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Jonas Moore: comics (oops – graphical novels) for the ipod age

Courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog, we have hailed a ‘reinvention of the graphical novel’. I’m not sure that there’s much reinventing of the GN itself, but we’re certainly seeing some ‘non-video’ applications for those desirable little screens.

The site will explain better than I can the mix of animation, still, game play and community contribution (in story ideas, at least). There’s also a clear sign of the sponsorship opportunities here with the whole exploit being ‘brought to us’ in conjunction with Triumph (the manly motorbikes, I assume, not the bra company…).

I’ve noticed that with the greater accessibility of video playback devices we’re seeing a return to the slide show. One good example of late are the videos on InStyle magazine (click on videos). These use voice-overs and rostrum camera work (or “set to cheesey” slideshow transitions) to turn a set of ‘behind the scenes’ stills from a fashion shoot into a pretty neat 2-minute “video”.

My favourite recent discovery though – and enough to put a video ipod on to my ‘list of toys’ – are the photo essays by the Magnum photo agency – “Magnum in Motion“. These are just wonderful. Photojournalism at its best: depth, connection with the human condition, intimacy and empathy yet with an objective position. These are beautifully produced and – in the web versions – offer an ‘essay’ (interview, podcast, audio track), image slideshow and rich captioning. I watched Philip Jones Griffiths’ “Point and Shoot” piece three times – images, voice then captions. Riveting and moving.

This put me in mind of the glory days of the colour supplement and the recent exhibition at the Guardian Newsroom of Ian Berry’s work, developing the colour supplement as we once knew it. Ian Berry of course is a member of Magnum.

So, from graphic novels to Magmum in Motion, new twists and energy for ‘old’ communication mechanisms. Who’d have thought that those 2″ screens would be facilitating something other than blockbuster movie trailers and episodes of “Lost”…