BitStrips is a neat new site I’ve been repeatedly coming across recently in my effort to follow SXSW through Twitter and blogs. The service lets anyone create their own cartoon strip with a easy interface and acts as the go-to place for all current UGC comics by featuring some of the best ones on their homepage.
Some of the recent featured comics include the “Zuckerberg Keynote Fiasco” and “No Hummus is Austin,” both to do with their current theme of SXSW. In the creation aspect, the tool allows you to create among three things: a comic, a character, or a friend. All three building tools feature a highly intuitive drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to select from collections of characters for your comic, and customizable body parts for your character and friend.
The homepage contains a bunch of sections, including top bitstrips, main bitstrip, recently discussion, featured character, and editorial. As with YouTube for video, the site acts as a centralized place for people to create comics (creation aspect) and does a good job of highlighting some of the main ones (sharing aspect).
While the service is undoubtedly well-executed, and while I don’t in one bit agree with the recent Newsweek piece that delcares user-generated content “dead”, I’m going to have to say that when it comes to comics and cartoons, some things are best left to the experts. Sure, it’s great that the tool empowers so many who wouldn’t be able to otherwise to express themselves in this format, but one has to ask how useful such empowerment might actually be.