Questions for Digital Creators

Last week I talked a little about Graphicly, Aquafadas, and ComiXology’s digital comics initiatives. Now I want to talk to creators who have actually utilized these services, try to understand their technical capabilities and benefits, their strengths and weaknesses, and their overall appeal.

I think the first question I need to ask is: Why do you make comics? 

The answer to that question may provide insight into all the rest. So what are some other questions that I can ask?

Digital Comics Creators
1. Which digital comics service(s) do you use? Why?
2. What appeals to you about the digital comic medium?
3. Do you see digital comics as a career or a hobby?
4. In your opinion, does the digital comics medium offer financial security? Might it in the future?
5. Why not web comics? And if you have done web comics, what is the difference between the two?
6. What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of digital comics?
7. Have you ever published print comics? If so why did you make a move to digital?

For Web Creators
1. Why web comics?
2. Specifically, what are some of the strengths of putting your comics up on the web? What don’t you like?
3. Have you ever thought about publishing any of your work through a digital service?
4. Because web comics are essentially “free” for your audience, what are the ways you collect revenue, if at all? Does that matter at all?

Are you a digital creator? Have an opinion on any of these issues? Used Graphicly, Aquafadas, or have your own web comic? I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at theprettiesthaymaker@gmail.com and we’ll talk comics!

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The Art of War at NYCC

The Art of War made it’s first comic con debut at NYCC, and now that the madness is over and the dust has settled, Kelly and Mike would like to thank everyone who came out to say hello and get their books signed. Over 25 people showed up to the HarperCollins booth to shoot the breeze and have some pages inked by our dynamic duo. Props to everyone who said hello and be on the lookout for more The Art of War news in the very near future!

Keep up to date with the NYCC Facebook Event Page
Get the book right now!
 

Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!

Self-Publishing Comics in the Digital Space

The digital age of comics is upon us, and with it an incredible new array of self-publishing opportunities. What’s so incredible is that these new services, they virtually negate the massive costs associated with standard small print runs. The one drawback to digital distribution is the fact that digital comics are still such a new idea. Web comics have been around for years, but digital comics are a relatively new phenomenon, and it seems as though the goal of digital is still to eventually make it as a print comic creator. But will digital comics eventually prove themselves a sustainable, and profitable medium?

When I’m thinking about digital self-publishing, the company that impresses me the most is Graphicly. They used to be a comic book app, ala ComiXology, but they didn’t want to get into direct competition with those guys and completely changed their business model. Now they help to publish and distribute digital books, and in our case digital comic books, to different platforms such as the Kindle Fire or the Apple Bookstore.

If you check out their website they offer three different publishing services at three different price points. First, they offer a web-based approach to your self-publishing desires. This is free, though Graphicly takes 30% of your revenue should your comic actually start selling. Your comic is available through the Graphicly Store and the Graphicly Facebook app, so it’s not everywhere, but it is out there! Then they have an option where you publish your comic as an eBook on the big eBook marketplaces! They format your files for you, optimize them for the platforms, and it only costs you a single, one-time payment of $150! They don’t take any of our profits this way, however the different marketplaces claim their 30-50%.

Then they offer the granddaddy of all their services, customized branded apps for $500. This will allow you to sell your comics through your own specialized apps. You get to sell your books through something created specifically for that madness! Because these services are so new, there doesn’t seem to be much chatter up on the interwebs, but I’m going to try to talk to the people at Graphicly in the near future to get the lowdown on their new model. Oh and Graphicly, if you’re listening, please please please make your website more compelling! It’s so incredibly bland! You can do better!

Steve Broome has a good breakdown/cost analysis of Graphicly’s new service if you care to take a look.

Aquafadas also has a digital distribution service up and running. They provide users with free software, ComicComposer, that creators can use to format their files for viewing, very much like ComiXology’s Guided View technology. However, unlike Graphicly, they do not provide a connection between you and the marketplace with custom designed apps. Instead, the users must create their own specific apps for different platforms, which Aquafadas says is easy to do, no code involved. Aquafadas does charge licensing fees for their software if you do end up publishing something, $150 for application licenses and $350 for publishing. They seem like they cater less to individual creators, but their prices aren’t much different from Graphicly’s, so hey, maybe they’re worth a shot.

Then we have ComiXology, the king of digital hosting and distributing. They’ve got deals with the Big Two and thousands of others, and they’ve just recently reached 100 million comics sold! However, what’s important for the independent creator is their all-new independent initiative. You submit your work, and it goes to a panel of reviewers. If they dig it, they’ll put it up in a special section of ComiXology and you split the proceeds 50/50. Right now it’s in private beta, but if you’d like to get on this train you can send them an email and see if they’ll take you on when it goes public.

So we have three all-new, all digital distribution methods. Are they worth the price? Can you make a living wage this way? I’m hoping to talk to both digital comics creators and web creators to see how they feel about this new method of delivery, and whether or not hitting it big in print is still the dream?

Kelly and Mike are Signing Copies of The Art of War at NYCC TODAY!

If you’re heading out to New York City Comic Con at the Javits Center make sure that you stop by HarperCollins’ table where Kelly and Mike will be signing copies of their incredible graphic novel, The Art of War. They’ll be slinging the ink from 3:30 to 4:30, so you’ve got an hour to get your book autographed and shoot the breeze with these truly inspired gentlemen. Wish I could be there, but you guys will let me know how it goes right?

Keep up to date with the NYCC Facebook Event Page
Get the book right now!
 

Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!

Kelly Talks The Art of War on Scripps News

Ramping up to Kelly and Mike’s awesome appearance this Friday at New York Comic Con, Kelly talked with Andrew A. Smith, of The Memphis Commercial Appeal and Captain Comics, about crafting the unique and brutal world of The Art of War. They talk about The Art of War’s inspiration, Kelly’s use of Sun Tzu’s original text, the writing process and much more.

Head over to Scripps New and give the article a read, and don’t forget, if you’re in the New York area or are attending NYCC, to drop by the HarperCollins booth and get your copy of The Art of War signed by Kelly and Mike!

Keep up to date with the NYCC Facebook Event Page
Get the book right now!
 

Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!

Kelly and Mike will be Signing The Art of War at NYCC!

Book Signing at New York Comic Con
The guys will have a table this time. I swear.

Hey everyone, if you know anything about me you’ll know that I talk about The Art of War a lot, and for good reason. It’s gotten killer reviews from The San Francisco Chronicle, The Austin Chronicle, and even Greg Burgas from Comic Book Resources. Don’t believe me? Check out The Art of War’s official site to read a 3-chapter preview. Lemme warn you now: Prepare to be amazed.

So yeah, the book kicks a lot of ass. So what? Well do you live in the New York area? Are you planning on attending the awesome that is New York City Comic Con? If you answered yes to either of these questions you should absolutely go check out Kelly and Mike at the HarperCollins booth within NYCC! They’ll be signing books on October 12, this coming Friday, from 3:30 – 4:30! You don’t wanna miss this incredible opportunity to meet and greet two awesome creators, the men responsible for one of the most unique works of comics fiction in years. Seriously, you don’t wanna miss this!

If you can make it out, head over to the Javits Convention Center and show the guys a little love. You’ll be glad you did.

Keep up to date with the NYCC Facebook Event Page
Get the book right now!
 

Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!

MvC Origins Character Profiles – Venom, Storm, and Spider-Man

Spider-Man’s been in almost, wait no, he’s been in every single Marvel vs. Capcom game besides X-Men vs. Street Fighter, you know, cause he’s not an X-Man. I really enjoy his most recent incarnation in UMvC3, those Ultimate Web Throw resets are just sick, and throughout the series I’ve always thought he had very cool sprites. Venom though, I never really thought much about Venom.

He’s a great character, but there was nothing about his moveset that ever really spoke to me. Like Spidey, I thought his sprite was awesome – the more tongue and teeth you can show the better – and his sort of symbiote shadow darkness hyper looked great but… I don’t know. I do remember hearing a lot of Venom Fang! while I was playing my friends though.

Storm went from being a really mediocre assist in MvC to being a top tier playable character in MvC2. She continues her run of rock solid dominance in UMvC3, but it’s fun to see that she started out just putting up a wall of wind. Typhoon! Read all about that and more by clicking on the links below!

Venom, Storm, and Spider-ManMarvel Vs. Capcom Origins:Venom Storm Spider-Man