Choosing Your Own Adventure

Meanwhile, a comic choose-your-own-adventure book by Jason Shiga, uses a series of tubes to transport readers from one decision to the next. And probably not the series of tubes you’re thinking of. Rather than say “turn to page 85,” at the end of a panel, the reader can follow a tube image to the edge of the page, choosing different tubes for different decisions. The tubes correspond to tabs which take the reader to the next sections of the book.

One complaint sometimes advanced about hypertext is that there is no real way to gauge how much further you have to read. This is, of course, also a strength, but it is useful for a work to be able to communicate whether it is exhausted or you have merely reached a resting place. Since Meanwhile is about time travel, it would be interesting if the book utilized its form by actually listing events (which might or might not happen in the story based on the reader’s decision) chronologically in the book, and then having the reader move through time by flipping to different parts of the book.

For its limitations the comic is interesting and its presentation meticulous . Meanwhile is also available online .

Jason Shiga, self portrait.