Digital adaptability of non-traditional narratives in comics


Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile and digital adaptability of non-traditional narratives in comics.

by Kat Lombard-Cook

School of Design, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK




The demand for digital comics has increased steadily with the growth of the mobile market. This has led many comic authors to consider the importance of the physicality of their work. While many comics are being digitally converted using existing delivery channels, comics that push the boundaries of narrative find this transition more difficult. Many of the current distribution channels either attempt to emulate books, or guide the reader from panel to panel, but many non-traditional narratives require greater engagement than is allowed for under these models. Jason Shiga’s ‘choose-your-own-adventure’-style comic Meanwhile serves as a valuable example of such a story. Shiga co-developed a stand-alone iPad app for his book, which incorporates the interactive elements of his physical comic. I discuss how the app translated the experience of the book object to the digital realm, and touch on other experimental attempts to engage with readers digitally.


This PDF is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics on 22 Sep 2014, available for citation online: