The Tarquin Engine
School of Creative Arts
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
Theorising Visual Art and Design
The Tarquin Engine was coded so as to allow complex, zooming Infinite Canvas comics to be created using a straightforward drag and drop process in Flash. This greatly simplified the technical aspects of my working method, allowing me to create a whole series of Infinite Canvas comic in which I was able to focus more on aesthetic and narrative concerns. After a few years of refinement and experimentation I decided to put a version of the engine on sale in 2005. The drag-and-drop nature of the engine meant that comic creators didn't require any particular knowledge of ActionScript in Flash to create their own zooming comics. This opened up the medium to much a wider range of creators and helped to further disseminate this approach to the Infinite Canvas amongst the webcomics community. In terms of the reader, the engine provided an ease of navigation and consistent pace of interaction that resulted in a particular smooth reading experience. This helped to address some of the issues facing Infinite Canvas comics, such as the awkwardness of scrolling browser windows in different directions and problems with the reader losing track of their current position within the narrative.