Here is an interesting HTML5 digital comic from Disney that is both promising and disappointing. Each panel flows separate and has multiple layers giving it depth and movement. An audio soundtrack keys off panel tags allowing it to match the mood of the story. But overall the comic falls short of being innovative as the text remains embedded and a flat part of the image in each panel, unsearchable and unable to become part of the metadata for SEO. While the audio track is well produced I found myself turning it off halfway through as distracting.
I think HTLM5 hold a lot of promise as a Digital Comic platform allowing for panels to interdependently flow for optimized reading experience on any screen size but to really have any impact on the genre it has to liberate the text allowing it the same accessibility and discovery as ebooks and ereaders. Highlighting, cutting and pasting, sharing, notes, linking to additional or related content and searchability are the things that will grow and innovate the medium. Sound and motion only serve to distract and add opportunities to disappoint in production value and editorial choices.
In light of the recent Graphicly app I can’t help but wonder what a comic app on Facebook would be like if you could share a specific panel or search for specific text. Imagine you just saw the notice that a friend has a birthday today, you could search for comic with birthday in the text and tag your friend in a particular panel. You could share a quote from Batman. You could add panel sound effects as emoticons… and you could discover share and promote comics in ways we never thought possible before.