Scrolling Annoyances

Bright Morning Blue is a simple, scrolling comic about a man’s morning, frame by frame. Rather than the content of the story that’s being told, I am more concerned with the pacing of the scrolling frames and how that effects my ability and interest in viewing the comic strip.

There are two ways to scroll through the comic. You can either A), use the directional key pad to scroll continuously from left to right, or B), hold down the scrolling bar icon to allow the comic to scroll continuously. I have found I have an issue with each of these options. By using the directional keypad, the comic scrolls by too quickly, not allowing me enough time to focus on the panels, forcing me to adjust my pacing in order to effectively view each frame in the comic. However if you switch to the scrolling bar, the pacing slows dramatically, allowing you ample time to study each panel of the comic. It took control on my part to allow the comic to scroll at this pace, and not to rush through it at my own desired pace.

Because option A is literally too fast to properly view the comic, I can only assume that option B is the intended pacing. If that is the case, the intentionally slow pace brings out the simple morning routine details in the comic, as you are forced to view each panel for much longer than you might have intended originally.The author also controls how long we view each panel by creating longer or shorter distances between each frame, placing significance on some frames more than others, and allowing for a quickening or slowing of action.

However, what if that wasn’t even intentional? Of course the actual distances between the frames is an authorial decision, but what about our scrolling pace? We are given the option to scroll through the comic at our own desired pace, clicking through, creating a disruptive, choppy viewing of the comic. While I appreciate the option, I don’t believe it is necessarily conducive to an effective reading of the comic. So am I to assume that the painfully slow pace of the scrolling bar is the intended viewing speed? I would like to think so, but I can’t be sure. And how would the comic be affected had the viewer not had the option of controlling the pace? Would I have grown frustrated, unable to stop the flow of the comic? So I suppose the question is, where do we draw a line between the intent of the author and the convenience of the reader?


One thought on “Scrolling Annoyances

  1. In addition to the two means of scrolling you mention, you could also click on the horizontal scroll bar marker and drag that to the left or right. I wonder, does this technique change how you experience the comic.

    Regardless of your answer to that question, I do think you’re right to hone in on the dilemma—we might say tug of war—between the author and reader in works like this.

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