The hero of Super Pixel Quest, a 164-panel digital comic created by French artist Emmanuel Espinasse isn’t exactly Avengers material. Pixel guy is gangly and goofy (not to mention butt naked), and his quest concerns a mischievous gnome who tinkers with the lights. But the black and white panels, which eventually fill up your entire screen, demonstrate the versatility of the traditional frame-by-frame comic, when presented in a new medium.
“The tools you use to create a comic shouldn’t be chosen upon the current advances in graphic technology but whether or not they are relevant to your story or the atmosphere you want to set up,” says Espinasse. In this case, a simple (albeit charming) story, deserved a simple aesthetic. “I wanted to recreate the feeling you have when you’ve just finished reading a comic page, panel by panel, and finally see it like a whole entity, with its own structure, rhythm, and graphic vibe. My comic is definitely supposed to be read on-screen, but it also borrows a lot from paper comics.”
There’s plenty of exaggerated shaking and cowering–think large droplets of stress sweat and heavy breathing. On screen, though, we can actually see those sweat droplets fly and watch our hero’s chest heave. These simple movements let us experience the quest along with our hero and revel in his success. (Spoiler alert: that gnome gets squashed by one very naked butt.)