Links: Flash, print, and motion comics

Sean Kleefeld has a very good, very thoughtful post on the Zuda interface and its faults. It comes down to a couple of basic philosophical questions that the Zuda folks chose the wrong answers to: Their webcomic model pulls people in, rather than pushing content to viewers (as, say, an RSS feed or an embeddable video does), and many of the things users like to do, such as share content or link to a particular page, are blocked by the viewer. I’ll add another complaint: When I write about a Zuda comic, it’s hard to show samples of the art because I can’t pull it out of the comic. Sarah Jaffe adds some thoughts of her own at Blog@Newsarama.

Ada Price talks to creators and editors about webcomics that go to print at Publishers Weekly Comics Week.

Girlamatic has a new podcast to go with the site relaunch, and episode 2 includes interviews with creators of their two new webcomics, Lisa Gilbert and Terry Blauer of Godseeker and Monique McNaughton of The Continentals. It is hosted by webcomicker Lynn Lau.

Brad Guigar has some suggestions for making the most of this month at Webcomics.com.

CBR has a preview of the Spider-Woman motion comic. Meanwhile, Johanna Draper Carlson notes that Eagle One is also doing motion comics, these ones based on comics based on an anime and a video game. So the circle is completed.

New comic recommendation: The Watson’s, a slice-of-life one-page gag comic with nice, tight art and slightly offbeat humor. Only four strips up so far, but it’s looking good. That apostrophe seems misplaced, though. (Via Fleen.)

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Left to Our Own Devices: Hail to the king!

Archie is the king of downloadsThe Archie folks announce that Archie Freshman Year #1 is the most downloaded comic on iTunes. As I observed at Robot 6 a while ago, it’s a nice comic that actually reads better on the iTunes screen than on paper. Still, Johanna Draper Carlson questions where they get those stats and how accurate they are. I don’t care, I just love the graphic that the Archie people came up with to celebrate, especially because there is no sign of an iPhone anywhere.

iVerse has launched its own comics app, the iVerse Comics app for iPhone/iPod Touch. Like comiXology, which launched a few weeks ago, it features an in-app store through which you can buy the comics, as well as features for organizing your collection. The cost is 99 cents, but that gets you 30 free comics.

Yaoi Press publisher Yamila Abraham has an interesting account of an avid customer who bought a Kindle to read her yaoi on. The problem? The customer is in Australia, and the Kindle doesn’t work there. Of course, this is a problem that is easily solved if you have friends overseas, but it raises some interesting issues, including the question of whether markets are being left untapped because of the regional restrictions.

Reviewer L. takes a look at the Kindle version of the Maximum Ride manga at The Book Bark!

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Links: Big thoughts for the last week of summer

Wizard interviews three webcomics creators—Scott Kurtz of PvP, Chris Onstad of Achewood, and Lora Innes of The Dreamer—and talks some serious nuts and bolts: What’s your traffic, how much do you pay for hosting, how do you build your site, and what do you use to draw the comic?

Apparently not everyone shares my aversion to scrolling; Von Allan did a poll and found that 80% of respondents weren’t bothered by it at all. I guess I’m in the minority.

And here’s a big-picture piece by Jake Forbes: Four Challenges for Digital Comics to Overcome. Forbes is a veteran comics editor whose credits include the best-selling comic Fruits Basket. (Yes, it’s manga, but the top manga outsell most other comics.) Anyway, upon reflection Jake comes up with a more concise list; both are worth a look.

The Monsters of Webcomics show is up at the Museum of Cartoon Art in San Francisco, and the local media is on the case with both the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Station filing reports this week.

Lori Henderson reviews the online manga anthology SIGIKKI. Speaking of which, in this article, Japanese publishers basically admit that they can’t do much about scanlations, illegally posted fan translations of manga, through legal means, so they are fighting back by putting their manga up on the web themselves. It’s so crazy it just might work!

Alex Dueben talks to Jonathan Rosenberg about Infinite Typewriters, the print edition of Goats, at Comic Book Resources.

Delos reviews >Will Write for Chocolate, a charming little webcomic by writer Debbie Ohi.

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Links: Ignatz, Wowio, and site design

Johanna Draper Carlson picks up on an interesting tidbit: Platinum no longer owns Wowio, although it doesn’t seem to have moved too far away; Platinum’s president and CEO, Brian Altounian, formed a holding company that bought it in July. Flashback Universe has an interview with Altounian that’s more about the site strategy than the financial side. (Via Fleen.)

The Ignatz Award nominations are up, and the slate for best online comic comprises Dash Shaw’s Bodyworld, David King’s Danny Dutch, Joey Alison Sayers’s Thingpart, Vanessa Davis’s comics for Tablet, and Cayetano Garza’s Year of the Rat.

Here’s my cranky take, from a reader’s point of view, on webcomics site design at Robot 6.

Smith Magazine, which hosted the webcomic A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, is launching another high-profile webcomic: The Pekar Project, featuring the work of Harvey Pekar.

Merlin Mann is the guest on the latest episode of Webcomics Weekly.

Larry Cruz is going on hiatus for a few weeks, but he leaves us with an interesting Q&A post about webcomics in general.

Spike talks Templar, Arizona, with Lauren Davis at io9, and Johanna Draper Carlson chats with Erica Moen, creator of DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary at Publishers Weekly Comics Week.

Sheldon Vella discusses his suprise at the success of Supertron at MPD57. (Last three links via Robot 6.)

Chris of The Ego and the Squid is the guest on the latest Ninja Consultant podcast.

prevmainNot awesome: A magazine devoted solely to the topic of preventive maintenance. Totally awesome: A magazine devoted solely to the topic of preventive maintenance and illustrated by Will Eisner. If anyone can make grunt work exciting and sexy, it’s Will, so the Virginia Commonwealth University Library has truly done a public service by putting the full archive of Eisner’s work for PS Magazine online.

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Left to our own devices: Backlist in motion

ICv2 notes that the number of comics available on mobile devices has doubled in the last two months and gives a bit of background on who’s doing what.

Johanna Draper Carlson wonders why anyone would make a motion comic and looks at the difference between the Marvel and DC strategies at Comics Worth Reading.

Here’s the demo for Panelfly, a new mobile comics reader app; Scott McCloud finds it a bit disturbing.

It’s a dramatic tale, full of thrills and uncertainty, with a happy ending: MyRomanceStory is putting their comics on the iPhone, and their press release, intentionally or not, fits the genre to a T.

The NBM folks are a bit more staid about their venture onto the iPhone, but they have an interesting twist—while most publishers sell a chapter at a time for 99 cents, NBM is selling full graphic novels for $6.95 to $9.95 a pop.

Sean Kleefeld finally got a cell phone, but it’s a Dare, not an iPhone, and he’s wondering if anyone is making comics for it yet. I haven’t heard of any. Readers?

At the Boys Next Door blog (which focuses on yaoi manga), Nikita reviews vol. 1 of Games With Me, by Tina Anderson and Lynsley Brito, which is available only on Kindle at the moment.

Lori Henderson takes a look at the newest iteration of the Sony E-reader at Manga Xanadu.

Quill & Quire asks: Is Kindle more environmentally friendly than dead-tree books?

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Left to our own devices: PSPs, iPhone app index, and new comics

Creator Kyle Hurlbut found that sales went up after Apple made him raise the age rating on Fallen Justice #2 from 9+ to 12+.

Sony will launch a comics reader for the PSP in December, with comics available for purchase from the PlayStation store. Reportedly Marvel, IDW, Image, and Archie have signed on. JK Parkin has more at Robot 6.

Comics apps for mobile phones are coming out at a dizzying pace, and now there’s a site to help you keep track of them: Find Comic Apps lists new releases and old favorites in a convenient single location. (Via downthetubes Mobile Comics.)

Cherise Fong interviews creators and publishers of comics for mobile devices and discusses the potential for spreading comics worldwide at minimal cost at CNN.com. (Via Robot 6.)

Creators, if all this talk is making you feel like you should be putting your comic on mobile devices, here’s an article for you: Lemuel Pew goes over all the options (including doing nothing and letting people just read your comics on the browser on their handheld), with a thorough discussion of the pros and cons, at Webcomics.com.

JM Ringuet’s cellphone graphic novel Stolen Suns is now available in the iTunes store. Link is here. (Via The Beat.)

Also new at iTunes: Marvel’s first Spider-Woman motion comic and Alterna’s American Terror: Confession of a Human Smart Bomb.

And R. Stevens’s LoLBoTs is available on the web but formatted for easy viewing on cell phones. Why has no one else thought of this? (Via Fleen.)

Here’s a milestone worth noting: iVerse Media reports over one million served.

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Links: Creator-o-rama

Brad Guigar and the Halfpixel guys have started something they call Webcomics.com University, which will feature lectures by noted creators. First class is tonight; Professor Scott Kurtz will talk about line quality.

Amazon.com has announced the Comic Strip Superstar contest, in which one lucky/talented creator will get a book contract with Andrews McMeel and possibly syndication through Universal Press Syndicate and Uclick—very multimedia. The info is up at Webcomics.com, where Brad Guigar doesn’t just run the press release, he takes a critical look at the terms that creators may have to agree to. Gary Tyrrell has some misgivings, and he and Gordon McAlpin now have a twenty dollar riding on the outcome.

Seth Kushner interviews Kevin Colden, creator of Fishtown, for the latest edition of NYC Graphic Novelists.

Jackson Ferrell This Week in Webcomics interviews, in comics form, Blank It creators Aric McKeown and Lem Pew.

Josh Neufeld is doing a book tour to promote the print edition of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. David Welsh turns in the latest review of the book at Precocious Curmudgeon.

Shaenon Garrity has some self-publishing tips for those who are thinking of putting their webcomics into print. This is not the usual top ten, and she has some good ideas, like this point about cover design:

From about the 1880s to the 1930s, people were really good at design. You can’t go wrong ripping those people off.

Heidi MacDonald features a video preview of Longbox, which is being touted as “the iTunes of comics,” at The Beat.

At The Webcomic Overlook, Larry Cruz reviews Dreamless (written by Bobby Crosby and illustrated by Sarah Ellerton) and David Reddick’s Legend of Bill.

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Links: Constructive criticism

Here’s the big news of the day: MySpace Dark Horse Presents is back! One of the early and more successful publisher webcomics sites, MSDHP went dark in the wake of massive layoffs at MySpace. Comic Book Resources has the deets on their triumphant return.

Phil and Kaija Foglio delivered their Hugo Awards acceptance speech for Girl Genius in the form of a comic. Cool!

Kyle Latino went to Chicago Comic-Con and had his portfolio critiqued by Howard Chaykin and Mitch Breitweiser. Rather than crying into his beer about their comments, he did something constructive and created a webcomic illustrating the principles he learned in the critique.

Meanwhile, Adam Kushner’s critique of the print edition of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge for Newsweek ends up being a critique of the graphic novel medium as a whole. I still can’t figure out whether it’s a rave or a pan, but I do think that Kushner needs to read more graphic novels. I think he’s missing out.

Brad Guigar harnesses the teachings of behavioral psychology to suggest strategies for a successful gag strip. B.F. Skinner would approve.

Congratulations to Bryant Paul Johnson on reaching 500 episodes of Teaching Baby Paranoia. If you haven’t read this one yet, you’re missing a treat—it’s sophisticated, pseudo-historical humor delivered in digestible bites, often accompanied by misleading footnotes. Check it out!

Delos reviews Quirk’s Evil Little Webcomic at Art Patient.

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Links: New strategies and crazy webcomics

The simple life: Corey Randolph has decided that having four webcomics on four websites was just too much maintenance, so he is consolidating: He is shutting down everything except the main site and putting Barkeater Lake, TOBY, Robot Satan and Greene With Envy on GoComics. He is also rebooting Greene With Envy and slashing prices in the online store. That’s the 411, but you should go read his whole blog post on the topic because it’s worth thinking about his reasoning—this is one of those cases where the standard webcomics model isn’t working, so he’s finding another way. (And it’s not that the comics aren’t good—go check ‘em out. I’ll put them up against the funnies in my newspaper any day.)

But if you want to go in the other direction, DJ Coffman has a quick’n'easy tutorial on setting up your own website and hosting your own comics.

In other news, Bill Mitchel of CBR chats up Ryan North.

Brian Heater discusses Top Shelf’s webcomics initiative, Top Shelf 2.0, at AppScout.

Still looking for something to read? The public-spirited folks at Brainz.org have a list of 20 funny webcomics, many of which may already be famliar to you, and Cracked lists ten weird webcomics in The 5 Circles of Baffling Web Comic Hell.

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Links: Summer reading edition

One structural problem with webcomics is that most of them are released a page at a time, making it hard to follow a longer story. Two creators have recently changed their schedules to dole out their stories in bigger chunks: Derik Badman will be publishing a month’s worth of Things Change: The Metamorphoses Comic at the beginning of the month, rather than one page three times a week, and he is releasing PDF downloads of the early volumes to make reading the archives easier. (Via ComixTalk.) And Meredith Gran will update Octopus Pie whenever she has a big chunk of story for us, which means the schedule will now be somewhat irregular. (Via Fleen.)

Josh Neufeld talks about A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge with John Hogan at Graphic Novel Reporter, and Larry Cruz reviews the print edition at The Webcomic Overlook.

At Robot 6, JK Parkin talks to Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, creators of the Black Cherry Bombshells, about their road trip to San Diego and back.

And at Comic Book Resources, Shaun Manning talks to Dean Haspiel about ACT-I-VATE and the upcoming ACT-I-VATE Primer.

Do you want to contribute to the sum of all knowledge? A British student is doing a survey of readers of legal and bootleg digital comics, so click and contribute.

Kate Dacey reviews vol. 1 of Bayou, the print edition, at Good Comics for Kids.

Looking for something new to read on your summer vacation? Xaviar Xerxes recommends Trashed, Border Crossings, and Mister Crimson at ComixTalk.

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