Guest Blogger: Clive Goodinson, Pixton Comics
A few years ago I was browsing Wikipedia and admiring its wonderfully collaborative nature. Anyone could create content and build upon or refine the contributions of others. However, as someone who loves stories and creativity, I lamented that it deals only with objective fact. Poetic license is necessarily sifted out through peer-review and consensus. What if, I thought, there were a Wikipedia for stories and other expressions of the imagination?
Then I had an “aha” moment.
I realized that the best medium in which to build a collaborative, online storytelling platform would be the highly visual and most universally loved medium of all – comics!
Born in England, I had grown up in Canada reading a lot of comics, especially enjoying the wit and style of The Beano from Britain, Astérix from France, and especially Tintin by the Belgian, Hergé. So for me, it was natural to draw a connection between comics and storytelling.
And as an expert web developer, I could immediately start to envision the mechanics of a comic-making platform enabled for the social web. Anyone with an internet connection would have ready access to the same, sophisticated set of tools. Traditional, freehand drawing would be removed from equation, enabling unprecedented collaborative possibilities. Thus Pixton.com was born, a new kind of comic authored by the world.
As Pixton has evolved our userbase has steadily grown, mainly through word of mouth. Teachers and students from grades 3 to 12 and beyond number among those who come together to create comics that entertain, inform, educate, and inspire.
We have thus developed Pixton for Schools, a private, fully hosted web-based application that gives educators and students a whole new way to express themselves and communicate in the graphical, narrative format of comics. Teachers in all subject areas, including Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies, have delighted in the creativity that Pixton activates within their classrooms. And a number of features designed specifically for education, such as customizable rubrics and teacher moderation, make Pixton for Schools a versatile, robust and effective tool to engage students in learning.
Looking forward, the Pixton community will continue to inspire innovation and even more ways of reinventing comics. I think Hergé would be proud!
Creator of Pixton, Clive Goodinson has the technical chops worthy of a superhero. Prior to Pixton he spent nearly a decade building interactive content for some of Canada’s leading design agencies and brands, including Honda and Harley Davidson.