In recent months, HTML5 has made some significant strides as a tool for building marketing materials, reference works and several other useful publications. But with the new round of one particular HTML5 publishing tool—PUB HTML5, specifically—there's a new use for such tools, and that's in the form of making comic books that have a lot more than anything Marvel or DC could ever offer.
PUB HTML5 was originally created as a means to make it easier for publishers to go from PDF to HTML5 magazine publishing, and by several reports, it worked quite well. But, as is commonly the case with creative software, it wasn't long before other uses started to come into play, and the idea of comic books practically jumped off the page, so to speak. With PUB HTML5, users building comic books can include animations within the pages of the comic itself, using the moving pictures thrown in with the static ones as a means to draw more readers into the comic's world.
That alone would be reason enough to make some consider using PUB HTML5 as a comic-making tool, but there are still more considerations to throw into the mix that make PUB HTML5 worth a second look. One, there's the cost factor involved; making comics on paper means a lot of ink and newsprint and the like, so moving the process online drops those costs through the floor. When the costs are down to produce, so too can the costs to the reader likewise drop, which means a better shot at sales and profitability for publishers. Two, the resulting content is highly portable, and can even be accessed online directly, put behind a paywall, or with similar material used. Then, all readers need do is point a tablet, smartphone, laptop or PC at a certain Web address where HTML5 can be used, and the comic is as readily accessed as pulling it out of a Mylar bag and reading it right there. PUB HTML5 even offers a demonstration comic example for those interested in having a look at what this software can really do.
I admit; I'm personally fond of comic books. But comic books in print form can be a pricey excursion. With one storyline taking a dozen issues or more to tell, and each issue weighing in around $4.00 an issue in at least some cases—prices do tend to vary depending on the publisher, the title and the size of the issue—it's hard to justify actually dropping the $50 or so that's required to keep up with some complete storylines, and it only gets worse if it's a multi-series variant that goes across several different brands. Online publishing has helped on this front, but being able to include animations and keep costs down is the kind of thing that's certainly going to draw plenty of interest in the field.
Only time will tell just how many publishers—both large-scale and independent—manage to get behind PUB HTML5 as an alternative to print, but it's certainly making a good case for its use, and should be able to find ready support on several fronts.
Edited by Maurice Nagle