Robot 6

Comics A.M. | The digital landscape after the Amazon-comiXology deal



Digital comics | Bruce Lidl looks at the digital-comics landscape following Amazon’s purchase of comiXology a few months ago. ComiXology’s announcement that it would allow DRM-free purchases of some comics may lead to a fissure in the market, he says: “In fact, we may be beginning to see a kind of bifurcation in the digital comics market, between companies tied to large global media conglomerates, that maintain a fervent faith in the need for some kind of DRM control for their multi-billion dollar intellectual properties, and the smaller publishers more concerned with creator autonomy and exposure.” He also talks to some digital-first creators about how they approach the market. [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | CEO Jeffrey Morris discusses how his FutureDude does transmedia storytelling: The company creates science fiction comics and then spins them off into other platforms such as mobile games; it plans to branch out into animation and live-action films as well. [ICv2]



Creators | Walt Simonson talks about his new comic Ragnarök, and why he won’t return to Manhunter. [Comics Creator News]

Creators | Writer Jeff Lemire talks about Futures End and Trillium. [The Kindle Post]

Creators | Chris Ware answers a rapid-fire series of questions about life in America. [Dazed]

Creators | Athena Splett discusses her self-published comics, her influences and her style, as well as why she likes making comics about people in their 20s: “I just think I’m hyper aware of how goofy we, as young people, are no matter the lengths we go to be worthy of being taken seriously. It’s a style that wasn’t so much cultivated as it was just ingrained in me by being constantly bombarded by my generation’s various absurdities. Coffee shop intellectuals, the phrase ‘I liked them more when they were in the clubs,’ top knots, the whole craft beer thing, you name it. We’re just total goons.” [Salt Lake City Weekly]

Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust

Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust

Graphic novels | “They are people who chose to step up when it looked like there was no hope and did amazing things,” Drew Goldstein says of the five Pittsburgh-area residents profiled in Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust. The book is a collection of five true stories about Pittsburgh-area residents who fought the Nazis or rescued Jews during the Holocaust; it was organized by the Toonseum and the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. There will be a launch party for the book Thursday at the Toonseum. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

Manga | A new volume of Rose of Versailles, the classic manga about a dashing cross-dressing soldier in the court of Marie Antoinette, will be released in Japan this week, 40 years after the previous volume appeared. [RocketNews 24]

Retailing | The Houston-area comics shop Space Cadets Collection Collection will be hosting its own one-day convention later this month. Inspired by a HeroClix promotion, it will include local artists as well as music and game events and will be held right in the store, which was recently remodeled. [Houston News]



I just started watching “Rose of Versailles” on Crunchyroll and I’m enjoying it a lot. I wish the manga was available in English.

Interesting to see people discussing DRM.

I think at some point publishers are going to be confronted with the downside of vendor lock-in — take a look at what’s going on between Amazon and Hachette right now; bet Hachette wishes they’d made it easier for their customers to switch to different ebook readers — and that this has already happened with Image (note that Image started selling DRM-free comics soon after the Saga #12 fiasco).

I wonder if, should that day come, DC and Marvel will go DRM-free, or retreat into their own proprietary platforms. Guess it depends on just how ossified their corporate management is.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to see more of the smaller publishers embrace DRM-free publishing sooner than later. I’ve bought DRM-free comics from three different Humble Bundles so far, and my experience has been that the company that already sells DRM-free comics (Image) knows what it’s doing and the others (IDW and Boom) don’t. The CBZ files in the previous Transformers bundle and the current Boom bundle are really poor-quality and look awful on my tablet.

(The Transformers bundle — as well as three of the four issues of Lumberjanes and, inexplicably, one issue of Translucid, which leads me to suspect that somebody clicked on the wrong issue #2 — has alternate high-quality versions of the files, but (1) they’re PDF’s, which is not an ideal format and (2) they’re TOO high-quality, with ridiculously oversized files, including one volume of All Hail Megatron being a whopping 2.8GB. While I think it’s great that comics are preserved in this state for archival purposes, they’re wildly impractical; why can’t there be a happy medium between “artifacted mess” and “hope you weren’t planning on storing anything besides Transformers comics on your tablet”?)

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