Pulp Flakes pops the covers open on a pop-up book inspired by readers of Weird Tales magazine…

More details at maker Hannah Batsel’s page.

Talking of making and magazines and interactivity… some of my readers, those who are writers or in publishing, may be interested to know that the venerable DTP software QuarkXPress is well and truly back. I recently took a look at it and was pleased to find it very mature, with annual updates since 2015. It’s a one-time purchase of about £360 (disguised as an annual subscription, but you get to keep it after a year even if you cancel). In fact, it’s better than that… the latest QuarkXPress 2021 is now 50% off for August. Which means if you’re quick you can get top-class professional DTP and ebook software for £181.

Its key feature is now absolute reproduction of a DTP print layout in Web browser-friendly HTML5. Plus support within that for animated elements (slide-ins, slow zooms into pictures) and looping animated GIFs and now SVGs. HTML5 is something no key competitors have natively, with the cheap-but-capable Affinity Publisher and Microsoft Publisher having no HTML5 export at all, and Adobe InDesign (subscription) requiring a third-party plugin (subscription) to export HTML5 layouts. As such the QuarkXPress 2021 free-trial is one to look at if you want to make a device-responsive online magazine with print-like layout plus full interactivity, with full control over content and no subscription-shackle or reliance on a cloud-service that could go ‘pop’ or cancel you at any moment. Of course, you can also export the usual .PDF file too, along with new-fangled tablet and ebook reader formats and suchlike.

I have no connection with the makers, it’s just sheer co-incidence that I very recently took a deep-dive into the ‘state of DTP’. I wanted to discover what’s currently possible with embedding creative animation in the magazine format. I came away from the research very lukewarm about the open-source offerings (LibreOffice Draw, Sigil, Scribus). The paid QuarkXPress came out the obvious winner for perfectly exporting fixed layouts to Web browsers in HTML5 and for having a one-time purchase.