Craig SmithI began research into the field of motion comics in 2009, when I discovered the Jake S. Hughes adaptation of the ‘Watchmen’. My initial curiosity was influenced by a lifetime of reading comic books, as well as my background in new media design and recent Masters in Film studies at Queens University Belfast. Motion comics represented a new paradigm in comic book to moving image production. Furthermore, critical and popular opinion appeared to be mixed in terms of their reaction to this emerging field of animation practice. Reviews tended to be subjective, deeply personal, and on occasion so vitriolic that I decided to investigate further (http://billyon.hubpages.com/hub/why-I-hate-motion-comics-and-all-digital-comics-needs-to-die). Cue three years later and I’m approaching the final stage of a PhD on the subject. I’ve presented numerous conference papers and been fortunate enough to get my work published in an International animation journal edited by Professor Paul Wells (http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=2245/).

*Update – I am now a senior lecturer in Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, UK. I continue to write about motion comics, motion books and digital comics, and have delivered a number of conference papers on these particular aspects of comic book culture. My Linked in profile contains the latest updates and links to my papers etc. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/craig-smith-b2659228

Email: craigjamessmith@yahoo.co.uk

The emerging animation field of ‘Motion comics’ has been likened[1] to early forms of proto cinematic and optical devices such as the ‘magic lantern’ and Indonesian shadow puppetry, which both display rudimentary animation styles and layering techniques. Recent developments in computer software and a commercial desire from the mainstream comic book industry to exploit emerging digital platforms such as the iphone, have led to the creation of a new genre of hybrid animation, which merges the authentic static image of the comic book with animation.

Examples of the motion comic include Batman: Black and White (DC Comics. 1996, 2009), The Black Panther (Marvel Comics. Reginald Hudlin, John Romita Jr. 2005, 2010) and The Watchmen (DC Comics. Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons. 1986, 2008), which was released as a motion comic on DVD in 2009 by Warner Bros, and is also available on iTunes.

[1] Dr Douglas Cunningham. Authentic Stasis/Transcendent Movement: The Liminal Space of Motion Comics. (Paper presented at San Francisco State, 2009)


3 responses

31 03 2010
The first reviews, future plans and falling upwards

[…] Boy with Nails for Eyes is a highly accomplished and visually evocative piece of work…" Craig Smith, Motion Comics (review […]

9 04 2010
The Boy with Nails for Eyes | Hero Spy

[…] Boy with Nails for Eyes is a highly accomplished and visually evocative piece of work…” Craig Smith, Motion Comics (review […]

14 08 2013

i just wanted to say good job with all the informations given on your site, I do love motion comics , too and began animating some of my own. Since seeing the “watchmen” motion comic then i totally fell in live with this new artform. I think not everyone really understands this new medium, yet.
If you wanna check out the first two story i took on myself and maybe give me a feedback how you liked them yourself…
you can find them on my youtube acc under:


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