You're looking at what might be the first published cartoon created on an iPad. (Certainly the first one published on ReadWriteWeb.)
From the moment rumours about an Apple tablet got serious, I was eager to learn whether it could be a vehicle for actual cartooning. Much of the buzz wasn't promising, suggesting the device would be geared more to consumers than content creators.
Yet even a device as small as the iPhone has shown remarkable potential with the advent of software like Brushes, which produced artwork good enough - admittedly, thanks to a very talented artist - to become a New Yorker cover.
So when Steve Jobs made his Jan. 27 announcement, I was hoping against hope to hear that the device might be a worthy competitor to my beloved (but heavy and unwieldy) Cintiq. In retrospect, that was wildly unrealistic, but I was still disappointed not to hear words like "pressure-sensitive" or "stylus".
Yesterday, thanks to the heroic early-morning efforts of my wife, I got my hands on an iPad of my own. And after seeing what my daughter did with Doodle Buddy, I quickly installed Brushes and Autodesk's SketchBook Pro - two drawing apps for nominal grown-ups. After a little experimentation, I landed on SketchBook as my tool of choice for my first experimental cartoon.
Still, I had a problem: my big ol' meaty index finger, which is not only a terribly imprecise drawing tool but also a very effective obstacle to seeing just what it is I'm drawing. I quickly found myself hankering for the fine-grained control of my Cintiq's stylus.
That was when I remembered the Pogo Sketch... and discovered it was sold at the same Apple store that sold us our iPads.
The Sketch is a slender stylus ending, not in a thin nylon tip like a Wacom stylus, but a soft kind-of-rubbery material that does the same capacitive magic as your finger. And in conjunction with SketchBook Pro, it seemed to mimic pressure-sensitivity. (That's important to many cartoonists, who like the dynamic feel of a line that changes width as they draw.)
Most important, it allowed a degree of precision and control I just can't get with my finger, and it allowed me to draw the cartoon you see here. I can't say it's the same quality as cartoons I draw on the Cintiq or with pen and ink... but it's infinitely better than anything I'd achieved on the iPhone. And to me, at least, it holds the promise - as I get a little more practice - of becoming a truly portable sketching, inking and coloring solution. I can see it coming in handy for liveblogging, rough sketches or, on the road, an alternative to more desperate measures.
How about you - if you're planning on getting an iPad, will you be using it mainly to read, view and hear content, or will it be a creative outlet, too? And if so, what are you going to make?