As described to PW by 10 companies offering a variety of platforms for producing multimedia-enhanced e-books of all kinds, digital publishing is about creating “enriched” e-books and mobile applications that, in the most basic terms, integrate text into a content ecosystem of audio, video, image, animation, 3-D models, and the like. Of most importance is the fact that these companies are making it easier and more cost-effective for publishers to produce multimedia book projects and distribute them quickly across the full range of digital retail marketplaces, including Apple’s iBookstore and App Store, Google Play, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
More tools for you, me, and everyone!
§ Jacob Canfield has a VERY THOROUGH survey of Student-Run College Comics Magazines from the obvious—Pratt, RISDE—to the not—Wesleyan. Bookmark this one for future studies. A lot of forgotten names and drawings in this one.
§ Author Blake Bell is looking for a couple of super rare Bill Everett books for a project he’s working on; there is a finder’s fee involved.
§ Whatever happened to cartoonist K. Thor Jensen? His RED EYE, BLACK EYE was a fine autobiographical travelogue, but then he concentrated on writing non fiction and raising a family. But he’s back with a Kickstarter! CLOUD STORIES, a new book by K. Thor Jensen, and already about a quarter of the way to a $4000 goal.
§ The book Comics About Cartoonists gets a glowing review at EW—guess they are reviewing comics again, which is great!
§ Some of the most popular comics creators are interviewed in a piece called Why Do We Need Any More Superhero Movies?
Still, some authors have tried to expand the genre’s borders. Both Jemisin and Durham cite Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books as an important influence. Le Guin, the daughter of a pioneering anthropologist, set her young-adult series in an archipelago of islands, and based its culture and religion on Asian and Native American models. Her primary characters in those novels were people of color. Nevertheless, when Jemisin decided to write her own epic fantasy in grad school, she found herself abiding by some of the genre’s most shopworn conventions. Her main character was a man. “I was thinking it had to have a quest in it, with a MacGuffin of Power being brought to a Place of Significance,” she said. The book didn’t quite work, so she set it aside, and when she returned to it a few years later, she decided to start over. She made the main character a woman and, in an even more marked departure from the norm, she decided to have that character narrate the book in the first person. “I knew that what I was writing was inherently defiant of the tropes of epic fantasy,” Jemisin said, “and I wasn’t sure it would be accepted.”
§ And by sheer coincidence, there was a panel on diversity in comics with Joe Illidge, Devin Grayson, and Phil Jimenez.
§ J. Caleb Mozzocco goes all-in on DC’s WTF month, which really is going to be a really dumb thing to look back on when the history of comics in the ‘teens is written.
What reveal would elicit a genuine “WTF” response? Does the other half of the cover show a giant hawk with the head of Julius Schwartz holding a lance in his mouth, which it is plunging into Hawkman? Is it Jefferson Pierce, stripped to the waist and wearing a pair of wings on a harness, shouting, “Hawkman? More like Jive Turkey Man, so says the new BLACKHAWK!” in a big dialogue bubble? Is it Rob Liefeld? Flash Gordon? Shadowhawk? Cerebus, drawn by Dave Sim himself as part of a Joe Bennett-Art Thibert-Dave Sim jam cover? Birdman, signaling a surprise entry into the New 52 by the Hanna-Barbera superheroes? (Look for Blue Falcon and Dyno-Mutt on the right half of April’s Batman and Robin cover!) Is it the restless spirit of John James Audubon, as the All-New, All-Different Gentleman Ghost? Is it me?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.