'THE WHOLE STORY': A brand new way of reading comics

By Cristina Álvarez Cañas. January 9, 2013


Comics on screen. As the year gets off to a slow start you don't have to get bored, unless you want to of course. We always look forward to the next twelve months, keen to find out about the new editorial proposals that are going to be on offer. However, we sometimes forget to have a good sniff around amongst the self-financed projects that, in addition to giving the classic (and sometimes boring) production chain a touch of colour, bring a lot of artists who have been left behind or are unknown out of their lairs.

The Whole Story: Winter 2013  is one such project. Ryan Estrada, who describes himself as an artist and adventurer, instigated this campaign, which follows on from the success of The Summer Collection 2012 and has recently been launched on crowdfunding site KickStarter.

It's no secret that digital devices fit comics like a glove when it comes to gaining popularity and circulation amongst the digital community. Since tablets came about, it’s clear that their graphic quality and easy-to-use set-up makes them an excellent medium for reading cartoons or graphic novels and gives them an edge over novels.

Estrada, who lives in South Korea, aims to repeat it to everyone until he achieves his objective: that people also read comics in digital format. He’s not all talk and no action though. He really wants to make the project work, so he is putting in the hard graft and all he asks for in return is your volition. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, that's his formula for gaining new followers along the way. Just "pay-what-you-want".

The Whole Story: Winter 2013  is a collection of four comics distributed over more than 300 pages with very different plots. The user pays what they want for them (anything over $1) and gets the whole story without having to reach a certain amount of money before they can find out the ending as sometimes occurs. What makes the project attractive is not only its excellent image quality but also the flexibility of the reading experience. According to Estrada, "The Whole Story is all about digital done right". That's why we have three different formats to choose from: "Retina-resolution PDFs (for the highest quality), Web-resolution PDFs (for easy storage), or CBZs (in both resolutions, for use in comic-reading apps), all of which are DRM-free so you can download and keep them forever".

For enthusiasts, the rewards are greater. If you pay $13 or over, depending on the amount paid, each patron can take away another collection of different comics, bookmarks, stickers, past collections, handmade magnetic comics set to cover your refrigerator, pieces of original art, a book for learning to read comics in Korean and even a custom-made gift crafted by Estrada, who is prepared to scour the South Korean markets for the necessary materials. Getting a taste for comics has never been so stimulating.

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