Former Microsoft Engineer Launches Comic Book Creation Platform “Swipe”
Celebrated tech industry entrepreneur and lead engineering architect of Microsoft’s Windows 95 & 98, Satoshi Nakajima, debuted his latest project, Swipe, at last week’s inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con. At a convention dedicated to the merging world of comics and technology, Mr. Nakajima’s introduction of Swipe opened up the door to a new way of designing innovative comics, graphic novels and manga.
During his March 19 panel, “Next Generation of Digital Publishing,” Mr. Nakajima addressed an audience filling the room to near capacity about the challenges facing today’s independent comic creators and publishers. The Internet was once seen as a haven for independently-produced work. Finally, creators without the backing of major publishers had the ability to share their visions online, to a community that fostered and supported their efforts. But, that has now changed.
For years .EPUB has been the accepted format for digital publications and remains the primary publishing format. In case of Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, however, .EPUB is not changing with the times and in the process has left independent creators in the backseat. Interactive media is quickly becoming the preferred method for readers to enjoy comics. Everything from animated characters to elaborate music, voice acting and camera angles are increasingly utilized in today’s big budget digital titles.
.EPUB remains inherently cumbersome to such interactive projects, requiring deep technical expertise to support large-scale comics. While major companies are able to employ professional engineers, independent professionals, who lack the same resources as their corporate competitors, are unable to design projects with the same level of detail.
Mr. Nakajima designed Swipe to give power back to the creator. A free, open-source application for the comic book community, Swipe allows any form of communication created via touch-enabled devices to become a media-rich document embedded with animation, video, images, vector graphics as well as full audio for voice, music and sound effects. The simple-to-use Swipe software transforms any plain digital document into a visual and audio production – and any individual into an accomplished designer. Swipe is a fast and easy design solution for everything from interactive comics, sound novels and graphic audio books to interactive videos, tutorials and all manners of presentations.
“Software should never be an impediment to creators, but unfortunately, that’s what’s happening to the comic book industry,” said Nakajima. “I designed Swipe so authors and illustrators can once again have full freedom to bring their projects to life – no tech or coding experience necessary.”
Swipe, Inc. is introducing its proprietary Swipe software as a free open source application for the web design community for modification and commercial or non-commercial re-distribution. Designers and publishers are asked only to adhere to the Swipe branding and credit requirements. (Link to open source Swipe Engine: https://github.com/snakajima/Swipe).
The Swipe media-rich design platform also boasts a companion document viewer, the open source Swipe Engine. Together, Swipe and Swipe Engine empower users to create highly visual documents – and hyperlink it to other documents, in effect creating a dedicated document browser.