Monday, 26 November 2012

Erik Heumiller's Magnet Comics project

Physical comics: what an excellent idea! Erik Huemiller has a project on kickstarter that looks innovative, fun, and possibly a great learning tool. A 3-panel magnetic white-board mounted in wood, along with 2 magnetic characters which come in a series of expressions, are provided, and then it's up to you to arrange them however you want and to add in dialogue and narrative. The project has a multitude of potential uses, but I think the success of it will depend on the quality of materials used: the wood and the magnets. It makes me happy to see the use of the medium being explored in new and different ways. Erik's already made his goal several times over, so if you want to get your hands on a set of these, click here.
The drive is running for 19 more days, and Erik's offering various packages and combinations, but the basic one I've purchased, which includes the strip, the stand, 4 characters, 9 expressions and a marker, costs $25 within the US and $33 for international orders.

'It includes a walnut wood comic strip with dry-erase panels, magnets on the back for mounting on a refrigerator or filing cabinet, a stand, marker and microfiber wipe. Each kit includes a basic pack of 4 characters, and each character has 9 different facial expressions. That gives you 36 character pieces to use to create lots of different combinations as you make your comics.

I originally came up with the idea because I'm a fan of comics myself and I thought it would be fun for people like me to have something to play with to make physical comics. Luckily I've found that teachers love this idea because it will let their kids work out stories using the fixed emotions of the characters. Kids seem to love it too which brings a smile to my face. It's nice to see a kid pick up the pieces and think and write. It seems like so much of their other activities revolve around digital media, that it's nice to see them thinking and playing with something tactile.'

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