Let's Stop Calling Them Infinite Comics. Let's Call Them Decampi Comics Instead.

alexdecampiI was talking to a comics publisher on the train from San Diego to Los Angeles. Seriously, coming back from con everyone should do that. Free wifi, coastal scene, no traffic and full of comics people, you can keep the Con going on longer.

Also, I was on the Flyaway bus to LAX with Gareb Shamus. We managed not to cause a matter/anti-matter explosion. Anyway, where was I?

On the train. And the publisher referred to some upcoming "infinite" comics of theirs. And they weren't Marvel. They meant the layered panel digital comics that DC call DC2, that Marvel call Infinite Comics and that Thrillbent call… Thrillbent comics.

They need a name. But it shouldn't be the brand name of a publisher. They should be named after their inventor.

Alex De Campi.

Just as we have Kirby Krackle, Steranko Effects and Bendis-Speak, we should have De Campi Comics. Or just "decampi comics" to make it generic.

Alex De Campi, Christine Larsen and Tim Durning created and published the Valentine comic in 2009, following De Campi's vision of a layered panel digital comic, and it was a real breakthrough for the digital comics medium. Changing speech balloons, changing images, in the same panel with a swipe of the finger or a click of the mouse, before moving onto the next panel, panning from one side of an extended panel to the other, and telling a full ongoing story in the process, almost all the tricks were right there from the get go as well as a few that weren't picked up, such as De Campi crowdsourcing translations of the comic so it launched with many languages. There are other examples worth noting and recording, such moves in that direction with Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper and Danny Murphy, or the prototypical about DIGITAL COMICS by Yves Biggerel from earlier that year, but Valentine was the one that seemed to make it all make sense, bring all those ideas together and make it look like a damn comic.

Also, it's a pretty damn decent comic book. And it's free, all the first twelve issues of it, on web, on tablet, on phone, on ComiXology. For now.

Because Valentine is coming back, on Thrillbent. They have funded the completion of the final twelve issues, without any need for Kickstartering. As a result, in a month, Valentine will come down from ComiXology and move to Thrillbent, running from the beginning to the end, twenty-four issues in total. Consider that a scoop, with a promo pic below. Oh, and she's available to talk to publishers about what she has planned next for the medium…


But the thing is, the comic industry doesn't exactly have the greatest of reputations for crediting the innovations of its creators, and women get an even worse treatment.

So now, here, let's take it in our hands  to change one thing. I'm calling on fans, creators, publishers, reporters, bloggers, websites, distributors to start calling them decampi comics. Use a publisher's brand name for their line of decampi comics, sure, but let the generic term be hers. And the only way for it to catch on is for people to start using it. That means you. Even if you hate them. You don't to make a big thing of it, just start doing it.

Decampi comics. It does rather trip off the tongue. Say it with me…




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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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