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web comicsCanvas and JavaScript are the new superheroes. What? You haven’t heard of them? Well, it’s because you aren’t that familiar yet with HTML5. Very soon The Avengers could come to your web neighborhood thanks to the potential of HTML5. Marvel already has a web app that turns your Chrome browser into a slick comicbook reader. It’s all in HTML5 glory.

I hope you came back from there. While the comics themselves aren’t yet made in HTML5, there are some prototypes that are cool examples of what HTML5 can do to make our comic strip experience a lot more engaging. This article showcases some of these early efforts. While HTML5 may or may not be a Flash-killer, the telltale signs (and Apple) say that HTML5 could definitely be a productivity killer!

Here are four amazingly cool HTML5 web comics…

Soul Reaper

web comics

This is a demo HTML5 Scroll Book that says it’s the first HTML5 scroll-activated digital comic book web application. Developed by Saizen Media, it bagged the FWA Website Award for Site of The Day early this year. Click on the Couch Mode and sit back as the comicbook automatically scrolls. Watch the characters and objects move accordingly to your scroll position. A voiceover and music add to the effect of the Manga artwork. The static images comic book is thus transformed. It took a while to start up (I have a comparatively slow connection), but once it did it really was impressive. Pity, that it is just a demo.

Never Mind The Bullets

html5 web comic

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The About passage on the HTML5 site says it best –

Never Mind The Bullets offers the traditional comic strip experience enriched by the effects of parallax. By a simple movement of the mouse the strip becomes animated and the story comes to life. The story unfolds at LongHorn Gush, a quiet town troubled by a band of outlaws that call themselves The Red Bandanas. However, with the arrival of the famous Bill ‘One Shot’ Collins things are about to change…

What’s a parallax? Here’s Wikipedia. The interactive web comic is a showcase for HTML5 capabilities in IE9. Don’t let the “IE” thing put you off as you enjoy the Wild West story by panning left to right.

Bifter

web comics

Bifter is a SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) web comic which uses HTML5 heavily. SVG is Open Source and is a compact format for interactive scripting and animation, especially when it needs to be viewed in devices with different resolutions (like mobiles). In these web comics by Jonathan Ingram, Biff and Dave are two dogs and the comic relates their adventures with social commentary thrown in. Read the 18 issues on view right now in your browser.

Disney Digital Books – TRON

You have seen the movie. Now, checkout this cool blue neon-lit animated novel that was a storytelling collaboration between Disney and Microsoft. Just like Never Mind The Bullets, the HTML5 showpiece was made to demonstrate the new web technologies on IE9. Superb artwork and a background score combine to immerse you in The Grid. Follow Kevin Flynn by scrolling the screen as he tries to escape the Grid and Clu, the tyrant.

These four HTML5 are visual treats you can enjoy. Right not the HTML5 web comic world is a bit sparse, but I think that will change gradually as developers realize the benefits of creating customized reading experiences using these modern web technologies. But if you are interested in more of HTML5, here are a few more directional arrows:

Have I missed any HTML5 web comic that’s out there? Drop the link in the comments, and don’t forget to tell us if you are a fan of web comics and your favorite one of them all.

  1. LeviTashun
    August 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Cool stuff. I just subbed to Marvel's online comic service. This'll hold me over for a while.

  2. PJ Wessels
    June 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Soul Reaper looks really intense

    • Saikat Basu
      June 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      It's a demo, but the rendition is really good. Pretty soon I guess we will see films releasing a version as a comic either as a promotional vehicle or as a full fledged comic.

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