Interactive Comic

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/seduce.png
>SEDUCE THE SANDWICH

A webcomic that, unlike most webcomics that have a set story and swipe reader speculation periodically, takes a lot of reader input. Frequently, the author will take so much reader input that nearly the entire webcomic is made of user suggestions. As such, they always have some way to put in suggestions, whether it's a designated forum where you can post in a suggestion box, comment in a comment box, a Shout Box, or an email address you can send suggestions to. In fact, many of these comics had their origins in forum threads, where the update panels are in-line with the discussion of said panels and the suggestions.

In many cases (nearly all since the Trope Codifier MS Paint Adventures), the webcomic will be presented as if it were a log of an Interactive Fiction game (with pictures). Because commands are parsed by a human and only one (or a very select few) command paths are actually used, the story usually ends up far more complex than is possible to program into a game (mostly because the Combinatorial Explosion is much smaller and can thus be handled manually). Due to the sort of people who make these comics, these comics also frequently spoof such things as Adventure Games, Simulation Games, Puzzle Games, Roleplaying Games, or Turn-Based Strategy games.

These comics generally update with only one panel at a time and as such can be updated very quickly. Often even more than once a day.

For obvious reasons, these comics cannot use a Strip Buffer at all.

Frequently these comics straddle the boundary between Webcomic and New Media/Web Original. General precedent seems to be to put Interactive Comics in the Webcomic category. More and more however, traditional web comic creators are experimenting with the medium.

Tropes often used include

  • Ascended Fanon: and nothing but. Collectively, these comics may well be the best example.
    • Beyond direct suggestions, authors often take direction of the future updates by canonizing fan speculation.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Specifically, once the Ontological Mystery is slightly less of a mystery, the author will often reveal a backstory for the world and the character. This generally tilts the comic away from silly hijinks to plot-driven story.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Homestuck has proven that as any interactive comic becomes popular enough, it begins to defy the medium. The creator of Homestuck has said that before ultimately closing the suggestion boxes, there were so many suggestions that he could pick any direction he wanted, subverting the idea of the interactivity.
    • Homestuck is also an interesting case study in that the author eventually got incredibly fed up by endless streams of countless moronic suggestions; something usually considered a strength of this genre.
      • Even more interesting is that without suggestions, fans still affect the comic in small ways as community jokes and theories often appear in the comics or have nods to them. Also, the author himself said "90% of 'calling it' is actually influencing it in disguise."
  • Ontological Mystery: Often of the You Wake Up in a Room kind. Fortunately or unfortunately, this type of beginning to a story is incredibly easy to pull off.
  • Present Tense Narrative
  • Second-Person Narration
  • Schr÷dinger's Gun
  • Genre Savvy or Genre Blindness: Depending on the quality of reader suggestions, the protagonist in question can be a bumbling idiot with no brains or an incredibly smart ninja who knows all the trappings of his fiction, or anything in between.

Examples:

Several websites include entire sections in which Interactive Comics can be created.
  • A section of Garry's Mod forums (Facepunch).
  • tgchan that was created because all those quest threads were bloating /tg/.
  • Bay 12 has several in the Forum Games and Roleplaying section, including such works as thiiiiiiiis.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InteractiveComic