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Poll: War on Flash

Flash seems to be a favorite format for the big companies (Marvel Online, Zuda Comics, Shadowline, Dark Horse), but not so big with independent webcomic creators … unless they want to play around with animation. But what do you, dear reader, think about Flash? Is it a godsend… or a travesty?

Click here to check out previous Overlook Polls.

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on February 24, 2010, in The Webcomic Overlook, WCO Poll, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. You forgot to mention the main reasons Flash is the tool of the devil: not HTML standard, not searchable, leaves you vulnerable to vendor lock-in.

  2. I hate the Zuda interface. I can’t think of a Flash-based comic site that I like. I’ve seen too many sites of all kinds let a Flash redesign destroy their usability. Just because you can do something cutesy doesn’t mean you should.

  3. I like how Dead Winter is drawn in flash and has the occasional animated scenes, but most other flash based comics are terrible. When you have a slow connection Zuda is a nightmare. At least with the slow loads I get on websites like Drunk Duck I can open the next pages to load in another tab while I’m reading. Flash can only be used for some things and only in a certain way.

    Has anyone tried making a program in Java for displaying webcomics? I’d like to know the results of that.

  4. I’d rather webcomic creators not opt for Flash. I see little point to it, it’s lengthy, cumbersome, it forces you to convert the original drawing into another format, and a proprietary one at that, and I never thought Flash was crisp.

    Keep it simple, an old jpg or png will do the work just fine.

  5. A webcomic using Flash is enough for me to decide not to follow that webcomic. I don’t think Flash is inherently evil, but if I can’t go right to a page (and send friends a URL to the page), then I’m not interested.

    Not having an RSS feed is also a barrier to entry to me, although for good comics I’ll follow them as best I can anyway. But Flash, no.

  6. I don’t think Flash is necessarily a bad thing but I’ve certainly never seen it pulled off in a way that I think works.

    The homepage of the French cartoonist , incidentally, is powered by Flash and does allow you to link to specific comics, so obviously that limitation is something that can be worked around. I would assume other limitations can be worked around as well, but clearly no one’s doing them.

    The thing I really don’t get is the load time–if anything, it seems like a programmable environment like that ought to be able to load in more than one comic at once. If I’m reading in one direction or the other, the program ought to anticipate that I’m going to keep going and load up the next comic while I’m still reading the first one. Maybe that’s not possible, but it’s an area where Flash (or something similar) could be undeniably better than PHP for the end user, but I’ve never seen anyone do it.

    • It looks like this comment was indeed captured by the Spam Filter, mainly because the link wasn’t closed. I know you said the same thing in another post, but I felt bad not resurrecting it. 🙂

  7. I don’t think Flash is necessarily a bad thing but I’ve certainly never seen it pulled off in a way that I think works.

    The homepage of the French cartoonist Boulet, (http://bouletcorp.com/blogen/) incidentally, is powered by Flash and does allow you to link to specific comics, so obviously that limitation is something that can be worked around. I would assume other limitations can be worked around as well, but clearly no one’s doing them.

    The thing I really don’t get is the load time–if anything, it seems like a programmable environment like that ought to be able to load in more than one comic at once. If I’m reading in one direction or the other, the program ought to anticipate that I’m going to keep going and load up the next comic while I’m still reading the first one. Maybe that’s not possible, but it’s an area where Flash (or something similar) could be undeniably better than PHP for the end user, but I’ve never seen anyone do it.

    (Sorry if this double-posts, it doesn’t seem to have taken the first time)

  8. flash is for games, not comics. i make an exception for mspaintadventures.

  9. Flash as a comic interface is TERRIBLE, and pointless. HTML works just fine for browsing a comic. Using flash for that is a waste of time and energy. I’ve read two comics from Zuda, and I can’t stand that interface.

    That said, I’ve seen two comics that use flash well: <a href="http://cityofreality.com/"<City of Reality and <a href="http://comics.cyberneticevilstudios.com/"Lizzy. City of Reality uses it for a few specific sequences and it actually comes off very well, where Lizzy uses to really create a world that would not be possible otherwise (there’s a non-flash version of the comic, but you really do miss out on a lot). Both comics use flash as PART of the comic to do animations and such and drive the story forward, however, not as the archive interface and such.

  10. I REFUSE to read comics in a flash interface, namely Zuda. And that’s a shame, because I hear there’s actually some decent stuff there.

    No RSS is also a hurdle, or having RSS, but not putting the comic in the feed. Sites should make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to view their stuff.

    I think the reason the larger publishers use flash is to prevent “piracy”, that is, people right clicking and saving the jpegs to their hard drive. But why? You’re giving it away for free.

  11. FFFFFFF Flash! D: <<< NO. Absolutely not. I read two of Zuda's comics and the long loading times are just so freaking annoying. I'd rather just see the page standard size than have to zoom in on all the panels and move the box around to see the words.

  12. There is a time and a place for animation or flash in comics. Zuda’s reasons for its use of flash I feel was two fold: to control the content (hence the silly page layouts and flash only interface) and to provide a slick interface which would seperate it from its rivals.

    Whether it has acheived that 2nd aim remains to be seen. I for one honestly cannot stand the weird page size as well as the lack of RSS support and the ability to send links.

    This I feel throws up more barriers to entry for the budding webcomicker than knocks them down.

    • Weird as Zuda looks, I will say this for them: it does look a lot better when you use the “Full Size” button. I do agree, though, it does look unappealing in the standard format that you first pull up.

      • Yes thats true. For its niggles Zuda does deliver. Its page layout will be forever “silly”, “weird” and even “unappealing” but never “terrible” in my book. Its not a deal breaker for me.

        Is it me or is this turning into a referendum on Zuda? I feel bad now 😦

  1. Pingback: Webcomics creators speak! | Paperless Comics

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