Robot 6

Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile coming to the iPad


If there was ever a graphic novel that was ready-made for its own iPad app, it would have to be Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile. The interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure”-like graphic novel came with tabs at the side of each page directing readers to choose the next step in the story — if they could avoid wiping out all of mankind in the process, of courses.

In this case it seems like turning the graphic novel into an app could actually make it easier to read, as the device does the work of keeping track of where you are in the story and, in theory, lets you move backward and forward to see the various plot points. So it’s no surprise that Shiga has been working with interactive fiction writer Andrew Plotkin on a version for the various iOS devices.

“I picked up Meanwhile at PAX East in 2010 … I immediately fell in love with it — a thoughtful, beautifully-designed take on the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure genre,” Plotkin said on his blog. “When I got my iPad, I immediately said ‘That. I have to do that. In people’s hands. Interactively. It will happen.'”

The Meanwhile app is due out this fall.



Oh, man. If you own an iPad, you should buy this comic.

YES! What a great idea. I’m surprised this didn’t happen earlier. “Meanwhile” is a damn fun book and this seems like a perfect way to enjoy it. I’m definitely getting the app when it comes out.

And I can’t recommend Jason Shiga’s books enough. I had the pleasure of meeting the guy at this year’s APE and finally getting my hands on “Knock Knock” and “Hello World,” which were a lot of fun as well, but “Meanwhile” is the apotheosis of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style he does so well. My favorite Shiga book though, is, and always has been, “Bookhunter.” It may not be CYOA, but it’s more fun and smart than most books out there.

This is an absolutely amazing and funny book. While the book itself (beautifully and impeccably drawn) is a fantastically designed item, putting it on the iPad may get some kids not “into reading” to pick it up. Great move.

It’s only on iPad? Barnes and Noble should stop carrying the print copies. That’ll show ‘em.

(Really though, this is a great book. It is kind of a shame that so many comic people only make digital things for iOS)

More praise from Meanwhile! I love it, and the kids at our library love it!

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