Rotating Ninety Degrees with Mark Waid

| March 21, 2013

Mark_Waid_By_Luigi_NoviHappy Birthday to Mark Waid …

An Alabama born comic book guy that has done some very interesting stuff …

His first big gig in the printed media world was as an editor if I remember correctly.

book-editorIn printed media, editors put it together – in film, editors also put it together.

Editors see the big picture and how it should go together to make sense … flow … have a proper pace so no one falls asleep … like a well designed roller coaster.

The artists are usually the ones everyone thinks of like people think actors make movies … no, it’s the producers, writers, directors who MAKE the movies. Actors are the ones who are seen and get most of the credit.

Case in point – everyone knows what a Corvette is … who created it ?

1969_Yearbook_wide_formatSee what I mean ?

But I digress …

What is interesting is that Waid is promoting the idea of going to a wide format rather than a traditional tall format in moving the graphic novel to digital.

In this above pictured 1969 yearbook page you can see that a wide format has always been here. But a wide page had to “bleed” across the left and right page …

action_comics_number_1It is just the logical nature of book publishing that a page is tall – in a “portrait” orientation.

When a book is closed and on a shelf it appears tall – not wide … but then open the book and the pages are facing each other …

Movie screens began as square and then got wider and wider until we had anamorphic and Cinemascope formats – but could you imagine a movie or television screens taller than they are wider? Of course not –

I started making digital publications several years ago in wide format. I even have a trade name for it. But just sliding a 8.5 x 11 inch paper from portrait to landscape does not constitute a patent on the idea of course.

But I find it very interesting that the idea is catching on finally. And why not ?

Media screens are wide … television finally went wide to a 16×9 format which is basically the shape of a 35mm film frame. No brainer there …

samsung_tablet_verticleSo of course books should now be wide .. they will logically fit everything !!!

I say a real no brainer – been there done that – glad to see everything taking the same view.

It’s funny to me how the new tablet craze is still thinking vertically … but all you have to do is rotate it ninety degrees and you have a standard screen …

Question is – can people read like that when they are used to a tall page?

First folio on display in the Exhibition HallThe simple answer is –

they already do !

Open a book and the side by side pages ARE WIDE FORMAT !

I knew it was only a matter of time until everything went wide …

To me the bottom line is this:

Pioneers get scalped … visionaries state the obvious after the pioneers blazed the trails.

horace_greeley_go_westLike when newspaper publisher Horace Greeley said

“Go west young man!”

… after a lot of young men had already gone west!

There is always a need for a recognizable authority to give a seal of approval onto a new idea that isn’t really a new idea.

New ideas are always not taken seriously at first … even by those who consider themselves on the edge of the wave.

So now that more established voices agree –

I look forward to everything else rotating ninety degrees !

However – There are some exciting possibilities as Mark Waid illustrates at the TOC Convention last week.
Paper publishing is becoming more expensive as everything always does – it is called “inflation” which is a natural aspect of commerce.

The danger is when commerce is attempted to be artificially controlled.

Like anything that is artificially controlled – there are always a negative impact for every positive.

If businesses conspire to fix prices it is called a crime. Yet, if government fixes prices it is called law.

Any form of price fixing should be considered a crime. The natural demand of the market should determine costs.

Even comic books were forced to fix prices at one time – as well as just about all forms of media back in the early 1930s during a time of insurrection into our free market …

Digital_Comic_BooksYet – as new technologies emerge it causes a change in the tide … so to speak … which brings opportunity and exciting new horizons.

As the demand of something decreases due to new technologies coming into play it is only natural that prices then increase.

Just as photographic film went through changes as digital photography increased and demand for celluloid decreased. This is happening to paper and ink.

… but I digress …

Beyond just rotating the page and going digital, it looks like Waid and his cohorts have found an interesting way to preserve what makes comic books unique and appealing while taking advantage of a new medium

( Top Photo courtesy of Luigi Novi )

Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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