Cash: I See a Darkness, soundtrack edition
Doug at the fine indy press Self Made Hero (who have been publishing a variety of graphic novels we’ve really been loving this year) tells me that they’ve collaborated with Ave Comics on a digital version of Reinhard Kleist’s graphic biopic of Johnny Cash, I See a Darkness, a book which seriously impressed me this autumn (see the review here). Obviously there’s nothing new about digital and mobile versions of comics these days, its becoming increasingly commonplace, but in this case the iPhone app for the Cash comic also comes in a Soundtrack Edition, with music, via iTunes, being inserted into the book to enhance the experience (the Ave site has a video demonstration you can check out) which is something the traditional print version simply can’t do.
Of course it relies on you having the appropriate tracks from the iTunes store already (or purchasing them), but for a comic like this about the life of an iconic musician I can see where that’s a pretty neat little idea to combine the man, his music and the comic biography into one package (and I’m guessing anyone who wants to read this probably has a number of Johnny Cash tracks stored already anyway). Although personally I’d much rather still sit with the actual print version with a Cash mix on my stereo (which is how I read much of it), but that’s just my taste; I love gadgets but when it comes to reading, prose or graphical, I’d much rather have a real book or comic. But I can imagine this maybe appealing to readers who might not otherwise pick up the print version and that’s no bad thing if it widens the reading audience for the book. And its interesting to see someone using the multimedia capabilities of the new tech instead of basically replicating the book in screen form.