Comics Worth Reading » Digital and Webcomics http://comicsworthreading.com Independent Opinions on Comics of All Kinds Sun, 01 Mar 2015 22:36:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Dark Horse Moves Selected Titles From Print to Digital Serializationhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/23/dark-horse-moves-selected-titles-from-print-to-digital-serialization/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/23/dark-horse-moves-selected-titles-from-print-to-digital-serialization/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:16:51 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37925 Dark Horse Comics has announced the launch of Dark Horse Digital Exclusives, a set of titles that will be serialized digitally followed by “expedited print collections”. The affected titles are The Ghost Fleet, Resurrectionists, and Sundowners. Said Dark Horse president and publisher Mike Richardson,

“We are confident in the quality of these stories and want to ensure that readers have the opportunity to fully experience them. Dark Horse is throwing its support behind these creators and their innovative titles, and we are choosing to continue them in a series of original graphic novels. These stories deserve to be told, and to continue in a reader-friendly and accessible format. In the meantime, for those who would like to continue reading the series, we will also offer new issues of each title on our Dark Horse Digital platform.”

Dark Horse Digital Exclusives

This is putting a positive spin on some bad news. Apparently, sales on these titles have dropped enough to make print issues unfeasible, but I’m glad that readers of the series will be able to finish them out, as Sundowners writer Tim Seeley points out: “I’m not sure why some books succeed while others don’t, especially when I know Dark Horse has been making some super-cool, all-new, creator-owned material that I was proud to be part of. But I’m glad they’ve got the dedication and respect to ensure readers and creators get to bring their stories to a logical conclusion.”

Unfortunately, some fans won’t like the format change, as seen in a comment thread at Robot 6. Resurrectionists readers who want print are grumbling about having to rebuy issues they already have in the collection, while others are dropping series because they don’t want to split formats. As someone points out, though, this is more likely to happen more in future, as so much competition makes it tricky for new, creator-owned comics to find shelf space and customers.

Resurrectionists: Near-Death Experienced, collecting the entire series, will now be available August 19 for $19.99. Sundowners Volume 2 will be available August 26 for $19.99, and The Ghost Fleet Volume 2: Hammer Down will be released October 7 for $14.99.

What will be interesting to note in future is whether Dark Horse moves other titles in this direction, or even launches new projects with this digital-to-print format.

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Catching up With The Double Life of Miranda Turnerhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/22/catching-up-with-the-double-life-of-miranda-turner/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/22/catching-up-with-the-double-life-of-miranda-turner/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 18:58:45 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37888 Last year, I told you about The Double Life of Miranda Turner, a digital comic by Jamie S. Rich and George Kambadais about a young superhero mentored by her dead sister who formerly had the role. Although the premise sounds angsty, it mostly ignores that in favor of a good amount of comedy and action, driven by creative ideas for villains for Miranda, as the Cat, to battle.

The Double Life of Miranda Turner #4 cover

Two issues, #4 and #5, came out this past winter, with #6 due out March 4. (It’s available to pre-order now.)

For those interested in more about the background of the two young women, issue #4 is for you. It’s a flashback to what happened to Lindy just before her death, as a way to further explore who might have been responsible.

The dialogue is packed with both information and entertainment, as we see the sisters depend on each other through revisiting a traumatic event. Kambadais’s art is capable of wide-ranging images, from hand-to-hand combat to celebrity fundraisers to fantastic superpowers. I was surprised at how mediocre Lindy’s death turned out to be, an ambush instead of taking place in a classic battle with a villain, but that’s a great example of the down-to-earth feel that makes the series appealing.

The Double Life of Miranda Turner #5 cover

Issue #5 continues exploring Lindy’s history, as we meet her friend and former co-worker, Portal, another member of the Alphabet Guild coterie of superheroes, as the creators expand their universe. That’s her on the cover, with an impressively visual (and powerful) ability.

The forthcoming issue #6, out next month, goes even further into history, as Portal shares news of her grandfather, also a hero, and how he fought in Vietnam, before they head out to battle the former Cat’s nemesis. This sets up for a grand showdown — but that’s coming in issue #7.

Since the series follows the Monkeybrain Comics model of 16 pages or so for 99 cents, it’s admirable how much Rich and Kambadais pack into each issue. The first arc is planned to be nine issues, so we’re in the last stretch, where everything starts coming together. (The creator provided review copies.)

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Dark Horse Graphic Novels Now Available on Sequentialhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/06/dark-horse-graphic-novels-now-available-on-sequential/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/06/dark-horse-graphic-novels-now-available-on-sequential/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 15:02:56 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37672 The Sequential iPad app has some of the best-known graphic novel publishers in their catalog, and now they’ve added another: Dark Horse.

Sequential app icon

Not all of the publisher’s titles will be available, but the first round of additions include The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Will Eisner’s Fagin the Jew, Bryan Talbot’s Grandville Noël, and Canales and Guarnido’s Blacksad with “many more titles” to follow.

Dark Horse also publishes Usagi Yojimbo and Sin City, which would be good candidates for inclusion, as well as a number of licensed comics, which probably wouldn’t fit with Sequential’s mission to provide “a beautifully presented, carefully curated selection of material that focuses on the richness of the medium outside of the typical superhero offering.”

Dark Horse was best known, digitally, for running its own app and delivery platform for digital comics. As the press release says, “The move makes Sequential the first third-party digital comics app to distribute a full range of titles from Dark Horse.” (At The Beat, Heidi, Todd, and commenters point out that there are lots of caveats attached to that “first” statement, but I read it mostly as a jab at comiXology, which carries most everyone else.)

The quote from Mark Bernardi, Dark Horse’s Director of Digital Publishing, gives an indication as to what Sequential brings, “The app is terrific and their commitment to presenting the best in graphic storytelling mirrors our own. Given their editorial focus and large user base outside the US, this new relationship will help us reach thousands of comics readers who may not already be familiar with Dark Horse, or might know us only for our many successful titles based on licensed entertainment properties.” In other words, Sequential has a significant European presence, both in reach and content, which is an audience that Dark Horse might find promising.

Dark Horse on Sequential iPad app

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Whatever Happened to Dork Tower?http://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/01/whatever-happened-to-dork-tower-2/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2015/02/01/whatever-happened-to-dork-tower-2/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 18:12:32 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37632 That’s a misleading headline, since Dork Tower by John Kovalic is alive and well as a webcomic. I hadn’t thought much about it since, oh, about 2007, though, when the last of the print comic book collections, Dork Decade, came out.

Although Dork Tower is quite successful as a gag strip about gamers and related nerditry, I read the comic because the space allowed for longer stories, which gave the cast more character, particularly when it come to the never-quite-right relationship between normal guy Matt and Gilly the Perky Goth.

I had good reason to go hunting through my shelves for the print books last week, since the author (who lives here) was making an appearance at my local comic book store to promote the launch of the Munchkin comic. I had him sign my copy of Livin’ La Vida Dorka, since it’s the most Dork Tower-y to me, being the first collection of the various comic strips. He even drew a sketch of Carson the Muskrat for me:

Dork Tower sketch by John Kovalic

I realized, when I stopped reading the series, that I never found out what happened with Matt and Gilly. Turns out I didn’t miss anything, since there wasn’t ever a resolution. There’s still planned to be one, though — Kovalic is talking about maybe doing a Kickstarter at some point. I checked in at the website, and I discovered that the latest strip even references her, in another of those “oh, no, they just missed each other!” moments.

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Danielle Corsetto Planning to End Girls With Slingshotshttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/29/danielle-corsetto-planning-to-end-girls-with-slingshots/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/29/danielle-corsetto-planning-to-end-girls-with-slingshots/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 02:45:36 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37408 After successfully completing over 2000 strips, eight books, and a cross-country road trip during the past ten years, Danielle Corsetto has announced that Girls With Slingshots will be ending “in the next couple of months”. And of course, the announcement was a comic strip.

Girls With Slingshots Farewell Announcement

She’s taking an educational sabbatical for a while. At the site, older strips will rerun with new color and commentary. She plans to bring back the strip and its characters in some undetermined form at some later date, but for now, like many webcartoonists, she’s being honest with her audience and sharing her changes with them.

She currently is running a Patreon with over $1700 a month in pledges, which is a pretty good nut to live on, but I’m curious to see how/if that changes without the regular weekdaily strip. Ten years is quite a run — congratulations to her! — and it’s no surprise that a creator might want to do something else for a while to stay fresh and build skills.

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Comicsfix to Add Valiant, More on the Deal for Publishershttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/23/comicsfix-to-add-valiant-more-on-the-deal-for-publishers/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/23/comicsfix-to-add-valiant-more-on-the-deal-for-publishers/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 15:47:22 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37383 I previously wrote about Comicsfix, which aims to be a Netflix for comics, an all-you-can-read monthly subscription service. There hasn’t been an official announcement I can find, but they have begun adding older Valiant issues, the first four each of several series, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, and Harbinger. There seems to be more to come.

X-O Manowar on Comicsfix

They’ve also added a New Arrivals shelf on their library page, so users can easily see what’s new.

I took advantage of this reminder to check out their information on publisher deals. The big guys like Dynamite and Valiant have “customized publishing agreements”, but for anyone else, they’re pretty transparent. After they pay their costs for hosting, marketing, and so on, they split revenue 50% with publishers based on their traffic.

In layman’s terms: the more readers your books attract, the more money you get. Each book is destined to perform differently, but we estimate that on average 1000 readings of a 24 pages comic can generate around $20. A mini-series or a graphic novel can make $100 to $150 per 1000 readings. If we reach our goal of 100,000 domestic and international subscribers for the first year, and continue to grow, that is many thousand of readers for your books all year around, resulting in thousands of dollars for a publisher with a popular series. Compare that to the pennies that video or music services pay out to their artists.

Note: We cannot guarantee a specific or any amount of payout to any comic owner. If people do not read your book, you probably will not see much or any money. Note: Payments are generated 45 days from the end of each quarter. We use Paypal and direct deposit to distribute the earnings of your books, so consider all the fees associated with Paypal as well.

The “thousands of dollars” seems ambitious. Let’s look instead at the $20 figure on a single comic. For a print book priced at $3.99, the publisher should get roughly $2 from traditional distribution (direct sales, as at conventions, bring in more), out of which they have to pay print and shipping costs. Creative costs are the same whether the art is printed or posted, so they should be equivalent, either way. DC used to use a multiplier of 3 people reading every comic in their ad sales, but for a smaller press, there probably isn’t much pass-along.

So for a gross of $20, a creator needs to sell 10 comics — and to net $10, probably more like 40, to cover the other costs. That’s a lot fewer than needing 1000 readers to make $20 — but that method has no costs and is a much more passive form of income. By that I mean the publisher can earn at all times, regardless of how actively she’s working at it. However, more successful books using Comicsfix will be those whose publishers work to drive traffic and build readership for their books.

Publishers also get free accounts to use the service, so if Comicsfix takes off, it might not be a bad strategy to pull something together, publish it there (if they accept it), and not expect it to sell, but use it as your free account buy-in.

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Sequential iPad App Focuses on Respected Graphic Novel Publishershttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/20/sequential-ipad-app-focuses-on-respected-graphic-novel-publishers/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/20/sequential-ipad-app-focuses-on-respected-graphic-novel-publishers/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:20:52 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37355 I’ve been remiss in not talking before now about Sequential, the iPad app that features graphic novels “from some of the world’s leading creators and publishers.”

Sequential app icon

If you’re looking for a curated digital comic reading experience, this is the app you want. Their key publishers include
* Top Shelf — featuring works by Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, and James Kochalka
* Fantagraphics — with Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree volumes and Lucy Knisley’s An Age of License newly added and of course, Love and Rockets
* Alternative — with The Big Feminist But anthology and the impressive Look Straight Ahead
* and NBM — so you can get Rick Geary’s Madison Square Tragedy and the much-praised Beauty by Hubert & Kerascoët.

as well as leading British publishers Blank Slate, Knockabout, SelfMadeHero, and Myriad, which means you can get Darryl Cunningham’s Science Tales or his upcoming Supercrash: How to Hijack the Global Economy before it’s published here next year.

Their storefront sorts books by new, popular, and categories, including digital exclusives, award-winning, various genres, and free stuff. Or you can view by publisher or creator. Some works even include audio commentaries by the artist. Right now, the app is iPad only (which is the best venue for digital comics), with an Android version planned but not before “the end of 2015 at the earliest.”

I started using Sequential because they’re the only way I can get the two-part VerityFair by Terry Wiley, whose work I loved so much in Sleaze Castle. It’s the story of “happy-go-lucky middle-aged actress Verity Bourneville [who] has been having enough trouble trying to find a decent part to pay the rent without also being plagued by a mysterious nightmare about her old deceased classmate Lucy Sherman.”

Sequential’s books aren’t cheap, but you can subscribe to a newsletter to find out about their occasional free offerings and special offers.

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The Digital Distributor Monopoly May Be Overhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/14/the-digital-distributor-monopoly-may-be-over/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/14/the-digital-distributor-monopoly-may-be-over/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 02:32:41 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37201 DC Comics recently became available on the new iVerse ComicsPLUS app. This is an important marker of how ComiXology, now owned by Amazon, may no longer be the de facto monopoly digital distributor. It’s content that drives customers, and with one of the best-known American companies no longer exclusive, things may change even more in future.

ComicsPlus app

The new app also offers “graphic novel rental for one, two, or five days at prices lower than purchase, and the ability to import DRM-free prdoucts in ePub, PDF, CBR, and CBZ formats.” The rentals currently include publications from IDW, Archie, and Valiant.

Heidi reports that “Amazon recently started sending out renewal contracts to various publishers, and the terms are not as favorable as Comixology’s were — they are more like Amazon’s.” Which would explain why companies would be looking to change: cost and control.

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How to Write People of Colorhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/12/how-to-write-people-of-color/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/12/how-to-write-people-of-color/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:34:20 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37290 Writing People of Color by MariNaomi

The talented MariNaomi has posted a thought-provoking piece titled “Writing People of Color“. Not only does she address some key questions from those who haven’t thought through the implications before, she’s assembled comics and advice from other cartoonists on the subject, including Yumi Sakugawa, Keith Knight, Whit Taylor, Elisha Lim, Jennifer Camper, Maré Odomo, and Frederick Noland. A very insightful and useful read.

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Turning Japanese by MariNaomihttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/06/turning-japanese-by-marinaomi/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/06/turning-japanese-by-marinaomi/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 17:21:20 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37216 Turning Japanese by MariNaomi

2D Cloud will be publishing MariNaomi‘s autobiographical Turning Japanese in September 2015, but in the meantime, you can read the first eight chapters at their website. The book is described as

A graphic memoir about working in illegal hostess bars in San Jose and Tokyo, attempting to connect with a culture that had eluded Mari until early adulthood.

It’s interesting stuff, with a different view of Japanese culture than some will have seen.

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Hope Larson Autobio Comic on Picture-Takinghttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/01/hope-larson-autobio-comic-on-picture-taking/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/12/01/hope-larson-autobio-comic-on-picture-taking/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 12:22:56 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37184 I always welcome a new Hope Larson comic, and Reframed is a little gem — short, but pointed. She reflects on student photographers, art school, sniper shots, and a scene from her work Gray Horses in her distinctively solid, curvy, lightly toned style.

Reframed comic by Hope Larson

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Comicsfix, All You Can Read Comics, Teams With Dynamitehttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/30/comicsfix-all-you-can-read-comics-teams-with-dynamite/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/30/comicsfix-all-you-can-read-comics-teams-with-dynamite/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 13:39:02 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37193 We’ve learned, in this brave new age of sharing, that content publishers want their material valued piece by piece. Their thinking seems to go, no matter how bad the movie, it should be worth at least $15 to buy a digital copy, given their costs and the value of their libraries.

Comicsfix promo image

Sites like Netflix and Pandora, though, realize that customers don’t want to worry over every little transaction. They want rich libraries to browse through for one monthly fee (or free, but that’s a different conversation).

Digital comics, so far, have been about the former (if you stick to legal sources). Publishers sell individual issues through ComiXology, their own sites, or other, lesser-known sources. Now, a site called Comicsfix, begun September 2013, aims to change that. For a monthly fee of $9.95, they offer unlimited reading from their library of titles on computer, iPad, or Android device, including the ability to read offline.

The problem is, most of their offerings you’ve never heard of. Until now, they had books from Alterna, Markosia, Asylum Press, and independent creators. They’ve just announced that they’ve signed Dynamite, their biggest get so far, and have added the following material, with future plans for more:

the first two volumes of The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Legends of Red Sonja with Gail Simone, Project Superpowers featuring covers by Alex Ross, The Blood Queen, Pathfinder–based on the best-selling Paizo RPG, the Bob’s Burgers comic book based on the Emmy award-winning television program, Mark Waid’s The Green Hornet, Zorro, Vampirella Strikes, the first volume of Evil Ernie, Battlestar Galactica, The Twilight Zone, and the all-ages Lil’ Dynamites series by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Agnes Garbowska.

The Comicsfix site has a “try for free” offer, but no details were available, and you have to sign up with them, including providing payment information, to find out more, so I didn’t. They’ve got an attractive interface, but one I’m not sure will scale when/if they add more titles and publishers.

It’s a tough struggle — a site like this needs to show viability before they can get the big publishers customers want, but customers don’t want to sign up until they can get enough familiar material they want to read. I’ll be curious to see if Comicsfix can continue attracting the big players.

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Thrillbent Comic App Allows Import of Other Formatshttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/29/thrillbent-comic-app-allows-import-of-other-formats/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/29/thrillbent-comic-app-allows-import-of-other-formats/#comments Sat, 29 Nov 2014 22:33:26 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37180 Thrillbent, the digital comic site created by Mark Waid and John Rogers, has its own iPad app. Makes sense, since the iPad is nearly perfect for reading digital comics. The Thrillbent comic app does something very smart, that customers often ask for: it provides the ability to import your own comic files in PDF, CBR, or CBZ formats (which includes ComiXology backups) from Dropbox.

Thrillbent app logo

Now, there are a few glitches/areas for possible improvement. Once you’ve imported your own comics, there aren’t many organizational tools, which makes this best suited to someone with just a few titles.

Regarding the Thrillbent content, it’s not obvious which comics are free to read and which require payment of the $3.99 monthly subscription fee until you’ve clicked on them (and in many cases, gotten the “unlock with subscription” message). Once I found a free one, I couldn’t find any way to download it to my iPad, so each page turn meant a delay as it reloaded. (It seems that you have to buy the comics, individually, from the Thrillbent website to be able to download them.) Whether subscribed or not, you can mark series as favorites, which have their own section to make it easier to see when a comic updates with a new chapter.

The app forces a horizontal orientation, although if you load your own vertically oriented comic, you can switch at that point. The comic files don’t have a page control marker, so you can’t jump ahead or see how many pages the item has — you can only move forward one page, back one page, or jump back to page 1. That’s ok for the shorter Thrillbent chapters, but I can’t see reading a graphic novel here.

So great concept, good execution, but given the limitations, Thrillbent won’t become the single comic reading tool hardcore fans are looking for. I don’t think it’s meant to be, though; instead, it serves well as a support for the website.

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Girls With Slingshots Volume 8http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/28/girls-with-slingshots-volume-8/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/28/girls-with-slingshots-volume-8/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 20:07:54 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37164 It’s pretty impressive that the webcomic Girls With Slingshots is celebrating its tenth anniversary with its eighth book collection, reprinting 200 strips in color. The volume is only available from TopatoCo right now (or at next summer’s conventions, I’m sure). I explained the series premise when I reviewed the first four books four years ago. In short, it’s a slice-of-life gag strip with soap opera overtones.

Girls With Slingshots Volume 8 cover

Even though I read the series daily, it’s a lot of fun sitting down with a new volume. For one thing, I’ve forgotten the storylines of two years ago, such as the one the book starts with. Hazel and Zach are on the outs because he wants to commit and she doesn’t want to grow up. It’s a shame to see a good couple go bad, but it’s well-told and understandable, if heart-breaking. On the more positive side, we also get to see Thea and Mimi decide to get married and some goldfish shenanigans.

The cast is large enough that I can’t keep everyone in my memory, so it’s like re-meeting old friends when I read about them again. I particularly miss Tucker and Fiona, who have some great introductions and interactions here. They’re also the subjects of the “how to draw” bonus pages.

Author Danielle Corsetto does a wonderful job with expression, which keeps her characters sympathetic, even when they’re doing things outside my norm. Jamie’s complicated love life comes to mind, although anyone can relate to the desire to feel loved and satisfied.

The back pages also include some information on Danielle’s summer cross-county road trip. I hope the next book doesn’t take two more years to appear, because I like spending time with this ever-growing group of friends.

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ComfyCon This Weekend – Online Webcomics Conventionhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/22/comfycon-this-weekend-online-webcomics-convention/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/22/comfycon-this-weekend-online-webcomics-convention/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 14:05:31 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37108 ComfyCon logo

As they did last year, a group of webcomic cartoonists this weekend are providing a number of online panels. There’s still time today to get advice on running an anthology, find out about comic-makers’ day jobs, and see the panel with my favorite title, “I’ve Been Doing Webcomics HOW LONG?” Many of these are recorded, so you can check in on your schedule. In your jammies, in keeping with the convention name! As they say,

Not everyone can go to a convention. Sometimes it’s money. Sometimes there’s none you can get to. That’s why ComfyCon’s here. It’s the convention you don’t have to put your pants on for.

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Mike Dawson Ponders Raising a Daughterhttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/12/mike-dawson-ponders-raising-a-daughter/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/12/mike-dawson-ponders-raising-a-daughter/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:06:00 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37043 Mike Dawson (Freddie & Me, Troop 142, Angie Bongiolatti) has posted a thought-provoking comic about raising a daughter.

The strip takes off from this shirt about being a “feminist father”.

Mike Dawson comic panel

Dawson continues to ponder what it means to fill that role, given certain standard jokes and expectations. Much as I dislike the attitude that too many men have that equal rights don’t matter until you have a daughter (or that equal marriage rights don’t matter until your kid comes out, as we’ve seen in a number of Republican politicians), I don’t think that’s the case here. Sometimes it’s human nature not to get involved in a cause until you’re personally affected (which is why we may not see, for example, male comic fans caring about the lack of suitable superhero comics for kids until they have kids), but Dawson’s strip carries through with a strong air of honesty and serious thought that extends beyond his immediate situation. In other words, he’s not just thinking about himself, but the culture. Ultimately, he realizes that the final ramification of truly being feminist is that it’s not just about him.

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Dime Comics an iPad App for Golden Age Comicshttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/09/dime-comics-an-ipad-app-for-golden-age-comics/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/09/dime-comics-an-ipad-app-for-golden-age-comics/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 13:08:08 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37021 If you like reading public domain Golden Age comics and are willing to pay a little for ease of access to them, then you may want to check out the iPad app Dime Comics.

Dime Comics logo

It’s a dollar for the app, which comes with 20 downloads. Additional downloads are a dollar for 20 more, or $7 for unlimited access. Currently, there are over 7,000 issues available from 12 publishers and over 500 series. Those publishers are Ace, Ajax-Farrell, American Comics Group, Charlton, Dell, Fawcett, Fiction House, Harvey, Prize, Quality, and St. John, plus some of the Spirit newspaper sections. You can check out comic genres that aren’t seen much these days, like war, romance, westerns, and crime. I had no idea that there was once a Hillbilly Comics humor title, for instance.

The developer has set up the charges to cover the expense of the servers and Apple fees. New comics are added regularly, and the app will notify you when an update to the catalog is available. If you want to read the comics elsewhere or back them up, the developer says you can “drag downloaded comics out of iTunes and onto your PC/Mac for saving, backup, or viewing”.

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Wizzywig PDF Available Online at Discount at Vodohttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/08/wizzywig-pdf-available-online-at-discount-at-vodo/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/08/wizzywig-pdf-available-online-at-discount-at-vodo/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 02:07:24 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=37009 While the book appears to be temporarily out of print — publisher Top Shelf says a second print is coming next February — the best way to read Ed Piskor’s Wizzywig appears to be digital.

How convenient, then, that digital distributor Vodo currently has the PDF (or CBZ or ePub) available at 35% off, for $5.19, or you can make your own offer. The discount only lasts for the next five days, though, so better hurry.

Wizzywig is a book that seems fictional, because some of the events are so outrageous, but it is based in true-life events. Those who didn’t live through the digital dismay of the early 90s — when “hacker” became a bad word (instead of a creative explorer finding new ways to do things) and the FBI thought a computer-game manufacturer was putting out criminal how-to instructions (poor Steve Jackson Games) — may not realize just how accurate the aura of paranoia is.

Kevin is a lonely, bullied child who’s an early computer user. He cheats the phone system and seeks new knowledge as a way of taking pride in something. He’s a lock picker and con artist, manipulating people to get an advantage. He winds up jailed, both because he doesn’t know when to stop and he symbolizes a growing fear of technology.

Piskor’s art is detailed but straightforward, giving the fictional story an air of reportage. It looks deceptively simple, but there’s a strong sense of movement and expression. Kevin isn’t a character to like, but the question of whether he deserved what he ends up getting is an intriguing one.

Here’s a trailer with audio by nerdcore rapper Adam WarRock.

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Vertical Announces Digital Tezuka Cominghttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/08/vertical-announces-digital-tezuka-coming/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/11/08/vertical-announces-digital-tezuka-coming/#comments Sat, 08 Nov 2014 22:10:51 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=36953 Buddha Volume 1 cover
Buddha Volume 1

On their Tumblr, Vertical Comics has announced that all of the titles they publish by Osamu Tezuka will be available digitally in coming months. They plan to start with the out-of-print titles, Apollo’s Song and Black Jack (17 books).

Unlike other manga publishers, Vertical doesn’t have their own app nor do they use ComiXology. Their digital books will be available through “the Apple iBookstore, Kindle, Nook, and hopefully Google Play”. They’re planning for 2-3 books added every 2-3 weeks. Future titles include:

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ComiXology Announces Second Wave of DRM-Free Comicshttp://comicsworthreading.com/2014/09/21/comixology-announces-second-wave-of-drm-free-comics/ http://comicsworthreading.com/2014/09/21/comixology-announces-second-wave-of-drm-free-comics/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 22:16:26 +0000 http://comicsworthreading.com/?p=36653 In July, ComiXology announced that certain publishers would provide DRM-free backups of the digital comics you rented through their service, moving them closer to being purchases.

ComiXology logo

Now, ComiXology has announced a second wave of publishers included in the program. Joining the previous list of Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions are

  • IDW Publishing
  • Valiant Entertainment
  • Oni Press
  • Fantagraphics Books
  • Aspen Comics
  • Action Lab Entertainment
  • and a bunch of smaller publishers: Th3rd World Studios, A Wave Blue World, Blind Ferret Entertainment, Caliber Comics, Creative Impulse Entertainment, Devils Due Entertainment, GT Labs Comics, and Kingstone Media

So my question is, who’s left? DC and Marvel, obviously — they likely hate the idea of non-restricted releases. But comparing ComiXology’s list of Featured Publishers to these two press releases, Boom! Studios also isn’t included, which surprises me, nor is Archie or Avatar.

Also, an IDW representative clarified that their “TMNT, Godzilla, and Cartoon Network titles… are restricted per licensor request” but all their other books are available as DRM-free.

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