Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens

Collapsing the Temporal Map

Other efforts, like Madefire's “motion books”, add animation to the equation. In this excerpt from a Madefire sizzle reel, the temporal map is still in evidence in the form of panels, but it's being combined with limited animation.
Yet another technique, seen in the cut scenes for the 2005 video game Ultimate Spider-Man, uses a combination of 2D, 3D, and full motion animation, in one of the more intricate adaptations of comic visual language for screens to date.
This is the point, however, at which many comics fans start to get nervous—when parts of comics' temporal map begin to be overtaken by animation. This anxiety peaks when the map is collapsed entirely in a format called “motion comics,” one of the best-known examples being an adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen released in 2008.
This is an extreme approach, one which effectively turns the comic into a minimally animated movie. Audience response has been predictably polarized. Quality is one reason: motion comics often take artwork which was never designed to move and puppeteers it far beyond its limits. Another reason is that panels as a visual device are often removed completely from motion comics, threatening what McCloud identifies as the “core identity” of the medium in a much more violent way than in the “guided view” approach.

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