We love to read comics. How about reading comin? Comin?
Comin means two things: an interactive comic and a brand new open media standard. The talented team at the Comin Project are experts on both comics and comin.
COMIN PROJECT offers a whole new way to experience comics. Now, hold on there, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Well, it means a lot. We’re talking about a revolutionary change in how comics are viewed, and created, by making them interactive in a whole new way. Think more of it as two main things: the COMIN READER and the COMIN WRITER. Both readers and creators have something to gain. Support the campaign at Kickstarter right here. Read this straight from the Comin Project team:
The project consists of two apps: the Comin Reader and Comin Writer. The Comin Reader is for readers to download and digest both traditional and interactive comics on their mobile devices or personal computers. The Comin Writer is for both hobbyists and professionals to write, layout, and publish interactive comics or convert and publish traditional comics in a way that is easily viewable within the Comin Reader.
This is huge news for all readers of comics. ComiXology is to be acquired by Amazon. Take a moment to ponder that one. I say it’s all great news as, in this case, bigger can be better. Amazon is most assuredly committed to forward-thinking methodology. ComiXology has its unique platform for viewing digital comics. It would only make sense that this finds a welcome home with Amazon, right?
Isabel Greenberg’s work is just the sort of comics to set your mood on the right track. I’m so glad to see her continue with what she set in motion in her first collected book, “Encyclopedia of Early Earth,” published by Little Brown & Co. (review here). She is following her muse and creating more delightful comics based on fairy tales, myth, and legend. The series is called, “Tall Tales and Outrageous Adventures” and you can find the first installment, “The Snow Queen and Other Stories,” at comiXology right here.
Seattle Interactive Conference, or SIC, is in town October 28, 29, and 30. My first impressions are that this is a very cool place to be for whatever your creative bent. Case in point, a presentation I just enjoyed put together by Jack Conte of Patreon.com. I include a quick sketch I did during the session. Conte has a great way with people. He makes you feel like he’s a friend with a really cool idea to share with you. And, well, that’s basically what he turned out to be. He is the founder of a new crowfunding platform for creators who release digital content and that could be just about anything, music, video, and even comics.
Patreon is unique. You can think of Kickstarter to get a frame of reference but then quickly move on from that. With Patreon, your patrons pay what they want to receive your content one piece at a time. If you are a musician, well, then it’s one song at a time. And so on. What’s really cool about this model is that creators and patrons find the right fit in a whole new way and everyone wins in the end. How do musicians and other digital content providers earn money today? Check out Patreon.com.
Be sure to check out the Seattle Interactive Conference. Visit them here.
Amazon announced today the launch of its new graphic novel line, Jet City Comics. It will publish work by such notable writers as George R. R. Martin and Hugh Howey.
Jet City Comics kicks off today with “Symposium #1,” the first original Foreworld comic from the series created by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo.
Due out on October 1, 2013 is “Meathouse Man,” by George R. R. Martin and Raya Golden. It is based on a short story by George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of “A Game of Thrones.”
Beginning in October 2013, a Kindle Serial will release a comics version of Hugh Howey’s bestselling dystopian novel “Wool” by comics veterans Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and illustrator Jimmy Broxton.
As part of this week’s ComiXology Submit releases is “The Fez #1.” Roger Langridge has a lovable cartoon style, nice and rubbery, and absurd. “The Fez #1” is a mini-comic in search of a home and maybe you’ll take it in. Mr. Langridge has all his papers in order, mind you. He’s a Harvey and Eisner Award-wining cartoonist and you’ll see he’s got the chops and the sharp humor to prove it.
I don’t know how some critics measure this sort of thing, especially if they’ve never come near ink in their lives. But, as a cartoonist myself, I can tell you that what you see here looks effortlessly smooth, as if the ink just glided onto the page. It’s perfect to evoke this feeling of spontaneous slapstick humor. A villain quakes in his boots at the sight of The Fez. A beautiful woman, an unrequited love, drives our hero over the edge. Simple but fun stuff.
This is a 12-pager and that might be just what you’re in the mood for. You get two full stories and a one-page story. They are silly but also poetic in a way. It sort of reminds me of Kaz’s work but in a more gentle and innocent way. Among the work that Mr. Langridge is known for is “Thor: The Mighty Avenger,”and “Snarked.” You can find a bunch of his work at ComiXology here.
Becky Cloonan is a masterful cartoonist. She has a very loose and confident line that comes from years of love and practice of the comics medium. Ink gets in the blood and, like a painter, you’re always ready for your next chance to put brush to ink and paper. Becky Cloonan adds another short story to her Ink and Thunder presence at ComiXology Submit with, “The Demeter,” which runs 31 pages, and you can purchase for only 99 cents here. It is supposed to be the third and final book of a trilogy. While all three books under the Ink and Thunder umbrella are not related, they all share a similar spooky vibe.
Cloonan’s love of ink is infectious. She keeps creating opportunities to dive into that ink. Her artwork is gorgeous and her stories are platforms that allow that artwork to flourish.
That’s not to say that the stories aren’t compelling in themselves. Having read the three books she has with ComiXology, “Wolves,” “The Mire,” and now, “Demeter,” all three are very impressive, and even poetic, horror stories. Cloonan is a pro and she’s managed, over the years, to tap into some quality storytelling chops. She’s as good with words and she’s with artwork. “Demeter” runs very smoothly and naturally. At its heart, it’s a simple little story told with elegance and nicely paced. It’s a cautionary tale warning you to be careful about what you wish for.
Like Paul Pope, you get that unique view from one person as artist and writer. The words, the story itself, comes that much closer to the art compared to a team of artist and writer. That’s just how it is, no matter how closely a team works together. Only you know exactly how to scratch that itch. You can see it on the page.
“Demeter” is far and beyond well worth the price of admission. So, if you haven’t already, you definitely want to go ahead and get the other two books, similar in size and same price point. Just visit ComiXology here.
An odd little old gentleman proves to be very entertaining in this week’s releases from ComiXology Submit. “Short Hand #1” is a breath of fresh air. The main character has star power even if he can barely reach for the stars or just about anything else for that matter.
Meet Oscar Lindstat. He is one big ball of mischief and that has landed him a twelve-month house arrest. He’s 80 years old but he can still give the likes of Lindsay Lohan a run for her money. At the start of our story, “The Toothless Fairy,” we find Oscar is two months into his arrest and he’s triggered a visit from the sheriff and a deputy for tampering with his ankle monitor. Oscar looks sickly and vulnerable but surprisingly spry.
Sheriff Sumner looks worn out just looking at Oscar. That’s why he’s brought in backup, Deputy Woods, who is being lured into making Oscar his very special responsibility. Little does Sumner or Woods know that Oscar never gave up solving crimes and a little ole ankle monitor sure isn’t going to stop him for long. Thanks to crisp writing, by Jason McNamara, and engaging artwork, by Rahsan Ekedal, we quickly buy into the premise.
This comic has a sharpness and confidence to it that serves it well considering that you have a subject that you would suspect to tread along slowly. Yes, Oscar doesn’t move all that fast but this is definitely one of the most quick-witted comics you’re going to come across. “Isn’t it the little crimes that matter the most?” asks Oscar. It’s not a concept that resonates all that well with Deputy Woods. But maybe the guy just needs a little time to figure out what matters the most.
“Short Hand #1” is 25 pages, priced at $1.99, and you can check it out at ComiXology here.
Among this week’s ComiXology Submit releases is “Hell’s Brew #1” with this synopsis: “This is not your history…but it is your nightmare! Double-crossed and kicked in the dirt, Gabriel Garcia is out for revenge. He’s looking for the man who killed his brother come Hell or high water…but there ain’t no water in the desert!” Now, that’s a good kind of crazy to start with.
This 18-pager, priced at $0.99, is full of the stuff you’d hope to find from something this far on the edge. Liggett takes it to the limit but he doesn’t fly without a parachute. He’s laid down a solid foundation. The first page gives us a fine scenario: an alternate America, 1968, where the power grid has gone berserk and the Southwestern region is all but forgotten. Electric cars are dominant. For kicks, the lost kids create gasoline-fueled hotrods. They race all night through the forgotten desert highways.
Gabriel has just been let out of prison and this dead-ender is pissed off! Somebody killed his brother! He’s going to knock heads until he finds his bro’s killer and then he’s going to…kill him! I love it. We really cut to the chase with an unambiguous mission. Of course, there will be side trips, detours, and maybe even some romance, along the way but we’ve got a confident cartoonist behind the wheel to see us through. The art is sharp and the plot is priceless. We’re off and running.
There is definitely more going on here than just an action-packed adventure in some crazy wasteland, although that already sounds like plenty.
Visit our friends at ComiXology. And check out the first issue of “Hell’s Brew” at ComiXology here.
“Secundus” is another one of those spare, and seemingly simple, works of comics with deeper levels running through it. Mike Thomas wrote and drew this story about a gladiator who, on the day that he should have earned his freedom, the court magician, eager not to lose the emperor’s favor, hathces a way to interfere.
Giving it a careful read, I found this to keep to a slow but steady pace. There are enough little clues to future developments to keep me interested. It would be unfair to write this one off, especially since it clearly has a wider scope in mind and we’re only 32 pages into it.
The cover, and the synopiss, got me. For only 99 cents, you can check it out for yourself at ComiXology’s Submit, a new platform for emerging comics talent. You can check out “Secundus” here.