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David Hines [userpic]

comics thoughts

August 30th, 2009 (12:03 am)
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A couple of comics notes:

POWER GIRL is everything I ever wanted a Power Girl series to be. I hug it to pieces.

BATWOMAN: Everybody is praising BATWOMAN's art. I am damned if I can see why. It is visually striking, yes. It is also completely fucking impossible to follow. I like my comic art to be clean and simple and effective; admittedly, one sequence in the latest issue has Batwoman doped to the gills on hallucinogens, so there might be an excuse for going off the rails visually, but the rest of it is not much better. And I'm not sure if I find the heroine an interesting character yet. That said, I thought the sequence where she and Maggie Sawyer both turned up to the Obligatory Big Gala in tuxedos and wound up dancing together was pretty cute, even if TPTB torpedoed Maggie's long-running relationship just so they could smush her together with Kate Kane.

BATGIRL: it's not all bad, I guess, but -- hey, remember that bit in BATGIRL #50 when Cassandra Cain explicitly said that she fought for the Bat, not Bruce Wayne? Yeah, apparently you don't work at DC Comics, 'cause it looks like nobody there does. Cassandra Cain continues to be the most misused and miswritten character in the Batfamily, and possibly the entire DC Universe. Sigh.

I downloaded Comixology's iPhone app, which allows you to download/buy/read comics online. So far I have read precisely two comics, both free, and I gotta say it's a mixed bag. Yes, it's nice to read comics on the go, but 1) the ecomics cost way too much and 2) the interface is ill-suited to the material. Lemme explain #2, because it's their major problem and could well be an appkiller. You read Comixology's e-comics a panel at a time. You cannot scroll around the page. You can zoom on a given panel, and you can tap on the screen to move forward or backward, but Comixology has decided how you are going to read the comic and will move you around the page one panel or part-of-a-panel at a time.

The dedicated comics fan will have immediately spotted the problem: this makes the app highly dependent on the panels being neatly separated and self-contained. It'd be great for Golden Age or Silver Age comics. Today? No way. Just to name one example, Batwoman would be completely impossible to read on it, because you can't scroll around. Even comics that aren't up to Batwoman's level of panel anarchy suffer: one (dreadful) comic I read had a panel that came off very weirdly. Incomplete, as if part of a punchline was missing. It took me a moment to realize what it was: the part of the panel that featured the (lame) gag didn't fit into the Comixology panel view -- and of course I couldn't scroll over to see it, not that it was funny enough to want to.

Comments

Posted by: sireric08 (sireric08)
Posted at: August 30th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)

Could you imagine reading Promethea with that app? *shudder*

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