The webcomics blog about webcomics


I like web comics. I like dead tree comics. I like my web comics mostly because they are like the dead tree variety, only free. I’m really not asking for much more, to be honest.

Despite this, I recently visited the Telltale Games website, to download something and discovered web comics the Telltale way. The Sam and Max Comic is interesting. You look at it and you say “what is this? where is my dialog and sound effects?” and then you unwittingly hover your cursor over a pane and lo and behold! Dialog! Sound Effects Etc!

This is an interesting approach, and one that is obviously only possible when utilising electronic media. Sometimes, when reading a comic, our eye is drawn to a boisterous sound effect in the last panel, which can ruin the pacing and set up of a strip. Same goes for dialog within a panel. Sometimes we can get distracted by dialog in bold or italics, and not read things in order, once again ruining the experience the author had in mind for us. In Sam and Max, this is not a problem. As you hover your cursor over a panel, the dialog and sound effects appear in the order that they were intended.

Personally, I am undecided as to whether this is genius or novelty. The concept is sound, I think, but having to manually hover over every single panel makes extended reading slightly cumbersome. A bit more like playing a video game perhaps?

Well, that’s understandable I suppose…

The Crossgen site (its loss is sorely lamented by fans locally) had a VERY cool system where you could tab from panel to panel, dialog to dialog, and the dialogs would zoom larger as you selected them.

No mouse needed, and when you got to the last dialog on the page, the tab key took you to the next page. It was dayumn slick.

Dave Lamphear (a former Crossgen letterer and local pro here in Utah) related once that it seemed Crossgen’s problems stemmed from focusing on becoming a technology company, when some bright-boy told them that their comics-on-the-web system had patentable bits.

You can click the view flat option if you don’t like the interactive way of doing things.

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