February 11, 2015 Last Updated 7:57 am

Scrawl’s Valentine’s Day present to readers: How to Woo

The publishers, who use the Mag+ platform to build its Apple Newsstand app, will soon launch Android and Kindle versions of their illustration and comics magazine

The digital magazine Scrawl today released its latest issue, just in time for Valentine’s Day: How to Woo.

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Issue cover by Keren Taggar

Scrawl Magazine is a self-published illustration and comics digital magazine, founded in 2012 by Michael Golan, Roni Fahima and Shiraz Fuman (or, that is as far back as the current app goes back).

The digital magazine uses the Mag+ digital publishing platform to create it iPhone and iPad app for the Apple Newsstand.

“We are excited to bring How to Woo to the App Store in time for Valentine’s Day,” said Michael Golan, designer and co-founder of Scrawl Magazine in an announcement that will be released today along with the issue. “Valentine’s Day is not just about sweet chocolates and pretty roses, it is also about love letters that were lost in the mail, awkward dates and much more. Our 7th issue is an ode to these sweet and sour sentiments, in the form of a mock ‘helpful’ handbook.”

How to Woo is a fantastic representation of how a graphic novel can make use of the unique features of iPads and other iOS devices to create excellent experiences for readers,” said Mike Haney, Chief Creative Officer at Mag+. “By using all of the features of the Mag+ platform, these artists can really take interactivity to the next level. The digital features help tell their story in a way that you could never see in a printed magazine.”

“With use of this handbook,” the fictional Dr. Woo says in the opening of the issue, “I guarantee you will find your soul mate, and melt their cold indifferent hard. Away with winder, make way to spring and blooming love.”

What follows are animated and interactive illustrations from artists including Michael Arnold from the UK, Liran Raviv from Israel, Aart-Jan Venema from The Netherlands, and more. Some use a bit of interactivity, signaled with a star at the bottom of the page, while others are simply about the illustrations. The cover, for instance, allows the reader to move their iOS device to animate the cover.

The magazine is available for purchase as single issues, or as an annual subscription at $6.99.

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Left: illustration by Aart-Jan Venema; Right: illustration by Jessica H.J. Lee

“It took a while but I think people are finally starting to accept the new kid on the block called digital publishing,” Michael Golan told TNM.

“Many publishers understand today that publishing a digital magazine is quite different than its printed counterpart. I’m not arguing if it is better or worse than traditional print publishing, but it sure is different and we have only scratched the surface of it’s potential. We still have much to learn and to try, stories to tell and ways to tell them.”

While the magazine goes back to 2012, a fairly long time in terms of digital-only magazines, it has produced just seven issues with this latest one. But a lot has changed already in the platform. In May of 2013, for instance, the magazine, which was launched for the iPad, added iPhone support (as did Mag+).

“There is no doubt my technical knowledge in programming has grown remarkably in the recent years since working on Scrawl Magazine,” Golan said. “With every issue we find innovative ways to engage in fun interaction and showcase our works in an interesting way. But that also true for the Mag+ tools we have been using to create Scrawl, that have grown together with the development of hardware.”

(There is a nice interview with the publishing team on the Mag+ website that talks about some of the techniques they used to create their first issues.)

The next big change for the magazine will be the addition of Android and Kindle editions.

“We are now working on porting all our issues. We hope to launch at the end of Q3 this year,” Golan said.

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