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panels as seperate images vs. one large image

I do something a little different from most, and do my panels as seperate images, and use html tables to create the "gutter" between images. I usually do four images/panels a page, a la Tales of Asgard.
I do that for several reasons---
It enables me to have the page reform and resize if you change the browser size on your web page...
It enables me to link from individual images, so I don't need to do flashbacks, etc. Just link to the previous part of the storyline in a particular image.
I've also done things like linking between seperate "realities" in the story, by clicking on one image in one "world" to take them to another.
Today, I realized another advantage. I love to do things in color---a superhero comic in black and white misses the four-color pulp feel that makes it such an enjoyable excess of absurdity---black and white is too subdued to get the superhero "feel" in my (American-centered) opinion.
But that takes too long for a daily strip. (I know Clan of the Cats comes close. And I bow in admiration for that strip.) But I just realized....
I almost always have a new panel every day, just not a new page every day. I can put it out on my front page as a "teaser" on days I'm not updating---or make it a "reward" for voting for me in various lists---so they can see what's coming---something that those who scan the entire page can't, unless they finish one part of the page, scan and upload it, before another.
Very much like Scott McCloud's MORNING IMPROV, which adds one new image a day, I could make it an everyday thing to have new art out there, even though I need two days to finish a new page.
Those are the pros of doing each panel on a page as a seperate image.
The cons:
It requires some basic knowledge of html and tables. Not much, but a little.
It's okay to vary the size of the panels, but it does make it harder---not impossible, but harder---to have one panel in the foreground of another.
The larger panels will load slower.
Nevertheless...I'm surprised more comics do not load the panels as seperate images, rather than wasting the bandwidth loading the "gutters" and the page as one giant image.
Comments?---Al of http://mindmistress.keenspace.com

panels as seperate images vs. one large image

Al Schroeder's picture

I do something a little different from most, and do my panels as seperate images, and use html tables to create the "gutter" between images. I usually do four images/panels a page, a la Tales of Asgard.
I do that for several reasons---
It enables me to have the page reform and resize if you change the browser size on your web page...
It enables me to link from individual images, so I don't need to do flashbacks, etc. Just link to the previous part of the storyline in a particular image.
I've also done things like linking between seperate "realities" in the story, by clicking on one image in one "world" to take them to another.
Today, I realized another advantage. I love to do things in color---a superhero comic in black and white misses the four-color pulp feel that makes it such an enjoyable excess of absurdity---black and white is too subdued to get the superhero "feel" in my (American-centered) opinion.
But that takes too long for a daily strip. (I know Clan of the Cats comes close. And I bow in admiration for that strip.) But I just realized....
I almost always have a new panel every day, just not a new page every day. I can put it out on my front page as a "teaser" on days I'm not updating---or make it a "reward" for voting for me in various lists---so they can see what's coming---something that those who scan the entire page can't, unless they finish one part of the page, scan and upload it, before another.
Very much like Scott McCloud's MORNING IMPROV, which adds one new image a day, I could make it an everyday thing to have new art out there, even though I need two days to finish a new page.
Those are the pros of doing each panel on a page as a seperate image.
The cons:
It requires some basic knowledge of html and tables. Not much, but a little.
It's okay to vary the size of the panels, but it does make it harder---not impossible, but harder---to have one panel in the foreground of another.
The larger panels will load slower.
Nevertheless...I'm surprised more comics do not load the panels as seperate images, rather than wasting the bandwidth loading the "gutters" and the page as one giant image.
Comments?---Al of http://mindmistress.keenspace.com

 Al Schroeder III of MINDMISTRESS---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas? Think again.

Al Schroeder's picture

[quote:386304af1f="atcooper"]I meant to mention this before but plain forgot to... the use of linking you mention is something I was curious about too. It allows for some interesting possibilities in story telling. I am really glad to see someone thinking along the same lines.

Using it as a technique would be something like what happens in Pulp Fiction or Magnolia, or in the literary world, Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury.

Besides, it's just EASIER.
Why retell Batman's origins ten zillion times? Why not just link back to the original panels? It's easier, saves redrawing, saves a lot of stuff...
Comics have footnotes and awkward retellings all the time. Why bother? Link, link, link.
Also, it's an interesting way to do two viewpoints, as I did in my last storyline, where I could contrast inner/outer worlds.
And it's a STRENGTH of webcomics, something you can't reproduce in print.
Good point about css. For my purposes, plain tables are working, but I may change that later on, according to the needs of the story. Hey, I might use FLASH before it's over, although I'm no e-Merlin.---Al

 Al Schroeder III of MINDMISTRESS---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas? Think again.

Al Schroeder's picture

Flash can still be a little wonky cross-platforms. If I want to do special effects (I know a javascript that will make the panels movable with a mouse, if they're loaded as seperate images...and I'm going to use it as soon as I can figure out a storyline where it will help not hinder the story) I would probably go with javascript before I'd go with flash.
But for some things, only flash will do, and e-merlin's a master of that.---Al

 Al Schroeder III of MINDMISTRESS---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas? Think again.

Depending on how far you’d like to take it, learning css would be a further step in the direction you suggest. Positioning is a far more powerful tool than tables for layouts.

I meant to mention this before but plain forgot to... the use of linking you mention is something I was curious about too. It allows for some interesting possibilities in story telling. I am really glad to see someone thinking along the same lines.

Using it as a technique would be something like what happens in Pulp Fiction or Magnolia, or in the literary world, Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury.

Sorry, that was me. Gotta remember to sign in when I'm at another computer.

my ascii comics are one piece each, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.

Some (actually drawn) comics I'm planning for when i have actual time, will be one image each (I still like the page format, unique files are easier to manage and hate having to mess with tables, even if I use lots of them, mainly because I hand write/rewrite all the html in the site (with the FrontPage html code layer, go figure), and is a bit tedious), although I've loved the concept of random strips since I saw the ones at SuperMegatopia ( http://www.supermegatopia.com ), and I'm planning to do something similar (when I get some free time, once again)

That random strip generator is gold.

And my comics are just one big image per page, honestly probably because I've never given much consideration to the alternatives. Plus, I tend to crowd things a lot, and as it is I rarely have nice, pristine, splittable gutters that don't have word bubbles, or someones head or something overlapping.
Still, the infinite canvas applications of these ideas are certainly interesting.

Re: panels as seperate images vs. one large image

Al Schroeder's picture

[quote:4d37115184="William_Beckerson"][quote:4d37115184="alschroeder"]

Quote:
It enables me to link from individual images, so I don't need to do flashbacks, etc. Just link to the previous part of the storyline in a particular image.
I've also done things like linking between seperate "realities" in the story, by clicking on one image in one "world" to take them to another.

Sounds like a lot of work. How do you keep people from missing the link?

It's a lot MORE work to redraw a flashback. A la showing Krypton blowing up ten zillion times, the Waynes being gunned down in front of young Bruce, or Uncle Ben being gunned down by that burglar and Spider-Man finding out it's the same guy he didn't stop.

Quote:
Very much like Scott McCloud's MORNING IMPROV, which adds one new image a day, I could make it an everyday thing to have new art out there, even though I need two days to finish a new page.

I keep wanting to put something new up daily, but the energy just aint there after a day of playing substitute daddy for a hundred Korean children.
That's a good idea. I always have a new "teaser" panel on the Buzzcomix list for the next page after the current page.

Quote:

alschroeder wrote:
[
Quote:
It's okay to vary the size of the panels, but it does make it harder---not impossible, but harder---to have one panel in the foreground of another.

How do you mean?

You now how in many comics a panel is in the foreground, overlapping the other panels? That's hard to do in a HTML table...but actually, some javascripts might render it easier. CSS would do it too, of course.---Al

 Al Schroeder III of MINDMISTRESS---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas? Think again.

About Flash, if you believe Macromedia's figures there are probably more people running flash than have javascript turned on in their browser, and flash seems to be a more standardized platform (at least, you don't have to do a bunch of weird browser version detection like you often do in javascript). I haven't worked with flash much, though, so I could be wrong about that.

Re: panels as seperate images vs. one large image

[quote:0acbf493f6="alschroeder"]I do something a little different from most, and do my panels as seperate images, and use html tables to create the "gutter" between images.
This is how I do it too.

I do it this way because it allows me to maximize the efficiency of how I use my paper. If I dont need to worry about the print format, then I can put my images on the paper as I see fit.

Also, I feel that this gives me the best chance to make an infinite canvas while keeping some resemblance to the comic format everyone knows and loves.

Quote:
I usually do four images/panels a page, a la Tales of Asgard.

I make a long side-scroll comic, a la When I Am King.

Quote:
It enables me to link from individual images, so I don't need to do flashbacks, etc. Just link to the previous part of the storyline in a particular image.
I've also done things like linking between seperate "realities" in the story, by clicking on one image in one "world" to take them to another.

Sounds like a lot of work. How do you keep people from missing the link?

Quote:
Very much like Scott McCloud's MORNING IMPROV, which adds one new image a day, I could make it an everyday thing to have new art out there, even though I need two days to finish a new page.

I keep wanting to put something new up daily, but the energy just aint there after a day of playing substitute daddy for a hundred Korean children.

Quote:

The cons:
It requires some basic knowledge of html and tables. Not much, but a little.

Dude! This is a Pro. Tables are dead easy to do, and you only need basic HTML skills.

Quote:
It's okay to vary the size of the panels, but it does make it harder---not impossible, but harder---to have one panel in the foreground of another.

How do you mean?

Quote:
The larger panels will load slower.

Isnt this true for all image formats?

Quote:
Nevertheless...I'm surprised more comics do not load the panels as seperate images, rather than wasting the bandwidth loading the "gutters" and the page as one giant image.

I agree, but I know the answer is a simple one:
The artist grew up on print comics, and either cant shake their influence off, or has a desire to print their webcomic one day and become the next Derek Kirk Kim.

Personally, while I'm no Eric Millikin or Cat Garza(Bill, the name dropper), I find print to be too confining now. I want the freedom to present my comics in one go. But I suppose thats a differnt kettle of fish.

As for flash comics...

Am I the only one who feels they all tend to look the same?

I prefer one image for simplicity. :)

i use indiviual images for each frame for two reasons...

1. to make the smallest gifs possible
2. random strip generator...
http://www.chrisbishop.com/her/random.html

e-Merlin is doing some cool stuff, that's for sure. I haven't looked into Flash far enough to determine wether I want to use it or not. Honestly, my gut tells me to stay away from it. I resent Macromedia's buisness ethic. It seems, too, to really use it, you have to learn their scripting, action script, and why bother when you can use javascript for the same ends. That one, at least, comes standard with browsers (at least for the last couple of versions).

I slice my comics into seperate files like you mention, mainly just to avoid one monster file that would finish loading around the time I turn 60. The uses you mention sound like great uses of the medium, though.

C. L. Lowrance