Thursday, March 1, 2012
Apple Adds Graphic Novels & Comics To iBookstore
Interestingly, these all appear to be in the original fixed layout .epub format rather than the new .ibooks editions, which seems to be reserved for textbooks at the moment. This is natural enough, since the specific layout conventions of comics precludes the need for rich multimedia additions, although if there ever was a medium that could readily incorporate multimedia, and benefit greatly from it, it's graphic novels, due to their highly visual nature.
What I find most curious, however, is that all the content in the several editions I've downloaded are composed of single background images with the text incorporated, rather than including live text layers one can interact with, rendering them little more than .pdf's, something of a step backwards in my opinion. This seems to imply that comics readers don't require the use of dictionaries or search functions for their reading experience, that somehow graphic novels are not really novels at all (let alone great literature); as if comics inherently incorporate a limited vocabulary and plot structures so simplistic no one would ever possibly need to consult a dictionary or use search terms for any conceivable reason. In actuality, of course, they probably just think it's too difficult to format dialogue boxes to be bothered with (and they're justified to some extent in that assessment).