Well, not really.
With the advent of web-based comic book storytelling over the last few decades – has it been that long already – the format has experimented with different styles and sizes, never mind genres. Unlike hard copy comic books, online comics have tended to be presented horizontally, at least at first, much like newspaper strip comics. (Surprise! Newspapers are still relevant and actually predicted the future!) But with the homogeneous adoption of cell phones and tablets, even that sideways scroll became something akin to a frame by frame approach.
I’m not even going to get into pinch, zoom, tap for special effects or “motion” comics. That’s just confusing as all hell.
The truth is, online comics come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, templates and storytelling contrivances. It’s ultimately up to the reader to decide what works best for them on whatever platform they want to use.
A few years ago, writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Marcos Martin released the online version of their crime comic, The Private Eye, in a pay-what-you-want price format. Like Newspapers prognosticating the future, we wrote about it here.
The ten-part The Private Eye was published in widescreen, horizontal viewing, and was a critical success before being complied in a physical hardcover version whose publishing format mimicked the online version.
Today, Vaughan and Martin return to that format again with Barrier – a five-part noir tale about language, illegal immigration and violence that spins into a science fiction romp. Published by Image Comics, the home for all things creator-owned and cool, the series originally premiered on PanelSyndicate.com (the original home for The Private Eye and a whole host of other online comics from fantastic creators). On Free Comic Book Day last weekend, the first issue was given away – for free – in a size format that resembles your run of the mill hard copy comic book.
But today is a special day!
Today, Barrier #1 and Barrier #2 are released simultaneously in a larger, landscaped, “collector’s edition” version that emulates that online experience with the added bonus of card-stock covers. It’s an absolutely beautiful publication – and a wonderful story!
Vaughan and Martin have written Barrier to be experienced in this kind of widescreen viewing – so it’s the best way to read the comic book series! And there are no plans to ever collect the entire series, so monthly installments of this work of art in story, visuals and publication is the only way you’ll get to experience it!
Hurdle all obstacles and make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up the stunning Barrier #1!