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Brief Published: 5 Feb 2015

New Way to Read Comics on iPad

British independent graphic novel publisher Nobrow has launched a comic app for the iPad.

While it offers the customary reading modes page and panel view, the selling point of Nobrow's digital comic option is a 'Layers' mode that gives access to the comic's developmental stages. Simple swipe gestures lay bare the different stages of the finished artwork – from inked-up panels prior to colouring, all the way down to initial composition sketches.

Regarding the step into digital engagement, Alex Spiro, Nobrow's co-founder and creative director, told website It's Nice That: "The key for us was to create something that would complement the printed book – an app that would act as a platform on which readers could gain a greater appreciation for the artists' work... Through our Layers feature, we are doing what would require a significant amount of complexity to achieve in print, but is rendered almost effortless with a screen."

Seven titles are currently available through the app, including the award-winning Hildafolk by British cartoonist Luke Pearson. In the future, the publisher plans to release one to two digitally enhanced titles per month.

The Nobrow approach is one that could be applied across other media: imagine a fashion film or online ad that allows you to peel back the layers of creativity to gain behind-the-scenes insight. It taps into a consumer-creator mindset explored more deeply in our latest Industry Trend, Born on the Web.