Monthly Archives: November 2009

print to digital

Print isn’t dead and I don’t think it ever will be completely, but we’re obviously undergoing a major paradigm shift. For some people, this means the world is ending. For others, it means the birth of new opportunities. This is what Lucy Knisley explores in her comic.

But there are a lot of problems to iron out with doing  graphic novels digitally.

First off, making money. Has anyone besides cartoonists who do daily or weekly strips made any money on the internet? In other words, has any long form, sustained narrative been able to make money just as a digital entity?

Besides the internet, there are devices like the Kindle. But guess what? The Kindle sucks for comics. The screen is small. You can only work in black and white. From what I’ve been told and seen, images don’t look that great. And the Kindle only accepts a file type that has been created by Amazon and I’ve read that it’s hard to format a comic with that file type.

Still, the Kindle is incredibly popular. That means a market for e-books is being nurtured and is growing. And it won’t be long before the technology will be better for comics. You can already download books for the iPhone, which has a color monitor. Fujitsu has come out with a color e-book reader. It’s super expensive, but the technology will get cheaper eventually. And Barnes and Noble is working on a color e-book reader that may support a variety of file types.

My conclusion is that the web may not be the place to make money. It is the place to be seen, to be talked about, to talk with fans, but not the place to earn a buck. The promise for comics is probably in the e-book readers. The technology still has a ways to go before something like Mattotti’s Fires will look good, but this does seem to be the way the trends are pointing.

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unhinged

I used to have a Batman photo signed by Adam West. In my memory, I waited in line for it at something like an RV show or a gun convention when I was a boy living in Las Vegas. I don’t remember ever being a big fan of the show, but I had seen the movie on TV. I don’t know where the photo is now. It may have been a victim of my purge of childhood things when I was a teen.

I find photos of Adam West creepy now. I know the show was supposed to be campy, but the stills seem vaguely unsettling. The smile. The ill-fitting suit. The idea that a grown man would dress up in a bat suit to beat the crap out of people. It’s disturbing. Not in a Frank Miller “we need our heroes even though they’re megalomaniacs who disobey the law” kind of way, but in a “that guy needs to be locked in a rubber room” kind of way.

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Daimon Hellstrom

…otherwise known as The Son of Satan.

I was inspired by this article. Hellstrom was in one of the first comics I ever bought, some issue of the Avengers. I thought it was weird that someone from hell was a superhero. But that’s about as far as my thought process went (I was 6 or something) and I hadn’t really thought about him till now. The name “Daimon Hellstrom” makes him sound like a 70s B-list glam rocker (hence the boots I gave him). And his big cape is is Bella-Lugosi-dorky. Go Nagai’s Devilman is much creepier and much more like what a creature of hell should look like.

But can you imagine a comic called Son of Satan on the stands now? Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I doubt that Marvel would okay that these days. Which tells you something about the current political and religious climates versus the ones in the 70s.

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