The digital comic book scene is booming. Big names like Marvel and Dark Horse now push many of their titles out to digital platforms on the same day that paper versions hit comic book store shelves, and the advent of the tablet has paired the format with the perfect hardware companion.
But, aside from some panel-focus transitions and uninspiring dalliances with augmented reality, few are really trying to push the medium forward given the fresh possibilities that the digital form offers.
Enter Wynter Dark, a graphic novel project by Resolution Independent's (and former Dark Horse writer) Pete Ford and editor Natalia Pizzey, currently seeking funding through Pozible, the Australian equivalent of Kickstarter.
A post-apocalyptic vision of a near-future New York consumed by a second Ice Age, it's looking like a nifty story with some stellar artwork. What's most interesting about the pitch though is how Ford and his team are approaching the "appification" of their graphic novel.
Heading to the iPad, Wynter Dark looks set to have standard digital comic features, such as full Retina Display support and a panel-to-panel view. But Ford's looking on taking it one step further, introducing gestures that strip the page first of speech bubbles for a closer look at the artwork, then the colours to strip back to ink work, then the ink to see the original pencil sketches and then a further step back to the initial script stage.
Multiple languages will be supported, as will interactive world maps and character selections, while the ultimate plan is to allow for fan-fiction content to be added to the app, building the Wynter Dark universe beyond the original writers ideas and setting the imaginations of fans loose on the fictional world.
It's an exciting concept, and one that (in a world where the two highest grossing films of 2012 were The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises) could capture the imaginations of a public increasingly comfortable with the comic book existing beyond the realms of geekdom.
Wynter Dark has so far attracted $5,435 Australian dollars of a A$35,000 target with 15 days left to complete funding. If you want to show your support, click here.