Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES - Digital Beta & you... YES YOU!!

Anyone who follows TSL! knows that digital comics are on my mind, and as a publisher in this modern age, rightly so.
Back when Super Real was getting set for it's print release, I'd hooked up with the fine folks at, the action comics arm of the Joey Manley webcomic empire. ModernTales was the largest subscription based webcomic collective on the web, and Super Real ran for a time there as a webcomic. For various reasons I decided to stop offering the book as a "webcomic" after the print distribution began, but ever since then, I've been eager to get Super Real back in digital format, only hosted directly from the website.

Rather than create manual html based page views, I'd been taking in the digital developments and weighing options. Joey Manley himself created last year, an affordable set of tools (basically the ModernTales creator interface turned public and tied to hosting options) to allow anyone to host their own webcomics. Also in the last year some digital download sites have sprung up, most notably and, offering content (partnered with the websites) for download via PDF or the new CBR format, for a fee anywhere from two dollars to .99 cents.

As, again, I wanted to associate Super Real content with the website proper, and I was skeptical of some of the elements of these sites and their setups (price, format, scope, design), and with Pullbox unwilling to talk about potentially offering Super Real, I'd held off moving forward. However, with what is now four issues of the series out in print, the time felt right to offer the first issue online, digitally, for free (a good way to potentially bring in new readers). Enter my friend Jeremy Rayment, aspiring comic creator, and flash guru who'd set up the Super Real flash trailer from last year. You see, Jeremy had been in contact with me regarding a new flash based reader he was designing for comic books.

Turns out Jeremy had wanted to replicate the feel of reading printed comic books via the web, finding many of the tools he'd seen too foreign to the format he'd come to love from print. Not only that, but he wanted something simple that any creator could easily utilize for displaying their comics on the web. As we talked and things progressed with Super Real, I warmed up to the idea of possibly using this format for my new digital content on the website.

Well, over the last week, Jeremy and I have been working behind the scenes to set that up, and work out some of the kinks of the ereader's interface. The content is now live on the website, and I think, running pretty smooth, but here's where I'd like you TSL! readers to come in... If you'd take a moment and click on over to the new ISSUE INFO & PREVIEWS page of the website, you'll find every issue of Super Real laid out as before, but now clicking on the cover images, you'll find previews for each book, setup via the FLASHBOOK COMIC READER - the complete first issue, and previews for issue 2, 3, and the Special.
Take a spin through there and let me know your thoughts.

What do you think of the reader?
The functionality?
Anything that's missing?
Anything that needs fixed?
A little beta testing before I roll it out to the mass public. :)

Here's the link:

Please let me know what you think!


joeldanford said...

I don't like how each page loads separately.

I have two Bluewing comics online in Flash format. The whole thing loads.. and then you can eaily flip forwards and backwards through it without any lag time.

Something my Ex whipped up for me.

Let ME know what YOU think:

joeldanford said...


Jason Martin said...


Good point, something I brought up with the developer, but I think we lost that thread in our discussion...
I'd also prefer if the entire preview/content continued to load up at first click, behind the scenes, rather than wait for each page spread to be clicked/called.

I'll check out what you've got set up!