§ Wired talks to Shannon Wheeler and Jake Parker about comiXology’s new Submit program, where indie creators can submit their work to be carried on the app for a 50/50 revenue share.
GeekDad: For both of you, how does this compare to traditional print publishing of your comics? Jake, I know Missile Mouse was published by Scholastic’s Graphix imprint, but you decided to go the self-published route for Antler Boy. Did you prefer one experience over the other?
Parker: Self publishing has been an education. It made me fully appreciate everything a publisher does. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes that you have to do as a self publisher that I never messed with when I worked with a publisher. That said, I still enjoy that side of things. From promotion to preparing files for the printer everything gets my personal attention. I also like that it’s all on me. If it fails I have no one to blame and if it succeeds I get all the credit. Comparing the printing of Antler Boy versus the digital publishing of Antler Boy there’s a huge imbalance of the amount of work and money involved. Printing and shipping a few thousand books can mean an upfront cost of tens of thousands of dollars. For digital publication there’s zero cost outside of the time you put into it. I can finish drawing it one day and have it available for reading the next.
Wheeler: With print it’s a dice roll. I color the comics on the computer and then wait weeks to see how they look in print. There are multiple variables that affect the final book. Originally, I colored the cartoons to be printed in color in the newspaper so I used full saturation (I call it coloring with a sledge hammer). A solid red on newsprint prints dull. The paper itself has a slight tone that helps tie the page together. When I reprinted the cartoons in comic books I used better paper and the colors popped. Reprinting them digitally is closest to what I see when I’m coloring them. The detail is shocking. Great sometimes and horrifying other times. It’s definitely interesting.
They don’t really get into the business model, but I should note that some Beat commenters have been analyzing the contract here.
§ Everyone knows Archer is savage and brilliant, but did you know it is influenced by underground comix? I’m not sure this piece draws the necessary line between the two, but it’s a nice history of the underground movement.
§ A Warren Ellis FAQ: How I Came Up With Spider Jerusalem. The answer will STUN you! (Not really.)
§ KINGS IN DISGUISE by James Vance and Dan E. Burr is a much admired comics classic that came out more than 20 years ago; and a now a sequel, ON THE ROPES, is out. David L. Ulin reviews it for the LA Times.
§ This isn’t really comics, but author Brad Meltzer and this Chris Eliopoulos will team for Ordinary People Change The World a series of biographical picture books profiling American heroes. First up: Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln. Although the books will be out in 2014, there’s a website where you can buy some merch and make charitable contributions.
§ Arthur Suydam did a variant cover for THE WALKING DEAD which will only be available at the Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
§ This fellow is Kickstarting a movie about the Justice League in hopes of showing Warner Bros. how it’s done. I don’t get how you can make these copyright-busting fan films but if this floats your boat, go and support it.
§ Someone is also Kickstarting Robert A. Heinlein’s CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY. That’s a page of the art by Steve Erwin.
§ But THIS Kickstarter rules all because it has a VOICE OVER BY BILL WATTERSON. I shit you not.
§ This comment by a cartoonist is the best explanation of why Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar boobs song was annoying that I’ve yet seen.
§ I know you all saw this but Grant Morrison Was Right™: Astronaut poop will be used as a radiation shield.
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.