Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Putting some life into a static comic strip

Here's an interesting idea from Lynn Johnson, creator of the For Better or For Worse comic strip: give your characters some subtle little movements.

I happened to be looking at today's strip, and all of a sudden Elizabeth's girlfriend, Candace, is blinking (look at the last two panels). In fact, Johnston has it timed so that the blinking (two times for each eye) begins in panel three and then advances to panel four at what would be normal reading speed.

It's one of those things that makes you go, "Whoa, did I just see that?" Hit the refresh button, and it will do it again.

Now this is no great technological marvel in this day and age of multi-layered Flash whiz-bang stuff. But it's the sort of small thing that can really make an online presentation intruguing.

I don't know how long Johnston's been doing it (going back in the archives, I see it as early as mid-April) -- I don't drop in on the Web side all that much. But I think it's cool and the overall concept -- limited animation in a .gif -- is one of the small step news sites might consider when appropriate.

(Someone else has noticed it -- it's already drawn a question/comment on Johnston's Web site.)

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