05 October 2006

Size matters

Warren Ellis has been thinking about the form factor of comic books and paperback books.
It’s why paperbacks were such a revolution: they were cheap and they could be stuffed in a pocket.
Portable culture is crucial to any society in motion. Manga in all its indigenous forms has been a thing built for Japanese commuters. Part of why that style of anthology doesn’t play so well in America is that America’s a culture of private cars, not public transport.
Holy McLuhan, Batman!


Willa said...

Sometimes the medium really is the message.

(Coxnag. Word verification. Very strange combination of morphemes, no?)

Anonymous said...

I hate to confess it, but I've found the perfect form factor for comics is digital on my laptop (I carry the damn thing everywhere I go anyway).

Alas, until a viable economic model exists for digital comic content, karma requires that I purchase the trade paperbacks, but they go into storage unread.

It is remarkably liberating to have (for example) a digital version of all of Frank Miller's work on your laptop. Many a plane trip has been liberated by a revisit to Sin City or Elektra: Assassin.

Remind me to chat at some point about my idealized economic model for episodic content in the digital age.