Since Google’s release of their open-source browser, Chrome, on September 2, 2008 little has been said about the simultaneously released, online comic book brochure. I noted a couple mentions on other comics blogs and some tech sites but no real critique. The online comic works as an instructional and informational brochure that explains the features of the browser. The Google Chrome Team wrote the comic but it was drawn by famed comic book artist/writer, Scott McCloud. This may not seem like a big deal to most but to comic nerds, it's a little more exciting.
Despite not being able to hold my attention for more than a page, I still think it is great that Google chose to design an informational and advertisement piece in comic book form. To me, it seems like a fair nod of the trend of online comics as well as an interesting synthesis of technology and the in-print world that lives outside of it. In general, I really think this was a great idea but my main problem with it is that it assumes that the average internet user (we are talking about Google here, right?) has enough of an attention span to read through 39 pages of an internet comic about a web browser!
On a more positive note, the very first thing that I noticed about the presentation of this informative "brochure" is that it is monochromatic; it uses only black and white with a pale blue for shadowing. Secondly, the characters are real google employees. This is interesting because Google is a mystical company (at least to those not in Silicon Valley), an internet entity and using characterization of the real people who are employed by Google makes it feel as if these people are stuck in a pixelated graphic form (the real indians in the cupboard!). I think the actual comic loses my attention mostly because the they don't write the comic like a comic. The lack of dialogue transition and story-line, ultimately, makes it hard to read.
While they could use some work on dialogue flow, they have, however, successfully integrated characters with informative pictures and text in a way that is meant to not ostracize the reader from the concepts of the technology. Overall, the tone mostly draws on a feeling that was initially created by Apple commercials in my long term memory: "You are one of us, don't be intimidated" but of course, without the "and we are looking down on those other people together" part that Apple loves.