The Future Of Comics: Reading On Apple’s Vision Pro


Few joys in this cold world can match cracking open a new comic on a lazy Sunday morning. Nothing to do, nowhere to be — just you, a mug of coffee and some sequential art. Not much has fundamentally changed about the American comic book since publishers began collecting newspaper strips as bound volumes in the early 20th century.

Key Takeaway

Comics have transitioned to digital platforms, but the adoption of mixed reality headsets for reading comics remains limited.

The Rise of Digital Comics

In recent decades, the variety of delivery methods for comics has expanded. While the earliest webcomics date back to the CompuServe days, the rise of the digital comic book is more directly linked to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets over the past 15 years. These days, if it has a screen, you can read comics on it. That includes screens you can strap directly to your face. However, as mixed reality headsets have crept toward the mainstream, comics reader apps haven’t really followed.

Apple’s Vision Pro and Spatial Computing

Apple’s Vision Pro is an example of a different approach. Apple believes that it’s a great way to read stuff, leaning into the notion of spatial computing as an augmentation of — or even an alternative to — the standard desktop variety. The concept of “infinite desktop” coined by cartoonist and media theorist Scott McCloud in his 2000 book, “Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form,” has been adopted by Apple to describe its own vision.

The Future of Digital Comics

Technological innovations in the digital comics space have been limited, with most changes focusing on the way comics are drawn and consumed. While services like Comixology had a profound impact on digital comics, the adoption of spatial computing for comics remains a question mark. The launch of Vision Pro has allowed minimal developer effort to ensure that iPadOS apps work on visionOS, enabling users to read comics on the platform.

Reading Comics on Vision Pro

Reading comics on Vision Pro involves a lot of scrolling when done on a panel-by-panel basis, which is less than ideal. However, expanding them out into a full page and placing them into the mixed reality zone in front of you is a unique experience. The high-res displays show the art in detail, providing a new way to enjoy comics.

The Future of Comics on Vision Pro

While the current form of reading comics on Vision Pro may not be game-changing, it opens up possibilities for innovating the medium for the platform. The experience of reading comics on Vision Pro is not the end of traditional paper comics but offers a new way to enjoy the art form.

In conclusion, the future of comics on Apple’s Vision Pro holds potential for reimagining the comic book experience in the digital age.

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