Social Comics – A Review of Bitstrips (In Pictures)

I have two new social media addictions thanks to SXSW. The first is Twitter (more on that in another post, but in the meantime, you can follow me); the second is Bitstrips.

Simply put, Bitstrips is a Web 2.0 application for creating comic strips. It enables people like me who have no artistic talent, but occasionally observe or think of something funny, to have a nicely-rendered visual expression of it. But what makes it really compelling is the social aspect of it.

For starters, you can create a character to represent yourself:

This is me This is me on Bitstrips
ScottAllen160x210 flatworld

Then you can connect with existing friends and use their characters in your strips. For example, I figured bLaugh creator Chris Pirillo would be interested in this, so I thought I’d drop him a line to tell him about it. Needless to say, he was already there and highly active:

image

You can also create characters representing your friends and then invite them to join.

image

Once you’ve done all that you can use your friends’ characters and the characters they’ve created to make strips of funny things that happened in real life. And before anyone gives me grief about this next strip, I’ll say that a) it’s a slight exaggeration, b) I cleared it with the star of it before publishing it (“Oh man, you could’ve made it WAY more unflattering than that. It’s perfect!!!!”), and c) no, the guys in the background aren’t any specific people – y’all go make your own!

image

You can also make images of celebrities. And you can edit your friends’ strips (well, not actually edit, but create copies of theirs which you can then edit):

image

Of course, including your friends and family in comic strips may not always go over well:

image

It’s incredibly fun to create the strips, and incredibly funny to read them. I also love that they build the tutorials in the application itself, for example:

image

They even use it to communicate company news:

image

That said, it is a 1.0 product, and it has, shall we say, quite a few shortcomings, such as:

Limited range of expressions…

image

Shortage of people who are actually funny…

image

Characters can only be human…

image

Lacking some seemingly obvious essential props, like musical instruments…

image

And phones…

image

Fortunately, they’re working on it…

image

Of course, some people have come up with some pretty creative solutions in the meantime (in case you’re wondering, that’s a stack of tables in the back)…

image

Well, that’s my review. Now just to think up an idea for my next strip…

image

Oh yeah… if you decide to check it out, feel free to add me as a friend.

share
subscribe

Comments

  1. Scott,
    Very cool indeed!!! Thanks for getting this reat tool out to us so soon. I’m sure the possibilities are endless. I’m thinking of ways I can incorporate it into my blog http://www.pharmacyinsights.blogspot.com/ which can at times be rather technical. Great way to add homor and personalize it.

  2. “Rather technical” — you’re a master at understatement. :-)

    Yeah, I think blogs really benefit from both visuals and humor. Add me as a friend — I’ll look forward to seeing your first Bitstrip.

  3. Larry "Library" Retzack says:

    I’m currently using, with permission of course, Unshelved’s strip in my monthly newsletter, but with bitstrip, I just might try some of my own humor. Thanks for this update.

  4. funny

  5. Funniest stuff i have seen in awhile!

  6. You really look alike in the cartoon.. Awesome.

  7. a Web 2.0 application for creating comic strips. It enables people like me who have no artistic talent, but occasionally observe or think of something funny, to have a nicely-rendered visual expression of it. But what makes it really compelling is the social aspect of it.

    For starters, you can create a character to represent yourself:

  8. Yeah, I think blogs really benefit from both visuals and humor. Add me as a friend — I'll look forward to seeing your first Bitstrip.

  9. Thanks

  10. ly2005 says:

    The ugg boots experience more than sufficiently teaches that men govern nothing with ugg bailey button more difficulty than their tongues. ugg boots experience never misleads; what you are missed by is only your <a href=” http://www.officialugg.co.uk/ugg-lo-pro-button-… lo pro button judgement, and this misleads you by anticipating results from ugg classic cardy experience of a kind that is not produced by your experements.