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The power of the comic book

May 18, 2007

Comics have invaded Hollywood, their story telling techniques and the characters companies like Marvel created have become big, iconic money generating machines.

However, the comic book, the very thing that spawned the cash machine, is seen as passed it’s sell by date; they are big in Japan, but many people don’t see their relevance anymore.

Like everything, comics have migrated online, but they are also being used in new and interesting ways.

The pervasive nature of ADD means that;

a.    We find it hard to digest complex information
b.    Our memories are fading even faster- we forget stuff, because we need capacity to remember what’s happening now

This provides a new role for the comic book, to retell stories in a way that is digestible and interesting. You just need the right topic, the right story and the right team of storytellers. News analysis could be a category that breathes new life into the comic book. It may seem oxymoronic, but given the current state of the news media, it has the potential to go beyond what most of us see, read and take in.

One great example of this idea in action is the A.D- New Orleans After the Deluge Project put together by Smith Magazine and Josh Neufeld, that looks at the story of the event through the perspectives of 5 different characters.
Panel from A.D. After the Deluge

This news story covers A.D. in the first part of the report.

News media could be using comics to tell stories and brands could be using them to edutain; to tell stories of their history and stories about themselves.

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