I’ve discussed how great the iPad is for comics on this blog before. But the more time that passes the more intrigued I am about getting work out for the iPad and any of the devices that follow in its footsteps. And in the next month or so I will be releasing a 27 page Cave Bear and Duck issue on the iPad. It will feature a few interactive elements, but to start off with, it will be very much a comic book that you can enjoy on the iPad.
I set out to create a simple, solid (no crashes please!) code base to build an e-book or ‘enhanced book’ platform from. And we have that. The reader is in final beta and looking great. I’v been working with two developers and we have a lot of plans about how to expand the platform and create even more dynamic, narrative structures and navigation methods.
Cave Bear and Duck will be a FREE download at the App store. It features pop-up navigation, opening theme music and a ‘read to me’ sound track, featuring the dialogue from the book, read in the characters voices. I just got back from a few days in LA to record the soundtrack, and it’s awesome! I don’t want to give too much away, but one of the best voice actors in the business stepped in to create Cave Bear and Duck. (More on this closer to launch.)
The voice performance encourages younger readers to better understand the dramatic aspects of the story by hearing the written dialogue performed with character voices. It enhances an understanding of how the words can live ‘off the page’ and is a fun perk to having a device that can present audio playback.
I don’t believe that adding sounds or music to a comic book will make a better comic. The book still needs to look good and have an appealing story. But it’s a small step in building out possible new features for enhanced books.
But even without any new media bells-and-whistles, the iPad is a seriously wonderful platform to read comics on. As the prices drop on this type of reader, there is no doubt that it will become the main method for digesting books and comics ETC. I’ve purchased and read several comic books on the iPad already. While I may not end up at the comic book store as often, I don’t have to fill up as many bookshelves either.
I’ll post more about the comic as it gets closer to release. I will also be launching a small website to support the books we release (part of the contract to release Apps from Apple’s store). We will also list upcoming projects from other artists who are creating fun, all age, child friendly material to take advantage of this relatively new, and rapidly evolving platform.