Dancing with pirates

OK, here’s someone who is taking digital distribution to its logical extreme: Dave Baxter talks to Hermés Piqué, who collaborated with Juan Romera on Misery Depot. The comic was published under a Creative Commons license which means anyone can redistribute it—digitally or in print—as long as they do so for free. This means the comic is being shared all over the place, via peer-to-peer networks, downloads of .pdf and .cbz files, online at its own site, and through iComics where, because of the CC license, it is the default comic. The conversation is well worth a read for its discussion of how to distribute a comic electronically, but conspicuously absent is any mention of how you monetize that.

Meanwhile, this newspaper interview with Howard Tayler explains how he did it the old-fashioned way, building an audience with Schlock Mercenary and then self-publishing the print edition to maximize profit.

At Blog@Newsarama, Kyle Latino and Lee Cherolis discuss webcomics formats and whether webcomics, like newspapers, can go beyond the daily gag strip to present long-form adventure stories. (Yes, I know that’s already happening.) To explore the possibilities further, Latino posts his own adventure webcomic as part of the column.

Stephen Schleicher says he likes reading comics digitally—not too many people are admitting to that just yet—and he considers some of the possibilities for the future of comics. Read the comments for more. (Found via Robot 6.)

At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson posts the PR on Opertoon, an interactive comic for the iPhone in which you can change a couple’s behavior by shaking or stroking your iPhone. Don’t try this in real life, kids! It’s sort of like a choose-your-own adventure comic with angst instead of adventure and only two possible endings. The art looks sweet, though.

In other news…

Speaking of long-form webcomics, Dash Shaw has finished BodyWorld, which is now all online while we wait for the print version from Pantheon.

Xaviar Xerxes interviews Bryant Paul Johnson, creator of the pseudo-historical comic Teaching Baby Paranoia, at Comixtalk.

This is short but awesome: Gilbert Shelton’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being Fat Freddy, the first Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comic in quite a while. I’d prefer not to think about how long, since I read the original floppies in my misspent youth. (Via Journalista.)

Also from Journalista: A short webcomic, with two alternate endings, about the LHC. It’s sort of old, but I have to link to it because my husband works on the LHC, and whenever he can’t find something that’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE we tell him it’s “behind the Higgs.” I am totally getting him that T-shirt.

Here’s a book review of T.C. Boyle’s The Women in webcomic form, from the Barnes & Noble site.

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One thought on “Dancing with pirates

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Brigid! Some clarifications:

    Creative Commons (CC) licenses don’t necessarily forbid commercial uses of the source material. It has to be a Non-commercial Creative Commons license to do that.

    For Misery Depot, we use a CC license with Attribution (credit is required), Non-commercial (commercial use is forbidden) and ShareAlike (derivative works have to be distributed under the same license) conditions. This is such a common combination of conditions that most think of it when they refer to CC.

    Allowing non-commercial use isn’t the same than allowing free redistribution. For example, you can’t publish Misery Depot on a blog with ads without our consent.

    I believe the article doesn’t talk about monetization because Papyrus Comics is a non-profit comics publisher. I’m sure Dave will eventually cover the subject in one of his columns. In the meantime, Dwight L. MacPherson is discussing some alternatives on his blog: http://dwightmacpherson.wordpress.com/.

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