Publisher’s Weekly Comics Week talks to DC honcho Paul Levitz about digital comics, and he demonstrates that he gets it where a lot of others don’t:
I donâ€™t think if you create a comic flat for print that itâ€™s likely to be the perfect thing for a digital world. I enjoy having The Complete New Yorker on my bookshelf in digital form, but I donâ€™t look at it very often. I think in the end the great success is when youâ€™re creating for the dynamic of the medium youâ€™re in.
Maybe that’s why Zuda is the one webcomic distributed by a publisher that actually fits on my computer screen. However, I have to say that the idea of the limited-animation version of Watchmen fills me with horror. I have yet to see an animated comic that impressed me.
Although Levitz is right about fitting the comic to the medium, there’s nothing wrong with scanning in a vintage comic if the material merits it. I’m thinking of Tops in Pops, a 1964 story from Archie’s Mad House, now playing at I’m Learning to Share. It’s the tale of two deejays, one a swingin’ sixties guy and the other a determined square, locked in an escalating battle of publicity stunts, and the Archie tendency toward bad hipster talk actually kind of works in this one.
Dan Hess has a new comic, Weesh, an all-ages strip about a licorice-eating bunny who grants wishes to the kids he live with. The humor is dry enough for adults to appreciate, especially the recently concluded arc about the little girl who brings her stuffed animals to life. Dan is the creator of Angel Moxie and Realms of Ishikaze, so his webcomic credentials are in good order.
How’s the new Wowio thing going? Lora Innes says in her blog that she has pulled The Dreamer from the service because when they started charging for downloads, the number of downloads dropped sharply. And, she adds enigmatically, “There are other changes which made me uncomfortable.” At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson notes that Wowio refused to carry Serial, from Brain Scan Studios, due to content.
“Apple goes auntie over slasher comic” screams the headline from The Register. Translation: The Apple folks pulled the comic Murderdrome because, well, the title says it all. But:
Murderdrome was the first title to make use of Comic Reader software, which is basically a rendering engine for comic books that offers the more-obsessed reader the option of seeing the development process, sketches, and even an audio commentary. OK, make that truly obsessed. The idea was that multiple comics would be available using the engine.
There are several lessons to be drawn from this. One is that if you have a comic that is only available via a single platform, as Murderdrome is, you are putting your fate in someone else’s hands. The other is that the medium still does matter; as The Register points out, despite a vaguely worded ban on “objectionable” content, iTunes is still running South Park and “dodgy” movies. The curious can read the first chapter of Murderdrome here.