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Creating an accessible comic

20 September 2020

A black rimmed frame. Artwork. Bubble. Text.
These are the building blocks commonly used to construct visual stories commonly known as comics. We’re all familiar with them and for almost a hundred years mainstream comics and manga have been enjoyed by Western and Eastern cultures, celebrating diversity and self expression.

Comics are for everyone, right?
Well … not exactly.

Comics can be problematic

Despite comics featuring heavily in our pop-culture filled society, it’s unfortunately the case that some have more privileged access to this artform than others. Enjoying the latest Spider-man issue is going to be a tricky feat for fans with a visual impairment. Likewise, reading large blocks of text contained in speech bubbles is a challenge for readers with dyslexia or for those who don’t speak the language the comic is written in.

While there may not be much we can do to modernise paper’s capabilities, the internet and online comics are (potentially) the perfect medium for innovation.

With great power comes great responsibility

Although web-based technologies facilitated a new means for creators to find a readership, online comics are notorious for poor accessibility. Bypassing the traditional print industry has meant that creators have to wear a number of hats (writing, artwork, editing, business management, etc), with web development often being absent from the hat stand.

ComicA11y is an experiment that aims to achieve an all-inclusive online comic experience. Because comics should be universal.

Introducing:
ComicA11y logo

 

ComicA11y Includes:

  • Screen reader compatibility
  • Closed captions
  • Responsive layout
  • Selectable text and resizable text
  • Colour vision variations
  • High contrast mode
  • Translatable
  • RTL / LTR reading mode
  • ARIA best practices

With lots of exciting features planned to be added, this is just the start.
Check out ComicA11y.

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