I’m officially a published academic now! My first peer reviewed journal article is now available online, and soon in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. This is an expanded version of my conference talk from 2013’s Graphic Novel and Comics Conference: Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile and digital adaptability of non-traditional narratives in comics
The demand for digital comics has increased steadily with the growth of the mobile market. This has led many comic authors to consider the importance of the physicality of their work. While many comics are being digitally converted using existing delivery channels, comics that push the boundaries of narrative find this transition more difficult. Many of the current distribution channels either attempt to emulate books, or guide the reader from panel to panel, but many non-traditional narratives require greater engagement than is allowed for under these models. Jason Shiga’s ‘choose-your-own-adventure’-style comic Meanwhile (2010. New York: Amulet) serves as a valuable example of such a story. Shiga co-developed a stand-alone iPad app for his book, which incorporates the interactive elements of his physical comic. I discuss how the app translated the experience of the book object to the digital realm, and touch on other experimental attempts to engage with readers digitally.