Reading Along the Lines
McCloud’s timeline structure ideas triggered some interesting thoughts for me, since it reminded me of the ‘cave drawing’ I had to decipher in class. The author had begun with the traditional comic structure, but at one point, to represent the character falling over a cliff, dropped along the Y axis for several panels before resuming it’s rightward progression. McCloud mentioned this same structure of what I will refer to as “directional storytelling” in his speech on TED.
This got me to thinking about the future of comics in general. One of the directional diagrams McCloud shows seem as though the comic is moving toward the audience, which was tricky for me to imagine. Comics are, after all, a two-dimensional media form. It’s easy to take a 1-dimensional story and tell it on a 2-dimensional plane, but it’s harder to imagine it moving along a third axis.
The closest I can imagine to a comic “coming at you” would be either a single animated panel on some sort of screen, or a lower budget but similar idea involving a flipbook. These seem too much like technologically backward televisions though. Perhaps as virtual reality becomes more fact than fiction, we will see something like three dimensional comic-games. Only time will tell.