Although not a name most would associate with the digital age, Alan Moore is nevertheless spearheading the development of an open-source app that will enable anyone to produce digital comics.
Called Electricomics, the app is described as both a comic and a free, “easy-to-use open source toolkit,” published by Moore and longtime collaborator Mitch Jenkins’ Orphans of the Storm, and funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, which supports “projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector.”
Edited by Leah Moore, a 32-page comic showcase will feature four titles: Big Nemo, a 1930s-set tale in which Moore revisits Winsor McCay’s groundbreaking comic strip; Cabaret Amygdala, modernist horror from writer Peter Hogan; Red Horse, a World War I story by Garth Ennis and Peter Snejbjerg; and Sway, a time-travel story written by Leah Moore and John Reppion. The Electricomics website also mentions Nicola Scott, Jose Villarrubia, Colleen Doran, Paul Davidson, Simon Bowland and Todd Klein.
“Personally, I can’t wait,” Alan Moore said in a statement. “With Electricomics, we are hoping to address the possibilities of comic strips in this exciting new medium, in a way that they have never been addressed before. Rather than simply transferring comic narrative from the page to the screen, we intend to craft stories expressly devised to test the storytelling limits of this unprecedented technology. To this end we are assembling teams of the most cutting-edge creators in the industry and then allowing them input into the technical processes in order to create a new capacity for telling comic book stories. It will then be made freely available to all of the exciting emergent talent that is no doubt out there, just waiting to be given access to the technical toolkit that will enable them to create the comics of the future.”
The Electricomics website offers a little more about the project’s origins, and spells out its goals/philosophy: “They [the team members] have been charged with the task of producing new comics for the digital age. They must attempt new storytelling techniques, create and use new comic making tools which they must then make freely available to everyone. […] The stories produced will not only showcase what is possible but also hopefully inspire others to do the same.”
The app is being created by Ocasta Studios, whose clients include Virgin Media and Harveys brewery; it marks the company’s first foray into digital comics.