October 27, 2011
Editing comics with Comixer
In the expanded edition of Breakdowns, Art Spiegelman explains that he was "jealous of [his] independent filmmaker pals who could shoot footage and edit it after".1 In response, he created "Some Boxes for the Salvation Army", a collection of "memories, story fragments and ideas in different styles to mimic the way non-chronological way the mind works." He "reasoned that [he] could shuffle panels and sequences around after drawing them as long as [he] used the same size panels on a grid."
While the young Spiegelman was "too scatterbrained" to make a large enough body of panels to make for a compelling experiment, his dream has nevertheless come true, in a sense, with Comixer (pictured above), a new app for the iPad. As Steven Heller reports, "With Comixer, players “mix” cartoon panels to create their own stories, the way a deejay mixes tracks to make a new song. The dozens of panels are designed to work together in endless combinations. The stories can be funny, action-packed, suspenseful, or totally wacky."2 I hope that someone will create a similar app for use with the panels from "Some Boxes", if only to demonstrate to Spiegelman the potential fruits of his abortive labor.
1. Spiegelman, Art. (2008). Breakdowns: Portrait of the artist as a young %@[squiggle][star]!. New York: Pantheon. Breakdowns at Pantheon: http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/graphicnovels/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375423956
2. Heller on Comixer: http://imprint.printmag.com/daily-heller/comics-mash-up/