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Webcomics: a question about scrolling

In a nutshell: does scrolling matter? Especially for dramatic or other longer form webcomics?*

I've been going back and forth about this. A part of me is arguing that it does and that I should make sure my formatting for the comic pages are about 800px by 600px. But I work in regular comic book format so my pages are all vertically aligned. To make a comic fit that horizontal dimension means that I need to reformat things. Sometimes that's easy (a grid of 6+ panels can be rearranged pretty easily) and sometimes it's hard (splash pages and other large images require some thought and image tweaking).

'Course, when you factor in a nice header, navigation buttons and the like, readers may still have to scroll down to read the comic itself. But once they get there, the comic won't need to be scrolled.

Recent, Brigid Alverson brought back up the old Scott McCloud saw that page geometry matters and that webcomics, no matter their subject matter, should be arranged horizontally.

Me? I'm torn. I'm starting to put thoughts together on what I want a Stargazer webcomic site to look like and this is a big consideration. Webcomics like Girl Genius force readers to scroll without any inherent issues. Webcomic sites like the various Zuda comics are arranged for horizontal screens, but suffer from hideous (from where I sit) flash interfaces that turn me right off. Mr. Lynch thinks scrolling sucks while Ms. Biddle thinks smart readers ain't afraid of no mouse.

So, what do you think? Which way should I go? Simple poll question!

* I do think it matters for gag and humour strips. Scrolling in that case, particularly for a 3 or 4 panel strip, doesn't seem like a good idea on the face of it.

Von