Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens

Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens

Latest Updates

Temporal Aesthetics in Digital Comics

Comics taught us to write with boxes of time — now boxes of time are everywhere. Transcription of a talk for the 2020 Electronic Literature Organization conference, the original 19 minute video version of which is also available.

Temporal Momentum in Framed

Framed, an iOS game by Australian developer Loveshack, turns time into a force that propels the reader past the temporal ambiguities of print comics, remixing sequential art with the player-centered approach to time often found in single player video games.

Space Into Game, Time Into Book: What Comics and Screens Do Together

A comic on a screen is a curious and confounding thing, but after years of experimentation, tropes and techniques are beginning to emerge that embrace the medium for what it is. A 20 minute video version of this material is also available.

Synchronization in “Our Toyota Was Fantastic”

A GIF-animated webcomic by French cartoonist Boulet is a wonderful example of how time in screen comics can be both serial and parallel.

Why motion comics matter, even if you hate them

Originally written in 2009 and posted here for the first time, thoughts on what we want our screen comics to do for us and why hybridization can be good even if we don't like its immediate results.

Recommended Reading

A growing selection of screen comics that push the boundaries of the medium, and thoughtful writing from around the web about the same.

About this site

We're living in the age not just of screens, but of divided screens; boxes of time are all around us. We find them in split-screen sequences in movies and TV, multiplayer video games, videoconferencing, and more—wherever we turn, it seems, boxes of time have become a major part of the way we communicate visually. As it happens, one medium has long proven adept at choreographing boxes of time for storytelling purposes: comics. This site is dedicated to exploring what comics have to teach us about communicating creatively in the age of divided screens.

The author

My name’s Erik Loyer. I’m a media artist and creative director who’s been making comics for screens since 2007, often in collaboration with writer/illustrator Ezra Claytan Daniels. In 2008 I founded Opertoon, an interactive entertainment label where I combine elements of sequential art, games, music, and gesture-driven interaction in projects like Upgrade Soul and Ruben & Lullabyand develop new technologies to help explore the creative potential of comics on screens.

Feedback & suggestions

Your comments are welcomed—just look for the comment icon at the bottom of every page—or you can send feedback directly to erik (at) opertoon (dot) com.
Clock photomosaic adapted from an image by Leo Reynolds and published under a Creative Commons license.