Electricomics, the new digital comics reader app developed by a team including Alan Moore, has just been launched for iPad – with an Android version planned at a future date.
Over two years in the making, the app gives you free access to innovative digital comics by some of the best writers and artists in the business, including Red Horse by Garth Ennis, a moving story from World War One, beautifully digitally painted by artist Frank Victoria, whose attention to detail brings every panel to life.
Also available at launch is Sway by Leah Moore and John Reppion, a time travel SF story with an interactive twist, drawn in all chronologies by the stunning talent that is Nicola Scott; and Cabaret Amygdala Presents: ‘Second Sight’ by Peter Hogan, a creepy little horror story in the EC tradition, which uses digital to let the reader build the picture and feel the creeping dread for themselves, drawn by Paul Davidson, who acknowledges your comfort zone, and then fills it full of horrible anyway.
Last but not least, you can read Big Nemo by Alan Moore, whose rejuvenation of Winsor McCay’s most well known comic character, stays true to the source, but brings Moore’s trademark depth and gravity to every panel. The art duties fell to Colleen Doran, whose mastery of the form shows in every line.
“This app is part of a complete digital comics self-publishing ecosystem which lets you create, package, and publish your own digital comics,” says Leah Moore, and comic creators will soon be able to create their own comics for the platform.
“Coming very soon, you will be able to go to http://Electricomics.net and download the creator tool to your desktop PC or Mac. It lets you lay out, and package your own comics, and read them in the app.
“You can build Infinite Canvas comics, where the reader follows the story from panel to panel in whichever direction it leads.
You can make Panel delivery comics, where you have control of the reading experience at panel level, every panel can be a reveal, and the page is fluid, changing.
“The professional comics are a jumping off point,” she expalins. “We want you to join in, and push forward what is possible for yourself.”
Apart from the four free comics, when you start to make your own Electricomics and read those of other people, the App enable you to maintain control of your own content, to store it where you like, make what you want out of it. Comics load in the Electricomics App instantly from their URL.
You can keep a library of your favourite comics, whether they were made by you, your friends, or your greatest heroes, they are all accessible in the same app.
“Whatever is added to Electricomics remains Open Source, and the property of the community using it,” says Leah.
“Take it. Make with it. Improve it. It’s yours.”
The release has been welcomed by many, although Android users and those using other mobile devices have expressed disquiet that their devices can’t run the new software. But Leah has explained that the team had to focus on one platform – and not only is Apple’s IOS well distributed, it’s also easier to build for – for budgetary reasons (and iOS has a quicker uptake for new apps than Android, too).
“I think our plan is to try and push this out so its as useful to people as possible,” she says in response to comments. “One line of enquiry is to make the content embeddable in a normal website, so everyone could read Electricomics on the web, and not just in the app.
“We don’t have funding to pursue that yet, but it’s definitely something we are thinking about.If you had told me two years ago, we’d get this far I’d not have believe you, so even if it takes a while, we will keep pushing at it.
“All our content and the app, and the creator tool is free to read/use, and the code is open source, so we are making it as easy as we possibly can for people. If anybody wants to take the code and make it work on Android, they are free to do that.”
• Download the app for iPad: itunes.apple.com/app/electricomics/id1025920561. The source code for Electricomics will be available soon. For more information on the project visit http://Electricomics.net