Adventures into Digital Comics
and Director: Sebastien
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
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
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
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 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions or comments are