In the past decade or two, video games have grown more and more sophisticated, in terms of graphics as well as story. 3D environments can be explored there, and with VR even more immersive experiences can be had. At the moment, comic shops are struggling, and the future of movie theaters is somewhat uncertain.
Comics distribution has obviously changed radically since the ascension of the Internet. This is a positive in most ways I can think of. As far as content, the mechanics are a bit different, clicking or scrolling through stories rather than turning physical pages. Many webcomics have a similar appearance to physical comics, while some use the endless canvas or even more unusual ways to progress through a story. They can have music, multiple story paths to choose from, etc.
In the future things will continue to change and advance in ways we can't fully predict. Will we expand into more immersive environments, like programmed sounds, smells and physical touch through virtual reality technology? This kind of thing exists already.
Imagine comics that read your eye movements and move to the next page automatically, or zoom in to things that are plot-important. Or plots that speed up or slow down after reading your level of boredom or confusion. Or footnotes/explanations that pop up to give relevant background info or reminders about relevant details.
Personally I think there will always be a place for more traditional styles of comics - 2d drawn images experienced (on paper or screen) offers its own kind of easy pleasure. A little distance from fiction can be a more comfortable way to experience it. But I could be completely wrong. Maybe the people of the future will find that unsatisfying and a primitive way to experience stories.
Maybe one day, a full on Holodeck, in the style of Star Trek TNG or the Danger Room from the X-Men comics, will be available to everyone. You'd be able to play out a role in any genre you want, with endlessly modifiable details and levels of challenge or realism.
What do you imagine the comics of the future might be?
Banes at 12:00AM, May 6, 2021
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