Directions “Up” – (2003)

“Up” is the final piece in Directions.

Trying to get a webpage to scroll up is difficult, so I went the route of having the viewer position themselves on the page. Kind of a cheap trick when you think about it. But back then, I was no html expert!

Funnily enough, the original page had plenty of horizontal space so that when the page was loaded in almost every browser at the time, you couldn’t see the comic. But when you load this archived comic on a computer with current screen resolutions, the whole thing fits handily without scrolling. I think all the extra real estate we’ve gained in the last 10 years or so would make Frank Delbruck happy.

For this updated version, I stretched the horizontal space by a couple thousand pixels so as to recreate the reading experience of the original. I wonder if the 20th anniversary edition will have to be stretched further?

Formally, the text is arranged to be read from the bottom to the top, hopefully creating a strange feeling. The middle section of the comic is interactive, and you can flip all five of the parts over to get a hidden narrative that fades in and out of the surface story.

Note: The interactive elements of the narrative were built in Flash, a popular online animation tool at the time. Most browsers no longer support the playing of these files, but there is a Flash player extension availabe for Chrome that will load them with a couple of clicks. This is the easiest way to see these comics as created.

You can read the comic here.