- Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!) My name is Jake Rowlinson, I’m an illustrator, animator, comic-book artist, folk singer, and lots of other things instead of having a ‘real job’. I’m currently working on adapting the medieval ballads of Robin Hood, specifically ‘The Lyttle Gest of Robyn Hode’ into a graphic novel.
- What drew you to digital comics?
It was really the editor of Cape Fear Comics, Sam Gardner Jr., who put me on to them, as he’s in the process of adapting some work I did for him a few years back into this new digital medium.
- Webcomics or digital comics?
This is very much a digital comic. If you’re asking which I prefer? I like the continuation of the newspaper cartoon strip that seems to have been inherited by Webcomics, although I find the content predominantly self-aggrandising and smug in them, if I’m honest. For both platforms, I think the possibilities for the continuation and evolution of sequential narratives is very exciting.
- What do you think works with digital comics?
Without seeming to shame-facedly plug the project I’m already involved in, I think what Sam and Cape Fear are trying to do is very interesting. I think simply putting a paper comic onto a screen is about as potent as adapting a piece of prose onto an E-reader, I.E. The chance to enhance or experiment with the medium is fairly limited. What is working is when creators use the new technology to do things with comics that just couldn’t be done on the page. For example, there is the ability to re-insert an element of time based
narration, sound and motion that isn’t possible (without a lot of jiggerypokery and a swollen price tag) in printed comics.
- Can digital comics replace print comics?
I don’t think so. Well, there’s no reason why they CAN’T, I just don’t see a time when they WILL. There is still a large market for the printed form as opposed to the digital, whether it’s comics or books. Also, I think there’s an element of ownership that you don’t get with digital media, there’s no artefact that you can put on your shelf, just a load of ones and zeros. If you’re looking as a collector say, a 1930’s issue of Superman would be worth a lot on paper, on digital it would be worth practically nothing.
- How can print comics work with digital comics?
As I said before, I think if they concentrate on the things they can each do that the other can’t. On one side you’ve got a total control over the pace and rate at which you read, you can skip and read the last page first, you can really get your nose into the tactility of a printed piece of art. Whereas with digital, the limits to what creators can do with it have only just started to be tested.
- What don’t you like about digital comics?
There is a Luddite element to my nature that considers it rather throwaway, and the ability for anyone to create comics does open the floodgates to all and sundry, undiscovered gems and pieces of bum-fodder alike. (God I sound like such a stick in the mud!) you could say the same about the internet in general though really.
- What digital comics/webcomics do you read?
I must admit, I don’t really read them very often, though I don’t often read printed comics either. I like to tell stories in this medium, but I tend to find fuel for it elsewhere. And as I said earlier, I do find the quality control on digital comics a lot slacker than with printed.
- Where do you see digital comics going from here?
Crumbs, that’s like saying ‘what will the world be like in the future’. I think, if it’s pushed to its limits, it will become an art form in its own right. If it just apes pre-existent printed media, it is doomed to the same fate as 3D.
- Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?
Something new, auteurs to this untried and untested ground.