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Comics Inventions
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Jason Alderman
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
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Location: All over the globe...

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2001 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy,

Felt this topic from the old boards ought to be resurrected eventually, and since it's a Sunday night and I'm procrastinating getting ready for the coming week, I thought I'd do a brain dump of all the crazy comics-style ideas that I've had percolating upstairs, just in case someone else wanted to give them a shot ...or offer feedback.

(First, though...speaking of the old ezboard archives, is there some way, Greg, that you could do a search-and-delete on the advertisement code that's still in the pages there? I've been trying to load the Comics Inventions thread for a while now, but it's getting hung up trying to resolve the adserver. Besides, since they're local copies, who needs the ads...)

Background: this thread, for those of you who never saw the last one, is for any creativity-sparking ideas, or ingenious new ways to present comics, or just any kind of sequential art inventions in general. If you come up with something or if you just want to test the waters with a concept, post it to this thread.

Ideas:
  • Comics Duels
    While I was in Europe for a while, I watched a lot of German MTV, and one of the trends in European electronica music was to have DJ duels--collaborative remixes that were billed as something like "ATB vs. Alice Deejay." The mix would combine the signature styles of both DJs, sometimes jumping back and forth between both as if the DJs were vying for control of the turntables. Why not do the same thing with comics? Have a referee of sorts and have artists/writers/teams sign up to go "against" each other to produce a back-and-forth collaborative work. The back-and-forth could be determined by volume ("pages" or screens or whatever an amount of sequential art is on the web) or time (like the turns in a chess game), and the work would be finished when the participants agree or the ref decides. I'm sure there are lots of variations or similar things you could do with this (and there are already a lot of collaborative comics projects out there). Ideally, I think it would be nifty to set up a duel server that would allow people to register, give them an opponent and a theme (whether randomly generated, or solicited from visitors and put into a database) and then mark the timeline for completion and advertise whose work would be appearing next, what the current duel was, etc. Songfight.com does a similar thing for music, although it has everyone produce their own comic around a theme rather than working on one product, and there's someone else who was thinking of applying the explodingdog/songfight model to a weekly webcomic strip.
  • Composite Sketcher
    Thanks to databases and text parsers we can have all sorts of random text/idea/etc. generators on the web. Why not a random face generator? Composite artists for the police work from a library of different face shapes, styles of eyes, ears, noses, mouths, eyebrows, chins, etc., to make sketches of wanted suspects, so you could use a server-side app to do the same kind of thing when you're in a creative doldrum as to what a character should look like (or you have a bad habit of making your characters look very much the same). I'm sure it could be pretty easily put together with Macromedia Flash, and if that were the case, you could make it downloadable...and have it save settings in a text file that could be read by other people with the .swf face generator program. I have a feeling that the next really interesting development in interactive webcomics is going to involve some kind of server-generated flash files....
  • Mini-comics...web style
    I've been dinking around with this idea for a while...I've even made up templates and started work on an 8-page comic to demonstrate it...but I didn't get very far on it because I got tied up in other projects. Flash 4 and 5 have a nifty little feature that lets you click a button in a .swf and automatically send a vector file to your printer. What's interesting about this is you can have a tiny button on your page that's a .swf using the Flash plug-in (standard in IE, Netscape, MacOS, and Windows, and available for Linux), and when you click on this button, it prints multiple full-page layouts, pulling these pages from information hidden in the .swf or stored in other .swfs on the server. Why not bypass the hassle of laboriously photocopying your minicomics and let the reader do the "publishing" for you? Someone could go to your site, make the paypal/amazon/whatever micropayment for an 8-page comic, click the button, and watch the page(s) come out of his/her printer like magic. Sure, they'll have to use manual feed to print one side, flip, and print the other side, and then they'll have to take scissors and a stapler to it, but the way I see it, that's half the fun. And at such a low price (or free), I'd do that for other people's work. Check it out. If I ever get around to it, I'll try to do this...and it should be pretty easy to make a template with both the Flash files for the front/back of the minicomic page (.6" margins all around should work on almost all printers out there today) and the actual publishing .swf with the buttons to print (and probably animated instructions on how to assemble the minicomic, to boot).

Ack. I think I had some other ideas, but this seems to be enough for one night. Ideas? Comments?

jason
huah!net

[ This Message was edited by: Jason Alderman on 2001-05-06 23:43 ]
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Kip Grey
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2001 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been doing a lot of chatting on IRC with other web comic artists lately (a lot of them hang out in the #4toontellers room on the nightstar server) and I thought it would be fun to try doing an internet comic jam while we were chatting. One person would draw a panel, scan it and post it in the forum topic that I had started, then the next person in line would do the next panel. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out, and I plan on doing more in the future. I was mostly inspired by ideas tossed out in this forum, but it was also inspired by Comicollage, which I've been an avid reader of lately, and I believe it was mentioned by Russ earlier in this thread. I even had two comicollagers join in!

I really like jason's comic duel idea, and using this method of chat and a message board would be a great low-tech (if I dare use that word on the internet) way to facilate a "real time" duel. Somebody shows up in the chat room, finds another person without a partner/nemesis (or a ref could pair them up, if need be), and they comic away.

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[ This Message was edited by: Kip Grey on 2001-06-07 10:57 ]
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John2two
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Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 100
Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2001 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That jam yielded a good, chaotically funny result. By all means, do more, more!

John
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rcar
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Joined: 31 May 2001
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2001 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the past couple years I have been trying different web comic book ideas. First I tried hypercard, then acrobat, and now flash. I have been trying to capture a comic book feel on the web. The memory in flash was getting too high so I sacrificed to art to lower the memory. Just last night I figured out how to lower the memory with out sacrificing the art. I am still not sure flash is the way to go, but it targets the largest audience aside from html comics. Anyway, if you want to see what I have been doing, check out my website and let me know what you think.

http://www.mermbut.com

As for the print your own comic idea. I like it. But I think most people would be to lazy to go through the work. I don't think anyone would go through the effort of printing back to back. Maybe putting the pages in a three ring binder could work. But good idea, it is still easier to read on paper than a monitor. There is a site called panelpushes that has printeable comics. go check them out. http://www.panelpusher.com I think they are pretty new, so I don't know how well the idea is working out.

I also like the idea of a different person for each panel idea. Some really cool and creative ideas can come from that. Dave Barry published a book where each chapter was a different author, and it was well received. But instead of a panel each, maybe a page each in a continueing story. That way you can get your idea going a little.



[ This Message was edited by: rcar on 2001-06-05 19:12 ]
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Kip Grey
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2001 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't dare speculate how the comic jam idea started, but this interesting sidebar I found in one of my many art books was the first I had heard of such a spontaneous collaboration between separate artists. I thought you folks might enjoy a look at it.



Also, Sean started up a comic jam forum over at Cartoon Community, and asked me to moderate. Anybody is welcome to join in at any time, as opposed to the other jam I started up, which was mostly executed via chat room. I suggested Jason's Comic Duel idea in my loose guidelines as a variation people could try. Another idea I want to try sometime is a Backwards Jam, or Memento Jam, as I like to call it (after the excellent movie). The first person draws the LAST panel of the story, and each successive panel follows events backwards until the beginning of the story is reached. If anybody has any other ideas for variations, or suggestions for the forum, I'd love to hear them.

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The cool kids call it Wreck Fat

[ This Message was edited by: Kip Grey on 2001-06-07 10:56 ]
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John2two
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Joined: 15 Apr 2001
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Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have finally gotten around to reading the first couple weeks' stuff at the comics jam forum and I am excited. This stuff is fun!

WreckFat and Sean, thanks for hosting the show! You guys rock!

John
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russ
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Joined: 29 Jun 2001
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Exquisite Corpse and Yves Tanguy (one of the surrealists involved), the Menil Museum in Houston has a terrific exhibit of his art. It's a touring retrospective and I believe Houston is the only city in the US it's hitting. I really enjoyed the exhibit.

http://www.menil.org/home.html
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