ComiXology CEO Answers the Big Questions About New "Unlimited" Subscription Service
New York Magazine has a slideshow up this week about Pizza Island, the Greenpoint, Brooklyn, studio where six comics creators make the magic happen.
The slideshow includes self-portraits of Julia Wertz (Fart Party, Drinking at the Movies), Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant) Lisa Hanawalt (I Want You), Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less) Domitille Collardey (whose works are mostly in French), and Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie) as well as comments on each one by a co-worker. (It was Lisa and Domitille who commented on that Frank Quitely piece, so it’s interesting to contrast their self-portraits with his version of a woman cartoonist.)
There’s a whole lot of talent working in that small space, and if you’re fortunate enough to be going to MoCCA, be sure to check out their panel, which will feature all six. If you’re not, then head on over to the Pizza Island blog, where, at the moment, everyone is showing off their work spaces and discussing the quirks of their desktops.
To see what Caanan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Webcartoonist Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars in Brooklyn — collecting the first few stories from the Octopus Pie webcomic — has just hit stores, and Gran marked the occasion by speaking to CBR’s Alex Dueben. Here’s what I’d call the money quote:
[Alex Dueben:] You started working on webcomics as a teenager, essentially growing up with the industry. What were the comics that really inspired you and have had a particular influence on “Octopus Pie?”
[Meredith Gran:] I’ve really admired the cartoonists behind the Dumbrella collective for years. Jon Rosenberg of “Goats,” R. Stevens of “Diesel Sweeties” and Jeffrey Rowland of “Wigu/Overcompensating” in particular taught me a lot about the business, cultivating a readership, and the sort of lifestyle webcomics demand.
Artistically, most of my influences come largely from outside the webcomics bubble. Though David McGuire of “Gastrophobia” attended college with me, and I see a lot of similarity in our styles.
My background is in animation, and I was raised on Looney Tunes (Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett) and MGM shorts (Tex Avery), which I consider some of the biggest influences, even if the comic itself doesn’t resemble them superficially. I love Genndy Tartakovsky and Craig McCracken’s shows of the 90s. “The Simpsons” is probably in there too.
Suddenly it struck me — a dude weaned on the “Dueling Banjos” of the traditional North American comics scene, first superheroes and then alternative comics — that webcomics really truly is its own beast. Now you’ve got a generation of cartoonists who’ve grown up reading them, springboarding off their artistic and business models, and incorporating the sorts of influences you really don’t find in either Acme Novelty Library or Savage Dragon (to name the only two comics I was reading regularly a decade ago). “The sort of lifestyle webcomics demand” probably has a lot in common with the lifestyles demanded by newspaper strips, superheroes, altcomix, any kind of comics, but in terms of influence and output, it stands alone…
Steve Bryant, the creator of Athena Voltaire, put the creator-owned project on the backburner so he could focus on higher-paying work — but now he’d like some help so he can start working on it again.
“That’s the great thing about Kickstarter,” he writes on the fund raising website. “With your help, I can set aside the time to work on Athena Voltaire—and ONLY Athena Voltaire. And that’s the best way to get the book done; to schedule it just like any other project and work on AV without other deadlines pulling me away from the book.”
Launched in 2002 as a webcomic, Athena Voltaire received an Eisner Award Nomination for Best Digital Comic in 2005, while Bryant was nominated for the 2007 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award. It has since gone on to be published by Ape Entertainment in two collections –- The Collected Webcomics and Flight of the Falcon.
After collaborator Paul Daly left the series, Bryant produced half of the 2009 Black Coat/Athena Voltaire One-Shot. Bryant intends to follow it up with a two-issue mini-series, Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess.
He’s offering several “prizes” for those who pledge to support the book, from access to .pdf copes of the new comic to original cover art from previous editions, as outlined on his Kickstarter page. You can find out more about the book at its official website, and read it online at Webcomics Nation.
And here we are with our final round of responses from comic industry folks, after I asked them what they were looking forward to in 2010. You can find part one here and part two here. My thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to Tim O’Shea or myself.
A couple of quick thoughts from the old year and the new one:
1. I’m delighted a new YA novel in Gerald Morris ‘The Squire’s Tales’ series came out in September. ‘The Squire’s Quest’ is his first new novel in the series about Camelot and the Arthurian legends in several years. I’ve enjoyed the books immensely. I know. I know. It came out this year. Tough. I still couldn’t be more pleased.
2. I’ve been working on a long graphic novel for DC for awhile now (96 pages), should wrap it up in 2010 and really, I can’t wait! Catch me again in April or May and I’ll fill you in with some detail.
Walt Simonson’s work spans decades; he’s worked on comics like Thor, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Factor, Orion, Manhunter, Hawkgirl, World of Warcraft and his own Star Slammers, just to name a few. Earlier this year he donated this really awesome piece of original artwork for the auctions we did for our own Carla Hoffman, for which we will always be grateful.
1. Excited for a few things. The new Doctor (Who), Iron Man 2, and really excited for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I’m not sure if Darwyn Cooke’s next Parker GN is going to be out next year, but I will be all over that the second it’s announced.
2. Excited for a few things of my own: Popgun 4, a secret project that I can’t announce at all, my new comic, STRAY, and getting FCHS Volume 1 out there in print.
As I mentioned yesterday, over the last couple of weeks Tim O’Shea and I have been reaching out to various folks around the comics industry, asking them what they are excited about for 2010. We asked them to mention something they were anticipating as a fan and also something they were working on, if they could talk about it. Here’s round two; we’ll have round three up later today.
I am personally excited about what changes are coming at both DC COMICS and MARVEL COMICS. Most people look at change as a negative thing, but looking at the projects coming from both companies and the amount of multi-media projects coming our way, I cant help become excited to what the future holds. I think all these changes will help bring brand new readers to our industry and deliver some exciting projects to the loyal fans as well. see? a lot of positive vibes…there really is no reason to fear change. I believe in embracing it.
As far as what I have coming up… well , that would take a while, but the first thing that is coming to mind is the Image Comics one shot Justin Gray and I have in the works for this spring called Splatterman. Originally we were going to make this a few issues , but decided to go the graphic novel way and put it out as one book. It features beautiful artwork by Giancarlo Caracuzzo and Paul Mounts with a stunning cover by award winning artist, Tim Bradstreet. It’s the story of two comic creators [not us, lol] that create the ultimate horror comic character that comes back to haunt them. It’s crazy adult comics the way they were meant to be told. Anyone that enjoyed our Friday the 13th series and The Last Resort will understand what i mean.
Johanna Draper Carlson points out that Adam Prosser has posted his 24-Hour Comics Day comic on the web. It’s one part Kirby’s New Gods, one part Archie Comics and all parts awesome — heck, it’s likely the coolest thing you’ll see today.
This month Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, creators of the Black Cherry Bombshells, added a second Zuda strip to their writing duties — LaMorte Sisters, drawn by Christine Larsen. The story follows Maddie, a new student at the LaMorte Home for Lost Girls. The orphanage is run by a strict order of Catholic nuns who offer sanctuary and salvation to young women afflicted with vampirism.
Zito and Trov stopped by earlier this week and shared a list of vampires they’d like to have drinks with, and with today being the second anniversary of when Zuda officially launched, plus it being the day before Halloween, it kind of made sense to see what they had to say about their new vampire tale.
JK: One of the things that really struck me about the first pages of your new strip is how different it looks than Black Cherry Bombshells. How did you guys meet Christine Larsen?
Johnny: Christine is a fellow Philadelphian. She lives on the other end of the city in Fishtown.
Tony: We have many, many mutual friends in the art and film community. Johnny and I were both fans of her work on Teddy Scares.
Webcomics | Karl Kerschl says his webcomic The Abominable Charles Christopher could be coming to print this year. “I’m looking at printing quotes and schedules, and I hope to have something available by mid-summer,” he wrote on the comic’s blog.
Webcomics | MTV has started a new feature where they “take a look at comics that merit attention from filmmakers.” The first one focuses on the webcomic The Adventures Of Dr. McNinja By Chris Hastings.
Digital comics | CBR covers the “Comics on Handhelds” panel at South by Southwest Interactive, which tackled, among other things, issues of lettering and format. “What we need to concentrate on is making the comic an enjoyable experience for the reader and not just a compromise that people are willing to make just so they can read comics on the iPhone,” said Rantz Hosley, CEO of the Longbox Group.
Digital comics | At Salon.com, Olly Farshi looks at the James Patterson graphic novel Daniel X: Alien Hunter on iTunes.