Though the iPad offers an almost unlimited variety of digital experiences, most apps are predicated on existing rules of interaction. There are some truly standout original games and utilities, but the App Store is largely filled with platform ports and basic (albeit thoroughly mobilized and extremely well-done) creation and consumption software. In other words, most of what’s available is by no means never-before-seen.
Still, while truly innovative and wholly unique kinds of forward-thinking media are few and far between, they do trickle out from time to time.
Like, for example, today.
Bottom of the Ninth, an upcoming illustrated reader following Candy Cunningham’s exploits as the fictional Tao City’s newest baseball star, makes claims of being the first-ever animated comic book. Ryan Woodward, the title’s creator, author, inker, and animator, explains the philosophical distinctions supporting his assertion:
When I started this project, I knew that simple tricks in AFter Effects or limited flash animation wasn’t going to do the trick. Why, because animation defined is the “illusion of life”. If the movement doesn’t help the viewer to believe that this character or object has life, then by definition, it’s not animation. That is the distinction between motion graphics and animation. Animation is hard to accomplish. It takes ten times the hours invested if you want to successfully convince your audience that there is a conscience behind your pencil lines or your mouse clicks. (sic)
Whether or not your definition of “animation” differs (mine does in practice but not in spirit), there’s no doubting Woodward’s organic talent and focused commitment. Examples of his fluid artistry can be seen peppered throughout Bottom of the Ninth’s website, and you can watch it in full effect in the following trailer:
Personally, I’m not too crazy about the subject matter (I prefer straight-up sci-fi, baby!), but that’s hardly the point. Instead, Bottom of the Ninth looks to be a bona fide game-changer in the world of digital comics. If Woodward succeeds, his masterpiece could well open the doors to a new and exciting mainstream art-form.
The first issue, described as the series prologue, is due on the App Store in May and will cost only $0.99. While each new issue is likely to tally another buck or two, when you consider all the work involved, that’s a pretty good deal.
From all of us at AppAdvice, good luck to you, Ryan. So far, you’re pitching a perfect game!