Easy on the Eyes

In reference to our earlier thread on formats, I think for those who choose a screen-fitting page-to-page approach, the format SMASH uses is one of the better ways to go.

Designed for photo slideshows, I assume (at least that’s where I usually see it) but a nice fit for long-form comics.

[Update: They’re using Lightbox 2. See comments.]

Discussion (16)¬

  1. Hey Scott —

    Thanks for the mention! It’s definitely an honor.

    If your readers are curious, we use Lightbox 2, which is a fairly simple script that works on every browser we’ve tried.

    We started with Flickr’s photo reader, but had countless problems with its lack of customization. For one thing, the reader opened automatically in a slideshow mode that changed the page every few seconds, and the viewer had to hit pause to stop it. Not the world’s biggest hurdle, but a pain nonetheless, especially when you have an all-ages comic and you want everyone from 3 to 93 to be able to read your work with no difficulties.

    Our website is run on WordPress, which has a Lightbox 2 plugin that’s really easy to add:


    • Scott says:

      Thanks for the tips, Chris.

      Just out of curiosity, could the transitions be a plain cut or is it always a dissolve?

      • I’m not actually sure, Scott. I don’t know of any way to change the transitions, but thanks to you, I’ve put the question to my webmaster. I’ll let you know what he comes up with. A plain cut would certainly be preferable…

      • Scott —

        My webmaster did some tinkering, and it looks like Lightbox has some page-loading problems when you try the straight cut.

        With the dissolve transition, there’s a little spinning wheel to let you know the next page is loading. Unfortunately, in the straight-cut mode, you don’t even get the wheel — it just looks like your browser froze for the few seconds until the next page pops up (even though it’s a few seconds, it can seem interminable when you’re used to right-here-right-now load times).

        Not sure if this is something that can be worked out or if maybe Lightbox 3 will fix it…

  2. andrew says:

    It would be neat to combine this with discovering the current size of the browser window and then get a nicely sized image from the server.

  3. Kyle Latino says:

    Thanks, Chris and Scott. That example really helped me iron out some problems with my comic.


    I had the same deal, but the images were like a megabyte each. I just chopped down the quality. When the chapter is finished, I’ll have a high quality download or something.

  4. This looks kind of nice. I may grab it should I ever start comicking again. Thanks for the clue-in

  5. Brian Leung says:

    @andrew Discovering the fullscreen resolution is something we do with the comic reader at Kidjutsu (http://www.kidjutsu.com).

    We take very high resolution files from our creators and display them in a fullscreen Flash reader.

    For example, check out Smash Season 5, uploaded by Chris and Kyle. It’s an entirely different experience in fullscreen!

  6. Hey Scott — I totally neglected to mention that SMASH is also featured on Kidjutsu (http://www.kidjutsu.com/title/smash), which is a great site for kids’ web-comics.

    They have a similar but different comics reader, and I wonder what you’ll think of that, if you have a chance to check it out.

  7. […] the comments to an earlier entry about formats and Lightbox 2 (near the bottom) Chris Bolton links to a full […]

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