The (Awesome) See-through Comic

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The Awesome Ghost of Bailey Jones There are still some things you can do with paper that you can’t do on a screen. Yes, there’s a Flash version of “The Awesome Ghost of Bailey Jones,” but it is vastly inferior to the double-sided PDF you can download and print. (I found this comic on cartoonist Scott McCloud’s blog.)

Since it is double-sided, hold the printed comic up to the light, and a previously unseen element of the story is revealed. I want to print a comic on those overhead transparencies for inkjet printers (since they don’t have any other purpose any more now that everyone uses PowerPoint). You could stack two or three, and each one would reveal a new level of the story. I just haven’t thought of a story that would benefit from being told this way yet.

While the presentation of “The (Awesome) Ghost of Bailey Jones” is creative, the content is somewhat muddled. The title seems to infer that the comic is about ghosts, but both characters have wings making them look more like angels. Making it even more confusing, when the title character becomes a ghost/angel, he has horns. Is he a ghostly angelic demon? On top of that, the comic seems to make light of suicide.

Some art is all style on no substance. A see-through comic is pretty cool, but there’s not much substance here. Does a comic have to have a strong story or is it sometimes okay just to look really cool? What other cool ways of presenting a comic can you think of?

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