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Archive for ‘Mobile Comics’


Notes from Hibernation #2

This blog is going to be pretty quiet this year while I continue work on the graphic novel, but wanted to pass along a couple of links.

Congratulations to Spike and Diana Nock for a successful Kickstarter for Poorcraft, and to Jeff Parker and Erika Moen for the recently completed Bucko, both of which will be out soon in book form.

Also recently completed is Kane Lynch’s The Relics and if you have an Android phone, be sure to put some Merlin in it.

Two artists in trouble this month: S. Clay Wilson and Tony DeZuniga. Help if you can.

Two recent passings that struck a chord: The great Moebius, who had a huge influence on me (and most of my generation probably). Also very sad to hear of the loss of Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre fame. I had the pleasure of spending time with Peter at a conference in Colorado about 15 years ago and was able to tell him how much his work had shaped my teen years. Moebius, I met only once (at Comic-Con). I told him he changed my life and he just laughed and said “I’m so sorry!”

That’s all for now. Back to the Cintiq. Many pages yet to draw, so you won’t hear from me much for a while, but I hope it’ll be worth the wait.

You can also find me on both Twitter and Google+ (where I pop-up a little more often than here).

[Image from the cool webcomic Poppa Bears found via Spurge]


Merlin Goes Android

The premiere mad scientist of webcomics Daniel Merlin Goodbrey has released a new comic for the Android Market called Jack’s Abstraction.

I’m in the iOS walled garden for now, so I can’t comment much beyond that, but if you’ve got an Android device, I’m sure it’ll be worth it (and hey, it’s free).

And for those of you who do read comics on Android devices, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the market’s potential.

Oh! And sort of on topic: It occurs to me that though I tweeted it while in Norway at EuroVis, I don’t think I linked from the blog to Google’s latest comics adventure, a fun little explanation of Google Correlate.


Wolk at Wired and a Bad, Bad Law

The always-sensible Douglas Wolk offers a solid round-up of issues surrounding comics and tablets for Wired this week.

Long time readers may find mostly familiar ground here, but it’s good to have someone put it all into perspective once in a while.

And the illustrations are pretty great.

Meanwhile, the CBLDF alerts us to a truly awful Tennessee law worth fighting. And as always, the CBLDF could use your help.

Stop by their site for news and some great premiums and special events coming up.

[via Spurge]


Wanna Help Kickstart Daniel Lieske?

One of the things I like the most about this pitch, apart from the fact that The Wormworld Saga looks really nice on the iPad, is that it wouldn’t have made any sense just a few short years ago.

This scene is moving fast, People.


Winter Break

This blog will be taking a break until January 10 to make up for my health-related lost time and holiday craziness (and a 50th birthday cruise for Ivy).

I’m actually pretty healthy overall. This whole episode was probably the result of nothing more than a little calcium build-up, resulting in a kidney stone which led to pain, which led to blood pressure spikes, which (most likely) led to the dissection of my celiac artery.

This week we finally put in (and took out—OUCH) a stent for the kidney stone, and today, a small but permanent stent goes in for the artery.

With luck that’ll be it, and I’ll be back to 100% shortly.

Like a lot of guys my age, I need to lose about 30 pounds, but unlike most guys my age, my blood pressure has been pretty low over the years. ”I love my job,” I’d tell them whenever they’d take my readings, and it’s true.

I’ll be working 10 hours a day, seven days a week again soon. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.

One last link before the break: Here’s an anthology worth getting for the cover alone. Will 2011 be the year that mobile comics start sucking less? We’ll see.

Enjoy Christmas and the New Year!


The House that Patience Built

Back home from Comic-Con!

It felt like a very forward-looking Con to me, despite all the worries about impending doom in various markets.

Both Sky and Winter were among the thousand or so led by Edgar Wright out of Hall H on Thursday to see one of the first public screenings of you-know-what. Have yet to meet anyone who didn’t love it.

The four panels I was on went off without a hitch. After the fourth on Saturday, I talked for a long time to two teams of iPad comics creators about the challenges of that new platform, and was reminded of how young the mobile space still is.

Speaking of young, Ivy and I got to meet Juni Kibuishi for the first time (above—and yes, Ivy’s hair is purple again!). I watched his eyes watching everything and was reminded how unpredictable each generation of creative minds can be.

Raina Telgemeier’s terrific all-ages Smile sold out at the show. We talked at the First Second dinner about the dozen other subjects that deserved the comics treatment and what a difference Raina’s personal touch and wise storytelling choices made.

Of the hundred thousand plus who descended on San Diego last week, maybe a few hundred were aspiring young artists or writers making the journey for the first time.

It’s easy for a dedicated young artist to believe that if their work is good enough, it’ll rise and rise until they’re the ones at the Hall H microphones (or at least Ballroom 20) and it’s their characters being painted on the side of the Bayfront Hilton.

It’s also easy, after a few years of frustration, for even the best young cartoonists to believe that the system is rigged, and no matter how hard they work, there’ll be enormous obstacles put in their way that have nothing to do with the quality of their stories and art.

Both are true, of course. Good work will rise to its level AND the system is rigged. Which is why, if you want to find a common denominator among the success stories at San Diego, it’s patience.

For example, bookstore buyers don’t always understand Telgemeier’s Smile. The children’s comics market in bookstores is still immature and the obstacles for new authors are numerous and frustrating. But as soon as kids actually got their hands on the book (often through book fairs), it became a big hit. The book itself made all the difference.

One of the iPad hopefuls I talked to was Robert Berry whose Ulysses adaptation was originally rejected by Apple for nudity. It’s a smart, well-designed work that was nearly killed in the cradle, but its future actually looks pretty bright now that Apple was embarrassed into reversing their decision. Joyce’s legacy may deserve part credit for the reversal, but the quality of the work will carry it from here on.

And Scott Pilgrim for YEARS couldn’t get shelved in one of the biggest book chains in America. The “system” was truly rigged against it. Yet here we are.

Will Eisner insisted again and again that CONTENT would always drive the industry and the art form. No matter what happened at the retail, publishing, or distribution levels; it was what happened on the page and in the panels that would make all the difference.

I believe it more every year.


Seven Languages Plus One

Zahra’s Paradise is a new comic being offered online by First Second. From what we’ve seen, it promises to be an absorbing true story and I like the art. It’s being released simultaneously in English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutchs—seven languages in all. Eight, if you count the language of comics.

Zahra’s release follows closely on the heels of Valentine, released in a whopping twelve languages simultaneously. If this is a trend, I like it.

[Edit to add: In the original post, I'd referred to Valentine as "Robot Comics' Valentine"—it's actually available from Robot Comics, Comixology, Ave! Comics in France, and others soon. Needless to say, the multiple publishers aspect may be even more important in the long run if that trend also continues. Oh, and they're already up to 14 languages.]

Understanding Comics has been translated over the years into 16 languages, but like any book project, the process of getting it printed and distributed from scratch in each country requires an enormous amount of effort for its respective publishers.

The idea that all these dammed-up rivers of art and story might start breaking free all over the world soon is encouraging.


I’m Sure it Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

I wasn’t checking Twitter much yesterday, but Ivy (my wife, not the comic book character this time) pointed out @BGFCentral‘s knowing tweet:

Only men talking in the video, only male hands using the product in the video. Yup. Explains the name.

Can’t comment on the product yet—haven’t tried it—though various specs sound a bit underwhelming if it’s going to be displaying full-sized comics spreads. I guess we’ll see.

[Video via Heidi]


Bludzee

New Trondheim strips in my iPhone every day for a month? For a buck? I’m there.

Despite the long load times (a problem with all iPhone apps due to the fact that we actually USE the things), I like the format of the comics. They look like they were actually designed for the device instead of repurposed from print.

Also: Trondheim!


Thoughts?

“And as you can see, it actually knows how to read the comic for you.”

Not the first nor the last to employ this strategy for getting around printed comics on mobile devices, but they certainly win the award for most chilling tagline.

Has anyone tried the various mobile readers out there and compared them yet? I’d be curious to hear others’ reactions.