Joe Alterio's blog on illustration, comix, design, animation, and other bouts of total awesomeness.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Animatic? Comiccast? Podcomic? Avast!

I just got a message from T Campbell today that said that he went ahead and changed my keywords in iTunes from 'comiccast' to 'animatic' specifically because that's what Clickwheel is calling it, and we should all be on the same page as far as a searchable terms. This seems entirely reasonable to me, and I think I can give a little to get a little.

But this brings up an interesting point: what the hell do we call these things?

I've frankly been a little underwhelmed by the Web 2.0's nomenclature system. "Blog", for me is just a etemological laziness, and "Vlog" is just plain silly. But being one man with one very small 'blog', I can't really do anything about those.

But what we're doing here with these 'moving comics' is hefty enough that I think it does deserve it's own little word. The reason I have problem with 'animatic' is because, having come from animation and film, I know exactly what an 'animatic' really is, and my new...thing...'Fading Fast', is not an animatic. An animatic is a rough filmed storyboard of a film- or animation-in-progress. It helps the director and creators plan better for all the work that lays ahead: it's kind of a filmed blueprint. And while the camera moves may end up being similar, I think there's one weighty difference, and that is that, in a filmed comic, the story is MEANT to be told in this static format.

I'd hate to think that we're all just doing comics because we dont' have the time to do animation. Comics contain a special uniqueness which gives it power, and that is the resolution that takes place in reader's own mind: animation, god bless it, lays it all out for you. Hence, animatics are a stand-in for larger action that the creator is asking you resolve, only temporarily, and thus I think they're resolution jumps are less polished, because it's just for the creators, and everyone knows what it will look like in the end. A "moving comic" purposely (hopefully) has given much more thought to those transitions. Comics have the ability to much more powerful or touching or funny or whatever because the reader's mind is an implicit player in the medium.

So...animatic is out, for me at least. I was excited about the term 'comiccast', because I think it is technically correct: it is a broadcast of a comic, which, while besides being descriptive, brings up an awesome Buck Rogers image of the RKO tower shooting comics into outerspace (come to think of it: I'll be working on that image cool!). But it doesn't roll off the toungue, and like the creators of Kleenex will tell you, it's gotta be fun to say in order to catch on.

So I'm at loss. Any ideas out there? Hmmm...

(PS: I'm on the East Coast for a week for weddings and graduations and such, so I won't be updating for a bit...lemme know if you want to hook up.)


T Campbell said...

My issue with "comiccast," "podcomics" and other "comics" words was that I didn't want comics purists to go, "Hey! This is ANIMATED!" and feel like it was false advertising.

I thought "animatics" was a good name because animatics are fairly close in FORM to these comics-based QuickTime movies, even though their intended PURPOSE as you put it is very different.

Similar to the argument about "comics"-- just because comics' purpose has often been the entertainment of minors with power fantasies, that doesn't mean the FORM doesn't have a meaning independent of that.

But we will see. The term "graphic literature" seems to be dying out and "online comics" is gradually yielding to "webcomics." These things have a way of being chosen when we're not looking.

Anonymous said...

I've been describing them to people who don't know what an animatic is (probably a good chuck of the population) as 'video comics.' Not the most eloquent, but it's getting the point across.

But I'm with ya Joe, I don't want people thinking of these as low budget cartoons.

-Tim Demeter

Kevin O said...

Well, if the term "movies" came about because they're pictures that "move"...

And "talkies" was talking moving pictures, with sound,