Now let's get one thing clear. I'm still a sceptic when it comes to the future of motion comics and animated graphic novels. But I've seen that there's hope! The last months I've been commenting on MC's and AGN's, but I would like to get to the way I like it and how I think MC's and AGN's DO have a future.
Last week I followed on Motion Digital Comics, Dead Space:
An ancient artifact referred to as a 'marker' is unearthed, the first one in 200 years. It's a strange rock formation talked about by a spiritual leader 200 years earlier. The markers discovery confirms the religions beliefs and the followers as well as the doubters of the faith will have their relationships with each other changed permanently.
The Dead Space MC is a prequel to a prequel. First comes the MC, then the animated movie, and finally the game from EA. Now I didn't get to see the movie or play the game, but for me there was no need to. The story, characters and plot are new for me, the storytelling was just the right pace and it got me hooked! More importantly, everything is balanced. Visuals, animation, sounds, all ingredients for a MC. There's not too much pressure on the viewer as it has just the right pace of storytelling. Not like other MC's or AGN's I've seen, where animation or visual-art seemed to be more important for the developer. Dead Space is well thought- and worked-out.
Other reviews commented on the visual-art as negative. Being more like scribbles. (The scribble style reminded me personally of Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele's Surrogates, which is one of my favourites!). But that comment came out as the only negative aspect. Most reviewers credited the story and own style.
Now I would like to conclude with my favourite! Metal Gear Solid!
The AGN version of Metal Gear Solid is a comic book that can be watched on PSP. This one reminds me of the MGS cutscenes. It's basically a page-by-page comic book you can either automate as a slideshow or page through manually. Page through manually! Exactly! Decide your own pace! And it gets said a lot about MC's and AGN's. Now that word comes from the community and fans, developers should know where to pay attention at.
- Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel is not only a cool concept for digital delivery of interactive fiction, it will hopefully pioneer a complete new product line and give the PSP a greater edge in the handheld marketplace. I know I certainly wouldn’t mind experiencing more adventures of Snake or even other characters like Sam Fisher or Lara Croft in graphic novel form.-
Gamechronicles.com, review by Mark Smith (2006)
For Iphone a similar concept was developed; Perfect Echo (2010). I didn't have the chance to take a look at it. Graig Smith of PhD Research on Motion Comics, Animation, Comics and Film Studies mentions:
Termed an ‘interactive audio and visual experience for iphone and ipod touch’, Perfect Echo is a free app that introduces the futuristic city of Elysium. The interactivity allows the reader/viewer to dictate the pace of the story at their choosing. In many ways it’s very similar to the experience of reading a digital comic, however subtle sound effects and simple animation techniques add a further layer of depth to this motion comic.
I'm kinda like reaching the point where I would like to conclude my research so far in a first essay. This essay will be a sort of white paper and vision document. In it I'll discuss my research so far, the graphic novel, the graphic novel in the Netherlands, the motion comics and animated graphic novels and finally my vision on further development and introduction in the Netherlands. First I'll post the Dutch version and then translate it in English. So stay tuned!