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Norm Feuti posts iPhone comic layout experiment

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We’ve discussed the significance of comics going mobile here before. Most of the offerings out there are repurposed content. Comic panels seem to transfer well, but comic strips or comic book panes require cutting out art or scrolling/flipping to make them fit on the smaller screens. Norm Feuti, creator of Retail and Gill has experimented with comic strip layouts for the iPhone that doesn’t require scrolling of flipping to a new panel.

He writes:

I created a comic called Nelson as an experiment to see if I could fit an entire comic strip on a single iPhone screen. The result being a strip you could read quickly without having to flip through panels.

Iâ??m not sure how well the format works, but I liked the gags and characters I came up with. Iâ??ve posted all 24 samples below. Comments are welcome.

Community Comments

#1 Tony
November/3/2009
@ 11:22 am

This is great stuff Norm. Your excellent line work and use of blacks really complements the small size.

By the way, Richard Stevens has a regularly updating webcomic with a similar idea. In his case, the site is skinny and can be read by scrolling down:

http://www.lolbots.com/

#2 Jeff Pert
November/3/2009
@ 12:07 pm

This is terrific. The art’s beautiful, the gags are solid, and the idea of fitting a strip on mobile media w/o having to scroll is brilliant. Way to go, Norm!

#3 Les Taylor
November/3/2009
@ 1:34 pm

I really like this! Very awesome idea to make it mobile friendly from the beginning, and as has already been said, the art and writing is great.

#4 Stacy Curtis
November/3/2009
@ 2:22 pm

This maybe helpful to someone:

“How to Make Your Portfolio iPhone-Compatible”

http://danidraws.com/2009/05/09/how-to-make-your-portfolio-iphone-compatible/

#5 Lucas Turnbloom
November/3/2009
@ 4:08 pm

Ooooh, nicely done, Norm!

#6 Garey Mckee
November/3/2009
@ 5:40 pm

I can relate to Eggy. I think I’m addicted to purell.

#7 Scott Metzger
November/3/2009
@ 6:27 pm

Well done, Norm! Everything about this is inspirational. Love the Eggy character.

#8 Rich Diesslin
November/3/2009
@ 9:46 pm

Thanks Stacy, good reference.

#9 Steve Lowtwait
November/3/2009
@ 10:12 pm

Great use of space for either 3 panel or some of the 4 panel ones as well. Plus the writing is good! I laughed at several.

#10 Norm Feuti
November/4/2009
@ 8:15 am

Thank you for the feedback, everyone. Thanks especially to Stacy for that link … and Dani Jones for posting it for that matter. That’s a great resource.

I got a few recurring questions about this idea on my site, and I think it makes for good discussion. Here’s what I wrote there:

“Mostly this was a format experiment, but in my mind the ideal delivery system would be a free/pay hybrid. The strip would appear free on the web, but a user could opt for a paid subscription to have the strip delivered/emailed to their phone daily. That way anyone could see if they liked it before they subscribed, but they couldn’t get the convenient delivery without paying. I think the subscription fee would have to be cheap to work. Like 99 cents a year or something. The strip could simultaneously be sold in print as a panel since it’s close to that format.

The format could also work well for Kindle-sized devices as well. If the rumors are true that Apple is coming out with a Kindle-sized iTouch with color capability, the format would translate perfectly because the proportions would (presumably) be the same.

Would any of this work? I have no idea. Maybe … maybe not. It’s just an idea.

Speaking of proportions, an iPhone screen is essentially a 2″x3″ rectangle. My originals were drawn at three times that size.”

#11 Kevin Frank
November/4/2009
@ 8:50 am

How many strips can you do at one time, Norm? And how can you do another one for free?! Astounding!

#12 Norm Feuti
November/4/2009
@ 9:52 am

@Kevin

I really don’t have any plans to take on another strip right now … not for free anyway. These are just 24 samples of an experimental strip I created a few months ago. For now I’m just adding it to my portfolio and seeing what kind of reaction people have to the format/idea.

#13 Tom Wood
November/4/2009
@ 4:47 pm

@Norm –

Are the cartoons available as an application for the iPhone, or just formatted for the screen? How do you get it on the iPhone as self-contained content to begin with? Once a user has read one cartoon, how do they get to the next one?

I don’t have an iPhone and even though there are now 100,000 apps for it, I couldn’t view but a handful at the Apple website. Do you have to shop it through the iPhone itself?

Anyway, the reason I ask is that I’d like to see an app that is basically a blank content viewer into which I could add comics. The app would come with control buttons already in place, so I don’t have to program anything, just load the content.

Does anyone know if such an app exists?

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