Victory Journal has been doing incredible web presentations of long-form sports stories. They’re all gorgeous and very inventive, including this hockey story that employs comic book-style illustrations and charmingly primitive animations.
The layout does a terrific job integrating Duzyj’s artwork into the structure of the page. There’s a procedural illustration that details the process of Cuban nationals working the system to become free agents to Major League Baseball which reveals itself as the user scrolls down. And there’s a wonderful visual device where a set of pennants stretches far down the side of the article to root itself in a great drawing of a team at play on a baseball diamond.
This is great work, and Victory should be proud of how expertly they’ve used artwork here — it’s a new level for salvaging the relationship between words and illustration online. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with.
At a higher level, I must admit that this kind of exuberant experimentation is made possible, at least in part, by the breakthrough in online storytelling wrought by The New York Times’ widely hailed “Snowfall” article. I spoke somewhat disparagingly about that piece late last year but I think I didn’t give enough credit to the ripples it would cause, which have proved to be more positive than I expected. This new form of narrative is still young and awkward in many ways, but it’s very encouraging.
On the other hand, I would also say that I didn’t read this article. So there’s that.