Digital Comic Revolution Nanits Universe
15. 10. 2019 | Source: Technology Agency of the Czech Republic
The concept of digitalisation is closely connected with the term “new media”. By this term, each of us will imagine the internet and the related social networks, videos, gifs, etc. But the “old” media (newspapers, photos, etc.) can also become the new media when they are digitalised – converted into ones and zeros.
An interesting Czech project regarding the traditional new media is the Nanits Universe start-up founded three years ago by two comic book enthusiasts, Robert Kaločai and Michael Petrus. They created a totally unique intuitive platform that interacts with comic books in an original way and pushes the whole field to a whole new level.
The platform created by the authors was primarily developed to publish their own digital comics. Gradually, however, it also allowed the simple conversion of classic printed comics into an engaging digital form, offering „something more“ than ever before. The authors themselves state that it is not their goal to “pull” the people away from the paper format towards the digital one, but to show that even the virtual comic book format can be great and has a lot to offer. That is why Nanits Universe and the revolutionary tools for creating, publishing and reading comic books were created. The fundamental principles of comic book creation are still the same, but modern technology allowed the authors to push comic books and their general perception far ahead.
What makes Nanits Universe so unique? The first of the new features is the parallax (3D) effects. These are very pleasing to the eye and give depth to the individual images. The authors also got rid of page turning. Instead of turning pages, the reader can simply scroll on their smartphone or tablet and enjoy the story without any interruptions. The removal of pages and the resulting smooth change of images from one to another has other advantages – it creates the illusion of a comic book in motion and provides a different perception of time. The storytelling experience is enhanced even further by music originally composed for each comic book that creates an appropriate atmosphere, and the reader can get the impression of watching a movie. The music doesn’t stay the same, but changes naturally and unobtrusively according to which part of the story the reader is currently reading.
We have a number of functions in mind that could enhance the experience of using our app, and which could push the comic book format even further. All while treating the essence of the comic book medium with respect.
The digital platform is not just for readers but also for creators or publishers. The Nanits team will then take care of converting paper comics into digital form, composing music, or translating into other languages for better distribution across the international market.
Self-contained Comic Book Saga
The Nanits Universe has created a self-contained comic book saga, Nanits Chronicles. The story takes place in a future where the world works according to entirely different rules than it used to. Mankind has been saved from extinction by a nanotechnological compound called Nanits, created by a fictitious pharmaceutical company, NFO, as a cure for a deadly virus. In this anti-utopia, this fictional cure can cure anything, from regular flu to a serious disease. The distribution of this compound has led to the decline of traditional healthcare, and the people who get sick can pay a “subscription”, and get cured as a result. However, the subscription expires in time, and if a person gets sick again, they need to pay for it again.
Our vision is for our reading format to become a standard for digital comic books around the world. And for it to help authors to sell their comic books worldwide under fair conditions and with an appropriate service, which has not been the case so far.
A Thousand Comics in a Pocket
”Digitalisation has great potential. We can see where the world trends are headed. Readers can have our app in their pocket and carry their whole comic book collection of hundreds or thousands of comic books at all times and have an incredible number of authors from all around the world available at their fingertips. All of this, and translations into a number of languages. The reading of a comic book then naturally becomes a richer and more exciting experience. The smart soundtrack is something that brings a new layer of emotions into the comic book medium that it was previously impossible to experience,“ say the Nanits Universe founders.
We live in times when comic book movies are making billions, but comic book shops are closing and going bankrupt. The generation of readers who appreciate the paper format is growing older, and their purchasing power is weakening; on the other hand, the younger generations love comic book films and demand the same experience from digital comic books. For logical reasons, they are not interested in the paper format; they are the children of the digital age and a traditional PDF viewed on a tablet has no chance of attracting their attention. That‘s why Nanits does what it does. ”We can see a huge potential on the market if we grasp the comic book medium in the right way and are able to offer it in a form that is both simple and attractive. And we believe that we are doing well so far.“
Originally published in TA.Di magazine of Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR). Author: Veronika Dostálová.