Wendy Pini’s new comic, The Masque of the Red Death, has finally gone live at the Go!Comi site. You’ll have to register to read it, but registration is free and they promise not to hand your name over to the spammers. As I registered, I kept getting a message that Safari is not fully supported, but it worked fine nonetheless.
I interviewed Pini for Digital Strips and Publisher’s Weekly Comics Week about the comic, which is a tale of love and betrayal set in a utopian future. It was inspired by the Edgar Allen Poe story of the same name but mixes up the elements of the story in a whole different way.
What I want to talk about here is the presentation. When you click “Read the comic” you get a nice, big screen with a couple of options: You can click the “next” button yourself or set it on automatic. The reason quickly becomes clear: Not every page is a new image. When you click “next,” you may just get a new text balloon. Thus the Auto option really gives you a smoother reading experience. Pini told me they would be using Flash but not in a cheesy way; so far, I’d say it’s pretty subdued.
Pini was one of the first Americans to create comics in a manga-influenced style, and her Elfquest was the gateway drug for whole generation of comics readers.