The webcomics blog about webcomics

Things Being Said

How do you feel about words? Particularly words put together to entertain, inform and/or delight? I have some to share with you today.

  • First up, Chris Sims (of Comics Alliance, the Invincible Super-Blog, Awesome Hospital, and Batmanology fame) has dropped one of his excellent thinky pieces — not that I don’t love the funny stuff, like his justly-famous evisceration of Tarot #53 [as NSFW as you possibly can be], but when he’s serious, he’s as good a writer on comics as we have.

    He’s looking at the question of why comic book publishers aren’t doing webcomics to drive interest in their characters (really focusing on Marvel and DC, since one could argue that Dark Horse has had a setup similar to what he’s described via their Myspace Dark Horse Presents, despite the clunky interface), and while the issue has been discussed many places in the past (including this page), Sims has a knack for cutting through the crap.

    What he’s saying makes sense … it makes all the sense in the world, and there are executive types in executive-type offices that need to be giving his arguments serious consideration. Had Zuda [RIP] follow Sims’s model, it would still be with us and DC wouldn’t be trying the Hail Mary pass of rebooting-but-not-really their entire line.

  • In other corners of the internet, Ryan North is talking with Smithsonian magazine’s online arm about … dinosaurs! Yeah, okay, not much of a surprise, topic-wise, but given that Smithsonian is probably the best general-interest magazine being produced in the US today, and given that I’m likely on the low end of the age cohort for their subscriber base, it’s a big deal. Ryan says some words about his creative process, about how his readers teach him about dinosaurs, and some very nice things about Anthony Clark’s Nedroid.
  • Speaking of Nedroid, did you see the very calm (far calmer than I would have been) tweet that Clark dropped earlier today regarding a blatant act of theivery?

    Reminder: There is no official “Nedroid App,” and if you buy one you are getting ripped off.

    Near as I can tell (Clark, rightly, isn’t giving the perp any links and neither will I), this is in reference to an app at an unofficial iOS market that promises Nedroid Comics for the low-low price of only US$1.99, which would be awesome if it were the developer’s legal right to sell them. While we’ve has the discussion on this page in the past about what constitutes fair vs unfair development of webcomics apps, this one is way over the line.

    It’s not an RSS aggregator. It’s not a fancy skin on the browser that directs you to Clark’s site. Near as I can tell (I don’t have an iDevice, nor would I give the developer any money to test my theory), it’s an entire damn archive of Nedroid comics delivered in one big bolus to your phone. I come to this conclusion because the size of the app is helpfully listed as 136.4 MB, and there’s no damn way a non-thieving app could ever require that much space.

    A DMCA takedown request has been sent, which is good. Better would be finding out it had been honored promptly, the developer suitably chastised, and monies recovered on Clark’s behalf. But if I find that app still exists in public form in, say, 48 hours, I will gladly offer to bankroll whatever further legal measures that need to be taken to put a stop to this nonsense.

  • Let’s finish with some happy news. There are words from mad genius toymaker¹ Andy Bell regarding his newest, somewhat fishy, creation. And there’s a sample panel from Chris Eliopolous of his contribution (with Mike Maihack) to a comics adaptation of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller.

    The Storyteller is a particular favorite of his very large body of work (as with a lot of Henson’s late period, it’s animatronic heavy and appealed to a young engineering geek), and the dark nature of original fairy tales (before the Brothers Grimm cleaned them up, way the hell before Disney made them safe) has always appealed to me², so I’m waiting for this one with bated breath. Urge to kill … fading³.

¹ Or “nightmare maker”, I can never remember which.

² More thoughts on fairy tales vis-à-vis webcomics may be found here; had I been thinking when writing that piece, I would have linked the performance fleece line to this comic.

³ Except for the urge to kill some tasty fish. Mmmmm … sashimi.

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