Thursday, 7 May 2009

Mirabilis on your iPhone

Did the filmstrip effect there make you do a double take? It’s a bit of artistic licence to draw attention to our latest experiment. We’re going to pick a few episodes of Mirabilis (probably ones you haven’t seen yet – yay!) and convert them into e-book form.

In the demo versions this will entail using Flash for some fancy fades, zooms, rostrum work, and maybe the occasional visual or sound effect. The end result will be a little like
the trailer (US readers will need to look here for that) but it’ll be a complete episode that you can pause while you read the text.

For something similar, see the Watchmen
Complete Motion Comic. When I first heard about that, I couldn’t see the point. But if you think of it, not as a slightly messed-up version of the book or a low-rent version of the movie, but instead as a trial run for how the original content could be repurposed for e-reading then it starts to make sense.

Okay, this is not how I prefer to read a comic. Viewing one frame at a time means sacrificing the effect of the page as a whole. But that’s just personal taste, and in any case it’s all swings and roundabouts. What we lose in terms of the richness of the reading experience, we gain by opening the story up to a whole lot of people who never go near print comics. And with paper getting more expensive every year, that might soon be the majority of comics readers.

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