In a manner of speaking, they already have: When the original six-part Dead Space comic was released, Visceral took the static comic and provided faux camera effects to make it look like it was animated. They even went so far as to remove the printed dialogue and provide voice acting to truly create an animated movie experience - the "motion comic." Other developers have started to adopt the style as well; Eidos announced that the Deus Ex comic will be adapted to the motion comic format for the Collector's Edition of the game.


But motion comics are only one way that comics are becoming more digitalized. In 2010, shortly before the release of Dead Space 2, Visceral Games released Dead Space: Ignition, a downloadable title that served as a prequel to their newest game. Though the game was critically panned, its interactive comic presentation was a significant step forward in the digital media front as it blended comic presentation with videogame action: though the cutscenes within the game are illustrated like a comic, most major actions the characters took in the game were represented by minigames the player had to complete.

Other companies are starting to realize the trend and are beginning to act on it. Even before Visceral started their Dead Space media blitz, Konami released Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel on the PSP, back in 2006. The graphic novel was actually more of a game, requiring players to search through panels of the comic to find intel in order to progress. In a similar vein, when BioWare released Mass Effect 2 on the PS3, they again teamed with Dark Horse to include an interactive motion comic titled Mass Effect Genesis which allowed players to simulate making key choices from the original game (which PS3 users would not have had access to).

This blending of comic presentation with videogame action seems to be gaining serious attention as developers and publishers realize that comics are well-suited to showcasing game worlds. In doing so, they are also pushing the boundaries and creating interactive titles that blur the lines between digital and print media. Perhaps, in time, all comics will be fully interactive.

Until then, I'll just sit and read my picture books.

Nick Jewell is a part-time videogame journalist and an educated musician. He spends his time being jealous of the people who went to E3 and working on his blog, Loading Checkpoint, as well as the site Digitally Downloaded.

Comments on