Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Click-n-Drag comics and the Art of Saying No

Ever considered using comic strips to express your thoughts? That would be great, wouldn’t it? If only it wasn’t so hard. Well, it’s not hard anymore. Guess what, there’s this website called pixton.com that lets you create comic strips by dragging characters and props on to a canvass, sort of like a WYSIWYG designer for comics. Cool, isn’t it! For those of us who are artistically challenged, Pixton is like getting a pair of wings. (Forgive the Red Bull analogy. I’m too lazy to think of anything better now.) It feels amazingly empowering to be able to so easily do something that, until now, was beyond ones reach.

When I first heard about Pixton from some of my friends, I was a bit skeptical. You know, if it sounds too good to be true, and all that. But none the less, it seemed so neat an idea that I had to give it a try. I did. And then I became a fan. Here’s one of my first creations. This comic strip is inspired by something I heard over dinner some time back and based on a true story. Of course, I’ve taken some artistic liberties, couldn’t help it.

Beyond just the fun factor, I think Pixton has the potential to be a great business. One can imagine all sorts of uses – from designing posters to posting an interesting status update on Facebook. It’s amazingly easy to learn to use and so much fun that it’s not hard to imagine Pixton going viral. Wonder why it hasn’t already? Perhaps it might help if Facebook integration was more seamless. And once people get hooked to it, they’ll want to use it at work, say to storyboard a user experience scenario for a product design. And that’s how Pixton makes money, by charging for the commercial version.

Give it a try at pixton.com and find some interesting ways to say some interesting things. Post comic strips to Facebook. Take a printout and stick it at your desk. Make a witty greeting card. Make a point. Whatever.