I was listening to the lastest podcast of Writing Excuses
while on the exercise bike,* where they interviewed the Foglios about writing for webcomics, and that reminded me of a webcomic project I'd love to do one day.
It would be about exploring the possibilities that the web offers, and not in that silly scroll-until-your-RSI-kicks-in way that Scott McCloud suggested however long ago it was. Instead, you'd tell a story, perhaps one or two panels at a time**, and when a character moved offscreen, the reader would have the option of following them and taking up *their* part of the story from there. So you'd have, say, three characters meeting for a scene, then at the end of the scene they'd go their separate ways and the reader could opt for whichever character they wanted to read about, and follow them, and then maybe pick up one of the original characters' storylines later on in the story. (And you could have offshoots - follow a random congoer passing by to the next panel they're going to, frex, although you'd have to have an exit from that branch to get back to the main storylines without running into a dead end. And you could ahve silly little offshoot stories and jokes that way.)
Ideally you wouldn't get the *whole* thing unless you read all of the storylines, and each scene might have a different implication depending on which character you were following at the time.
I think it'd work best if the overall story were set in a pre-defined area, and each storyline developed at about the same pace so that when you stopped following Character X and took off following Character Y for a while and then picked up X again in a later scene, it wouldn't be a big jump. (Although I just realized that you, as writer, control the amount of time passing between panels, so that wouldn't be much of an issue for the reader. Er, I doubt that makes sense to any of you BUT IT DOES TO ME SO THERE.)
I originally wanted to do this in the context of my/mothoc
's late unlamented webcomic Can't Sleep, Con Will Eat Me
, and I still think that the setting - that of a con of some ilk - would be a perfect setting for this sort of thing, since it's got natural physical and chronological boundaries, and a set pace through the convention.
Aaargh, now I'm all fired up to find someone to work on this with, as I think it would benefit from more than just me plot-noodling, and I neeeed to be getting ready for AnimeFest instead. Aaargh.
Still, does this sound like a nifty project to you? Questions, comments, thoughts, ideas?
* Head pain gone. Utter exhaustion still here. Assumed 20 minutes on the bike certainly wouldn't hurt
, and might get the fuzzy out of my head. Result: slightly, but no miracles, and I still want another nap.
** Obviously, you'd have more text in the panels than in any comic save Death Note
. But as the whole panel would fill the entire browser screen the way I'm envisioning it, this is less of a problem.