Monday, October 29, 2007

INDUSTRY RANT: The game has changed!

Oh, wait, comics aren't music... damn!

A couple weeks ago though, the music industry changed, with another huge move towards all digital, when Radiohead announced they're new album, In Rainbows, would be released online, and by them, direct. Regardless of what you think of their decision to make the album available at whatever cost, including free, they'll still take in likely bushels more than what a record company would give them. No middleman, no media, just 0's and 1's for pennies on the dollar. Artist makes more, fan pays less, that's what digital can, and I think should, mean.

That's the future of entertainment (at least the near one), and hopefully comics.
I know in the past I've ranted here about the pending switch to direct digital distribution, and the Radiohead model (one adopted suddenly by a slew of other big name artists including NIN, and Madonna) is a perfect illustration, providing the content, directly from the creator, to the public model, with no distribution or manufacturing required.
Holy shit that's nice!
Look, I don't want to bemoan Diamond, or any other cogs in the wheel of the comic book industry, but if an artist can release their work directly to the market, without inflating prices and sharing profits, that's the ideal state. Don't cry for the retailers or any other party who loses out here, they only exist because the artist needs them to reach an audience, and well through the magic of technology, we don't any longer.
Sure, for music, it's much more streamlined, there's no loss (perceived or otherwise) in quality, the product is the same, whereas comics, are still waiting for a better application to replace, or at least make it not so radically different, from paper.
With PSP's, and now Iphones, and other ereader/digital tech on the horizon, it's getting closer at hand.

In Rainbows is just the latest step in that direction, and possibly a big one.

I for one can't wait for the next!

And yes, I know the great majority of comic buyers are old school paper purists, but you can't argue spending $3 for a read vs .25 cents, or even a dollar, you just can't, not once you can nearly replicate the experience via some portable device.
And if you want to further argue that print will always exist, to some extent, fine, no doubt, just like Radiohead plan to release a deluxe disc edition down the road, there will of course still be a potential market for tangible edition items.

Also, before anyone gets too critical of me for wanting a bigger cut of my profits, consider that I'm a self publisher selling in the bottom range of market, a market that's increasingly hostile and unreceptive to my efforts. So to me, digital is an even brighter opportunity to make my art, and passion, viable.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SUPER REAL SPECIAL: VS The Movie Industry / PREVIEW 10 - Josh Howard / PART 2

Since Josh was kind enough to put a link here from his blog, I thought I'd go ahead and share some more of his artwork from the upcoming book, SUPER REAL VS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY SPECIAL.

For those of you new to the game, Super Real follows five reality show participants signed to million dollar contracts to get genetically enhanced, there have been four issues so far, and this is the second special, where I write and collaborate with other artists, this time, placing our cast in lethal situations from blockbuster films!

I've been sharing behind-the-scenes-artwork from the four guest artists, as we lead up to the book's release in comic shops this November.

Here's another page from Josh's 7 page section, featuring participants 4 and 5, in what looks like a graveyard with some undead inhabitants... starting with Josh's inked linework, then to my color treatment, and finally the lettering (for the first time handled by someone besides me, Joshua Crawley)...

What's really afoot in this scene?
What's to become of our cast members?
What kind of cool stuff will Josh get to draw?!?

Tune into the book to find out!! :D
Diamond Order Code SEP073951

Josh isn't the only cool guest artist playing with the Super Real characters and the nutty movie inspired scenarios, there are several more incredible comic creators contributing as well, and there's plenty more behind-the-scenes-artwork in the blog, and much more info on the book at it's website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SUPER REAL SPECIAL: VS The Movie Industry / PREVIEW 9 - Jerry Gaylord / PART 3

Time for more art from the new book (November's almost here!!)...

This time we're going back to my man Jerry Gaylord, and looking at some of his great lines filled in with colors, by me :)
This is the opening two page spread from his section, and he nailed the layout here, getting all the elements to keep the eyes moving across every inch. Of course, the script called for a lot of details and easter eggs (hidden goodies amongst the background etc), making the coloring here very intense...
I'd considered finding another colorist to help out here, but in the end couldn't resist coloring the pages myself.
I really like how it all turned out, now that all the hard work is over with...

Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SUPER REAL SPECIAL: VS The Movie Industry / PREVIEW 8 - Josh Howard / PART 1

Some of you may have heard of this Josh Howard kid, he's done a few Dead@17 mini series for Viper Comics, to big success, a series for Devils Due, and even a book for DC/Minx among other things.

While cranking out his own stellar creations, and taking big time gigs, Josh was kind enough to help out some random dude he met at San Diego Comic-Con a few years back (that's me) with cover art, a couple times over, for Super Real, and being that I don't know when to say when, I even pestered the man into doing some interior pages for the book. Those pages are part of the new/upcoming Super Real Special - SUPER REAL VS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY, due out in comic shops this November.

You may recall in these weeks of behind-the-scenes art previews, that the new special, is double-sized, full color, and wholly written by me, and featuring a slew of amazing artists? Good. Well, if you've been following along, you'll have noticed that we've previewed all 5 of the featured artists (myself included... it's really all about me, me, me isn't it), except, one Mr. Josh Howard, the featured creator of the featured... the big gun as it were.

Well, I'm here with your first glimpse at the awesome pages from Mr. Howard, from the horror inspired section of the book naturally (hey, you don't want to type cast someone, but you gotta admit Josh has made his bread and butter with dark gothic cartoon gals - however, to my recollection, just by him taking this gig, it's his first superpowered work in the industry too... outside of pinups etc).

So anyway, time to show the goods, here's a page from Josh's section...
and it's colored by your truly! (see, I warned you it's all about me)
Yep, I offered to color his pages, and Josh was kind enough to turn over the inked files and let me have at them. Truly an honor! As was working on and assembling this book. I've hesitated to say it was the best thing I've done to date, not wanting to slight the creators who pitched in on the last special, but after adding them to this new books lineup (yes, there's another sixth, as-of-yet-unmentioned section that features most the talent from the last special), and having some very cool pinups added to the mix as well, I'm quite confident, and proud to say, this is the best book ever!! Or at least the best book I've done ;)

So, stay tuned, as we close in on November and the pending release of the book, there's still a boat-load of cool artwork to share!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SUPER REAL SPECIAL: VS The Movie Industry / PREVIEW 7 - Dennis Budd / PART 3

Ooops, I've been MIA for a while, so it's well past time for some more sneak peeks at artwork from the upcoming SUPER REAL VS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY SPECIAL...

This time we've got a pencilled page from Dennis Budd's section...With Holly (participant number 1) kicking some gimp ass, only to be confronted by...

You'll have to tune into the book to find out who, or what, she's facing off with here folks!