Touch Sensitive

Touch Sensitive is a digital comic by Chris Ware, published as an in-app purchase for iOS by McSweeney’s. The comic explores the nature of touch, and how the act of touching changes in meaning and importance in our relationships.

A name like “Touch Sensitive” on a platform that requires tactile interaction piqued my interest, and I probably would have liked it more if it hadn’t been described to me as an “interactive comic.” Only a few of the panels respond to user input, and never in a way that affects either the narrative or the reader’s understanding or emotional experience.

That said, digital comics are now able to utilize time and space metaphors in new and interesting ways. Touch Sensitive had some nice transitions between panels, reminiscent of panning shots in film. However, because the reader is expecting the space-as-time metaphor that paces comic strips, the animations between panels served as interesting transitions between both space and time. One could easily see how panning and zooming animations might also signal changes in perspective or allow for sight gags and other shifts in the reader’s consciousness.