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"Bottom of the Ninth" Explores New Concepts in Digital Comics

In the past I’ve shown you a couple digital comics ideas like Pablo Defendini’s HTML5 based concept or Marvel’s introduction of time as a story telling element. I’ve always been deeply interested in new ways to tell stories, and today I have a new one to share.

Ryan Woodward is currently working on Bottom of the Ninth, an SF/baseball graphic novel which is coming out next month. This graphic novel  explores at least one concept that is new to me.

Ryan is keeping the frames that digital comics inherited from their print predecessor, but in place of static images he plans to replace some with animations similar to the GIF embedded above. Rather than just show a scene, some of the frames will show the scene being acted out. Others include panning, zooming, or other kind of motion.

Animated GIFs are an old webpage gimmick that fortunately has mostly died out.Their welcome wore out quickly because most GIFs were limited in file size and that limited how long they could run. Note, though, that this digital comic uses something like an animated GIF. That doesn’t mean the animations will be GIF.

Check out the demo below for more info.

I’m not entirely sold on the idea but the demo does look interesting. Depending on how much thought went into this, it could be a fascinating read. I definitely think the first issue is worth buying just to look at.

You’ll find the first installment in iTunes in May for iPhone, iPad, and new iPad.

Bottom of the Ninth

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Deanna April 25, 2012 um 2:00 pm

I find this to be a fascinating new development. Combines the comic book with new digital arts. Don’t have any Apple products, so I can’t check it out, but it looks fabulous! As you said, if a lot of thought goes into this, it could be amazing!

L. Grabenstetter April 25, 2012 um 2:37 pm

Not new at all… Though that certainly is a lovely iteration of the idea! 🙂
I remember seeing webcomics with small embedded animations as early as 2001 (which means there were probably others predating it). And infinite canvas has been used to make webcomics that are partly animated and (potentially) infinitely long for years now. I recommend checking out Scott McCloud’s website, he’s always been an innovator and he likes to promote other artists who are as well.

And of course, Japanese horror comics have been using animation as a trick to scare us for some time:

Nate Hoffelder April 25, 2012 um 3:45 pm


It worked.

Nate Hoffelder April 25, 2012 um 4:17 pm

And I think that is Korean, not Japanese.

L. Grabenstetter April 26, 2012 um 9:53 am

Derp, you’re right. Korean. X)
The original link someone shared with me claimed it was Japanese, but I should’ve known better.

Krystian Galaj April 26, 2012 um 4:07 am

This is just what all Japanese visual novels have been doing with the illustrations they show for the past 20 years. Maybe it’s seeping to US comics now, but it’s nothing new.

Here’s a Not So New Trick With Digital Comics – The Digital Reader April 30, 2012 um 2:38 pm

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