Monday, July 25, 2011

Retweet: The Guardian interview with Alan Moore

Every once in a while I like to simply point to an interesting article appearing elsewhere, like this interview appearing right now on the home page of The Guardian: an interview with Alan Moore, comic book author, whose latest work is League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Century 1969.

Alan Moore. Photograph by Murdo Macleod, courtesy of The Guardian.

The interview conducted by Subhajit Banerjee is worth reading in whole, assuming you are into comic books, or graphic novels, or whatever they might be called. I'm not, to be honest.

But I am interested in what the author has to say about his books, how he sets in them, and most importantly, his thoughts on tablet publishing.

When Moore is asked about whether his books could benefit from hyperlinks and such through appearing on a tablet Moore explains who his books are laid out for print and how things are done for a certain reason.
So what I'm saying is that I don't think these devices are quite there yet but they have some very interesting possibilities. But before we would be thinking about putting something like the League into that format, I would want to think long and hard about the possible advantages of that new medium and the ways in which my storytelling craft would have to be adapted to best effect from this new medium. Much the same as when comics were just a 24-page thing that you drew on pieces of paper. I was always trying to find what the medium was capable of and to push it as far as possible. Like I said I've been having some thoughts about this. People shouldn't be too surprised if they were to hear something about me working in this kind of area.
It shouldn't be surprising that an author who really thinks through how his work appears in print would be concerned about how they would appear on a tablet. This may be why most of the good work currently being done on tablets is either coming from independent publishers who are working exclusively on the new platform, or from those who are in control of the appearance of their publications in print and on the tablet.

Last week, while talking about the tablet editions being produced by Tribune Interactive, I lamented the sameness of the iPad apps and commented briefly about how they appear to be produced away from the local products. I assume that local editors, so concerned with the look and feel of their local newspapers are being left out of the design decisions of the tablet editions.

I know I am beating the drum incessantly here, but to me it is obvious that if a publisher does not treat their tablet editions as separate though related products they will end up producing a tablet edition that is weak and ill conceived.