The Blue Age of Comic Books

Guided Reading

Another kind of remediation occurs through the introduction of guided reading. Guided reading directs the reader’s eye through the digital comic by enlarging individual panels and directing the visual narrative. Rather than view a comic in single or sets of pages, as one would while reading a printed comic book, the reader follows a predetermined pathway. Although one page and two page views are still options presented to the reader, guided reading radically differentiates contemporary digital comics from printed comic books. Guided reading eliminates a prerequisite understanding of the internal logic of comic book narratives and therein enables the expansion of comics’ readership, in both size and composition. Further, some digital-native comics (comics produced digitally for digital consumption) are only navigable in guided view and may include dynamic features such as animation but later be presented in traditional static format when distributed in print volumes (one example being Ms. Marvel Infinite #1, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona).

What makes a digital comic book different from a print comic book is the logic by which it is remediated. A digital comic book is not nor will it ever be understood as being the same as a print comic book because it has the potential to be (and do) so much more.

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