A Look Back at Shatter: The First Digitally-Produced Comic Book


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In 1985, illustrator Mike Saenz created the artwork for “Shatter” (based on a story by Peter Gillis) entirely on a Macintosh Plus, which had an 8 MHz CPU, 4 MB of RAM and the classically diminutive black-and-white monitor common to those very early Macs. The results were primitive and, frankly, don’t hold up very well a quarter-century later, probably because Saenz’s artwork itself was hardly virtuosic. Still, it happened.

The Comics Grid, a “collaborative, peer-edited online academic journal dedicated to comics scholarship” has a brief write-up about “Shatter” at this link.

  1. I never read Shatter, but I have a strong memory of Batman: Digital Justice, which came out a few years later and is also mentioned in that write-up. I was so excited to get a “computer generated” graphic novel, and when it was in my hands, I was disappointed. I found the pages hard to look at. There were so many different styles colliding, it was hard to read.

  2. Wow. Thanks for this I had forgotten all about “Shatter”. I loved it at the time but agree that would probably just feel like a fun artifact at this point.

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