March 5th, 2009 by Ajay
Does anyone actually read any Zuda comics? Or, considering that they appear to be episodes or issues of comics, has anyone read an entire Zuda comic? It’s been out there for a while now, but I can’t read them and I don’t understand why anyone else would.
Why not? That ridiculous method of delivering the content.
Go to any respectable webcomic site and you can actually SEE the comic. A comic is a combination of words and pictures that tells a narrative (possibly more, see McCloud’s Understanding Comics). Thus, it should be easy to post a comic on a website in order for one to read it. Go to any respectable website that displays comics and you can see the comic pictures and read the comic words. End result: people read the comic and maybe send you money or fan mail or buy merchandise. Why does Zuda insist on making it an annoying trial to read any of the comics on their site?
Zuda puts each comic “issue” inside of a Flash enabled viewer and I have no problem with that. Platinum Grit does the same thing. Go to the Platinum Grit site and you can read each issue inside an embedded Flash player by clicking or hitting the arrow keys left and right. It is enjoyable and loads quickly for viewing enjoyment. Go to the Zuda site, and you are shown what looks like a poorly exported JPEG or GIF file all full of jagged aliased lines. If you want to read the dialog, you either have to zoom in by clicking the tiny zoom bar and then panning around the entire comic in the tiny window or click the ‘full-screen’ button, effectively making your entire monitor the comic page. While in full screen mode, you cannot do anything else with your computer until you finish the comic. If, like me, you chat with friends who don’t live near you anymore while you browse the internet, the full-screen Zuda comic will close every time you respond to a “What’s up?” or “Check out this silly YouTube video.”
I haven’t finished reading a single Zuda comic since the site was launched in 2007. Whether or not comics were put up in 2007 is a moot point, as I haven’t finished reading anything that I started reading on the site. I keep clicking on Project Wonderful ads and each time I get tricked into going to Zuda and leaving after 2 pages. The artwork is always interesting, but it’s a waste of time if I can’t just look at it without playing Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass. In regards to Platinum Grit, it shows comics that were originally in print form and it doesn’t show the entire comic page, but are you really missing anything that way? Fables has fancy comic borders that detract from the content of the panels and Watchmen has the minimalist grid layout with little variation in panel layout so as to keep FROM distracting you. If you zoom in on Zuda’s comic viewer, you are only seeing a couple panels at a time anyway and miss out on the general layout of the page. You’re better off reading Platinum Grit at this point, which is actually an enjoyable comic.
What if Zuda did this on purpose? Make their comic viewing experience annoying in all the little ways because the little things add up to make big issues. In this they could be saying, “wouldn’t in just be easier to go out and buy some DC print comics? Eh? EH?” At least you could still chat with your friends without the book slamming shut on you when an AIM window pops up.
I know Myspace is dumb and even I have a profile there, but at least their comic thang lets you read the entire comic without having to zoom in or open some monitor hogging ‘full-screen’ mode.