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Adventures into Digital Comics

Writer and Director: Sebastien Dumesnil
Country: USA
Year: 2007
Language: English
Producers: Sebastien Dumesnil, Robert Nichols
Runtime: 96'
Premiere: October 9, 2006 (Tel Aviv Pre-cut); July 24, 2008 (DVD); July 2011 (Seoul)
Awards: Nominated in the Best Documentary Film category, Tel Aviv Icon Film Festival 2006.

Adventures Into Digital Comics tells the story of the crash of the US comic book industry and the potential rebirth of the medium as an all-digital form on the Internet.

Review by Michael Netzer: "The festival featured the world premiere of the documentary film Adventures into Digital Comics. I gave an interview for the film last year. The co-producer and also guest of the festival, Robert Nichols was over at our home on Sunday for dinner and the next day I had the treat of finally seeing this marvelous documentary about comics creators and their future in the web. Excellent film that also holds a charm and appeal to non comics audiences."

Review from The Pulse: In the interests of full disclosure, allow me to start this movie's review by stating that, a year or so ago, I was contacted by the movie's writer and director, Sebastien Dumesnil, and presented a series of questions regarding the subject of comics and digital media. I offered my replies and am among those "thanked" at the end of the movie. For this, I received nothing more than that a warm thank you, a copy of the film, and, to my delight, a listing on imdb.com (last week I was down 53% on the Starmeter, this week I'm up 144%... why, I have no idea. Paging Mr. Spielberg!).

As previously mentioned, Adventures in Digital Comics (2007) is a documentary written and directed by Sebastien Dumesnil. The movie's focus, as the title implies, is the relatively new field of Digital Comic books. Filmed between 2002 and 2005, the movie offers an interesting look at what was, essentially, the genesis of the digital comic book.

First, though, the movie offers a primer on the comic book field in general and a more detailed look at the recent travails this field has experienced. If you're looking for a very detailed look at how comic books came to be along with a detailed biography of the persons involved, you should look elsewhere. The main focus of this documentary is recent history, with a particular emphasis on the market forces that have dominated the industry within the past couple of decades.

Those uninitiated will learn of the direct market and how books are sold through it. You'll also learn about the speculator market and how the comic book industry as a community nearly committed hari-kiri by the late 1990's. You'll hear about some of the notorious gimmicks used both past and present to sell books and how the market's taste, largely along the lines of superhero power fantasy, is both a source of sustenance and, ironically, a curse which may eventually threaten our beloved industry.

Of course, the film's main focus turns to the curious animal that is Digital Comics. This is where the documentary shines the brightest and provides insight into something that perhaps few of us know about. Though I've worked in the field for a good number of years, I must admit I was not as familiar with Digital Comics as I thought.

Tracy White, one of the Digital Comics artists interviewed in the film, sums up Digital Comics with this statement: "There is a big difference between comics on the web and digital comics." Comics on the web, she explains, would involve taking the static images you might find in any given comic book and simply posting them on the web. A digital comic, on the other hand, uses the available digital media to its fullest. The digital comic book creator may use flash effects or s/he may have a comic that reads from the top to the bottom of the webpage, scrolling down and down and down. Conversely, the creator could make a story read from the left to the extreme right, again scrolling as far as a webpage allows. There could also be stories wherein the reader clicks on images to continue the story, moving back and forth at the creator's whims.

It seems as if digital comic book artists have invented a hybrid comic book, one that bridges the gap between static images and full animation, not unlike director Ang Lee attempted to bridge the gap the other way, from movies to the comic book reading experience in his movie The Hulk.

The final act of the film focuses on one of the more important issues regarding any sort of publication and business: Money. How do Digital artists make it? Can they make it? By doing so, are they compromising their integrity?

In the end, Adventures in Digital Comics offers a fascinating first look at what may, in time, be a whole new and unique hybrid field within the comic book medium.

E. R. Torre has found work in the comic book industry since roughly 1993. He's worked on a host of forgotten books (some well deserving of this terrible fate) while also producing his very own The Dark Fringe, a noir mystery TPB. To his delight, the book was optioned for film. Mr. Torre has also inked several pieces that appeared in various DC role playing books and inked a page in the second volume of DC's 9-11 tribute book. That piece, along with many others in the two volume series, was displayed in the Library of Congress. More recently he's completed his fourth novel and is in the process of starting his fifth. His website is atomicrocketproductions.com and email to him can be sent to atrocket@aol.com. Questions or comments are always welcome.


 
 

 
 
[ Interviews ]  

Interviews

During the making of Adventures Into Digital Comics, futurealstudio.com has gathered a large collection of interviews with comic book and webcomic writers and artists, thus giving a voice to those who could not appear in the film.

 
 

 
 
[ Art Of ]  

Art of

As Adventures Into Digital Comics showcases a huge quantity of both print comics and webcomics, futurealstudio.com offers you the possibility to learn more about each of these comics and their creators.

 
 

 
 
[ Video ]  

Video

The first teaser of Adventures Into Digital Comics launched a series of short features showcasing the topics of the film, including trailers, ads and short films.

 
 

 
 
[ Release ]  

Release

From panels to film festivals and promotional events, learn as much as you can about Adventures Into Digital Comics in other media.

 

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