In 2015, our idea of "entertainment" covers a ton of ground. Books, music, television, movies, Twitter, sports, even Vine—when it comes to entertainment, we've got an embarrassment of riches even before we get down to deciding the genre, tone, or style of what we want to entertain us. We're at a remarkable time in human history. Assuming you have internet access, you can legally stream or download enough games, movies, television, and comic books to fill years of your life, and do it in just a couple of hours. This access has leveled the playing field as far as entertainment goes.
Comics have to compete with video games and everything else nowadays, which means that every medium and format out there has to stay competitive with each other. Sometimes that means leaning into the unique idiosyncrasies of the genre or format. At other points, it means blending two mediums into one. When you take storytelling styles and techniques established in one medium and transition them to others, you end up with a combination of disparate influences and origins, one that can result in a greater whole.
FASTER THAN LIGHT is the latter. If you want to read it as a comic book, you can, and you'll experience the story as intended by its creators. But if you use the free Ultimate Augmented Reality app, produced by Haberlin's Anomaly Productions, then you'll be able to experience even more of the comic. The augmented reality reveals new details, close-ups, and even animates characters or adds spoken dialogue to the issue. In a recent issue, you can even play a video game inspired by the events in the comic, bringing you a little closer to the story. It's intended to add to your experience and pull you deeper into the world of the comic by bringing the comic deeper into our world.
Competition is great for everyone. Creators have to find that new hook to grab their readers, and readers get to enjoy the result of someone looking to innovate. Creativity is the engine that makes comics go, and whatever pushes creators to blaze new trails or refine established ones into new and exciting shapes is all to the good.