,” or new elements, appearing over the course of the story.

Jonathan Case drew extra art to take advantage of that format so that readers could, for example, see three sequential pictures of Batman shinnying up a rope to the Riddler’s biplane. A single panel in the printed version served as up to half a dozen in the digital format, which the publisher modestly labeled “DC2.”

In contrast, the second story has fewer than fifty page turns, each simply a shift to the next half-page of the printed comic. (Each digital page is the top or bottom half of one page in the printed version.)

Ever alert for conspiracy theories, the Bleeding Cool website suggested that the reason for the change was a patent dispute. ComiXology’s “guided view” might infringe on patents from 2006-2012 owned by Disney, now owner of Marvel Comics.

However, commenter Hsielke at reported a more mundane explanation:
I contacted comixology and found out that not until chapter 10 will [Batman 66] be DC2 again. I also saw in an interview with the writer that they will not be doing all in DC2 because if they did they would not be able to hit their deadlines.
Which makes sense: drawing more pictures takes more time. Learning the new storytelling tricks takes more time. But I think it will be time well spent.

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