A double click with your finger allows you to zoom into a panel, but clearly it's impossible to read an entire page at once.
Like any other sentient comic creators out there I'm very interested in the potential for comics in the new digital media. While most comic creators are salivating over the prospects on the iPad I'm still fascinated by the possibilities of comics on the iPhone. It seems to have been dismissed by many people already, the obvious objection being the size of the screen. The reasoning here is that comics are about seeing a number of panels on a page at once, therefore iPhone fails and iPad wins. Because the medium has to be tailored to suit comics, right? I'm not so sure. This may be the kind of thinking that has got comics into the mess they're in.
Most comics in sold in the past 20 years have been sold via specialist outlets to 'comic buyers'. For some this kind of niche, even if it grows ever smaller, is the ideal situation. I've never been comfortable with the idea and have always veered towards comics that sell in newsagents to 'anyone' (even kids!!!).
Once upon a time when comics were young they lived inside a parent publication called a newspaper, they were read by lots of people (and were frankly brilliant), they grew and like all kids found there own feet. But the good thing about their life in the newspaper was that everyone household had a newspaper and so every child had a comic, the genius of Windsor McCay, Cliff Sterret, E.C. Segar etc was exposed to everyone.
These days even newspapers are dying out, but there is a form of communication that everyone has, in fact that everyone carries with them everywhere - their phones. That's why it seems the obvious place for comics to seek a new home, to reacquaint themselves with the world. My son and his mates are forever swapping text gags, horrific youtube clips and bizarre information via phones in the playground. This should be the breeding ground for comics - in the grubby mitts and fervent imaginations of kids.
I'm sure the iPad offers enormous potential for comics to reinvent themselves, but there is also the possibility that the same people will be making comics for the same people, everyone preaching to the converted. The iPhone offers comics the first chance for reinvention and looking beyond the existing readership. There have been some efforts - including Lewis Trondheim who's seen the potential and produced the daily delight, Bludzee, Darkhorse have done pretty good job chopping up Hellboy and we have seen (God help us) motion comics, but too many comics people seemed to turn their backs on the biggest potential readership because it wouldn't 'look like comics anymore'. Is that really a bad thing...?