Countdown continues to Electricomics Launch

Electricomics: Sway Panel 3

Art: Nicola Scott

 

(Updated): The countdown continues toward a full launch of Electricomics, a research and development project to create an open source app enabling digital comics to be made by anyone.

Announced last May, Electricomics, which has the backing of Britain’s best known modern comic book writer Alan Moore, will include the publication of a new anthology that will feature stories from Peter HoganGarth Ennis and Leah Moore and John Reppion.

Now, Leah Moore has released a statement indicating the project is just eight weeks away from Milestone Four of Six they have to deliver on to bring the project closer to launch – and has kindly given us permisison to publish it here in full, indicating it’s been a long and involved road to this point…

Comics is a complex process. You have many people in a long chain, and hopefully if you pass an idea from one end of that chain to the other you end up with a comic. There are good reasons why things work the way they do, and they have been done that way for a long time. There are conventions and tried and tested methods, and professionals who make their living by doing that job the same way every time.

This project has been unconventional from the start. We announced before a word was written, did a convention without a comic to sell, and have done workshops with almost no software to test. The project has thus far been a ghost in the aether. An intangible object, or to put it more bluntly, a lot of hot air.

This month, the time has come to put the art and the words and the tech together into the actual electricomics.

This is the bit that counts. This is the bit where we work out the pipeline for production for real, where we figure out a path between the working practices of the entire comics team, and also the entire technical team.

Time is at a premium, the work still to do is immense, and the only way through it all is one step at a time, working it out as we go.

What filetype do we use? What size? How do you read a balloon when zoomed in, and also when zoomed out.

Comics is usually a constructive process, which each stage bringing together the previous ones, and a neat file being spat out at the end.

Electricomics is a fragmentary almost destructive one, with the art kept as layered files, the pages chopped apart and panels shown one at a time. Each process is complicated, each professional asked for more than usual. The resulting files will be handed off to be assembled by a team of expert but non-comics engineers. Will they put it all back together in the right way, or will it emerge like Frankenstein’s monster, all bolts and stitches and amiable awfulness?

This is the nitty gritty now, this is the bit where we have to put our money where our mouth is.

I find myself holding my breath. Not sure I can hold it for the next eight weeks though…

Leah

 

We’re looking forward to seeing what has come from the year-long research and development phase, although we appreciate we’re still some way off a full launch.

 

Electricomics: Second Sight

Art: Paul Davidson

 

The team that has been assembled to produce new comics for the digital age, utilising new storytelling techniques, creating and using new comic making tools which they must then make freely available to everyone is impressive, to say the least: in addition to Alan Moore, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Garth Ennis, and Peter Hogan, the creators involved include Nicola Scott, Jose Villarrubia, Colleen Doran, Paul Davidson, Simon Bowland and Todd Klein.

NESTA LogoWith funding from NESTA, supporting them are the research team of Dr Alison Gazzard from the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey from The University of Hertfordshire. Ocasta Studios have created the app and open source toolkit.

• Head over to and bookmark http://electricomics.net – or sign up for their newsletter – for all the latest news

• Follow Electricomics on Facebook or on Twitter @Electricomics

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, Digital Comics News, downthetubes Comics News, Featured

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