Friday, January 29, 2010

No Comic Reviews This Week

No comics came in for me this week and I'm still waiting on a few Amazon orders so I have nothing to review at the moment.

I'm also still trying to collect my thoughts on the iPad. I think it's an impressive piece of technology and it has people excited about what they can do with it. But I don't see myself owning one any time soon if at all. I think it may just be one of those things I watch from the sidelines to see where it goes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DrunkDuck and EZ Prints

So it seems that the DrunkDuck server upgrade (which has resulted in several weekends of semi-downtime, comics viewable but nothing else) is connected to a deal struck between Platinum Studios and EZ Print to connect DrunkDuck (and its users) with EZ Print so they can sell merchandise for their comics more easily.

My first thought was that this seems kind of nice for some people. Users who may not know about setting up a store on other sites similar to EZ Print, who don't know how to go about it and are a little scared or reluctant, may go for EZ Print (if they are convinced it's as easy as they're saying it will be). And users who don't want to set up with EZ Print (for whatever reason, such as the ability to set your own prices/markup which it appears EZ Print will not allow DrunkDuck users to do) will still have the option of linking to other stores/sites on their DrunkDuck comic. And so people may be able to sell a few things to make a bit of money of their hard work.

Though some of the optimism I'm seeing seems a little rushed. When the feature goes online there will most likely be a rush of DrunkDuckers putting up merchandise in the hopes of quick money. If you're not already making money off your comic than this seems really unlikely to me, there just won't be the demand for merchandise from so many of the comics. Sure, you'll probably sell a couple things to friends or the few followers you have and it'll be nice to get a bit of extra money, but I think that will be it.

Obviously, it also depends on your comic. Some comics people enjoy reading but they may not be up for wearing a shirt or buying a coffee mug from it. Other comics, people probably don't read but if they have cute zombie teddy bear ninjas that look cool then you may do okay.

In the end, I like that they're adding the feature. It seems okay and may help some webcomic creators on there. And considering how slow Platinum has been in doing anything with DrunkDuck (other than keeping it running) it's nice to get something from them. But I don't necessarily see it as a game changer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Webcomic Sucks... Yet I Keep Going

Okay, I don't know if I should really say it sucks, it's just not that good. When I started it I was naive. I didn't really know what I was doing or just what it takes to make a good comic. But then again, I wasn't looking to make a living off it or become some sort of comicbook superstar. I just wanted to make a comic and I thought I had a decent idea for a story or at least a story I wanted to tell even if I didn't know who I wanted to tell it to. So given my opinion of my work, why do I keep going?

Over the years (yes, "years") I've been working on it I've had ups and downs both in my personal life and in doing the comic. I've learned a lot about making a comic, either through trial and error or through very constructive criticism I've gotten or through reading some really great advice (either online or in various books). I know I still have lots to learn, and I really have to do a better job of applying what I've already learned, but I like to think I've improved. And despite some depressing times, times where nobody seemed to be reading it and yet I was spending so much of my free time doing it, I kept pushing through (other than one break after chapter 1).

So I guess in the end I continue to do webcomics because I have ideas, ideas I think would make for good stories (whether others agree with this remains to be seen). And I want to get better so they get told in a way that does them justice. Why I continue to work on my current webcomic instead of starting over (either on it or on a different story), it mostly comes down to wanting to finish it. I started it believing this was a story I wanted to tell and I still feel that way. I want to see it through to the end despite it's very shakey beginnings (can't stress that enough, I sometimes go back and cringe at some of the art and storytelling). There will be no money for me (I'll definitely be in the minus on this one with the stuff I've bought to do the comic) and I'll never have the readership of a successful webcomic but it will be something I can say I did.

Plus, if I just stop and start over it's just one more step to never being satisfied with my work to the point where I'll never put any of it out. I've always had issues with not being satisfied with my work (which you can probably tell from this post) so if I wait until I'm happy with my own work, it'll never happen.

And so Divine Leap continues. Just wanted to get some of this off my chest.

Weekly Comic Reviews for January 20, 2010

A whopping one book came out for me this week. Though that appears to be one more than next week. And with my usual Zuda reads either ending or taking a break it seems like I'm hitting a lull in comic reading.

Incredible Hulk #606 -- First up, I usually like Paul Pelletier's art but he, and the rest of the art team, really knocked this one out of the park. Absolutely beautiful art while not sacrificing storytelling. In terms of the story, I often seem to have mixed feelings of Pak's work. I like his stories and in the end, I find them satisfying. But in terms of the issues I often feel like I'm playing catch up or missing something as things seem to jump around. Sometimes this can work, but not in every story. As Banner jumps around in this issue I felt that way. In the end there was some cool stuff but some confusing moments. It gets the Fall of the Hulks storyline off to an interesting start. I won't be collecting all of the Fall of the Hulks (at least not the Red Hulk or the Jeph Loeb Hulk series) so we'll see how that goes for me. This book was good though and I'm curious to see where things go.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weekly Comic Review for January 13th, 2010

Only one book this week...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31 -- I have to say that this issue was better than some of the previous issues. It flowed a bit better and was a little easier to follow along. Though I did feel the dialogue was a little awkward at times, but maybe that's just Buffy being Buffy (and I just didn't have this problem when I was watching it on TV for some reason... which seems odd, you'd think comic dialogue should be easier). Having said that, this issue still seemed awkward to me. Not necessarily in the storytelling but in the story that was told. It felt more like "Hey, we have to cover a few story elements that we need set up by the next storyline, we'll just fill an issue with them." Not a bad issue, but not really bringing the story out of its funk either.

And as an additional comment, I have to admit that I'm really upset with Dark Horse's handling of Twilight's identity. They keep saying that there's more to the story and promoting the spoiler doesn't ruin anything but I have to disagree. I don't want any of the story spoiled, I want to experience it as it should be (ie. reading it in the comic). Revealing the character's identity outside of the comic just weakens the comic in my mind. And it's not like I went looking for spoilers, they put it out there. To be honest, it felt like a complete slap in the face to someone who's been reading this series for the last 4 years waiting for the reveal. I've said that I'll be stopping with the monthlies once Buffy is done but them doing this made me consider dropping them earlier.

Image's $1 books

In regards to Image selling some first issues for $1, at first I thought it was interesting and saw one or two I might be interested in checking out. But then I thought "You know, I'd rather them just put these first issues online." I'm not going all "environmental" or anything but I really don't need a physical copy of a book that I may or may not be interested in. I could pick it up and recycle it I suppose but there's still an environment cost to that. And reading the first books online is how I got started on Invincible after all (they posted them legally, I didn't steal). I know this promotion is tied in with the Free Comic Day and aims at getting people into the stores so in terms of that aim, putting them online would be the exact opposite but for me, it would work in maybe getting me interested in picking up a new series.

So in the end, I probably won't ask my store to order me any though if I'm having a slow week I may crack and grab one or two from the shelf.

But I know, I'm already going into the store regularly and buying books (at least for the time being) so I'm not really the target audience for this promotion either.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Weekly Comic Review for January 6th, 2010

No new books came out for me. So instead, I'll give a quick blurb about other comics I've been reading lately (in trade paperback).

Jack of Fables volumes 1-6 -- I didn't expect to enjoy this series as much as I enjoy Fables, Jack didn't seem to be one of my top characters from that series. But thanks to a strong supporting cast and some great writing, I really enjoyed it. A lot more than I thought I would. The Pathetic Fallacy and Babe the Blue Ox are two of my favourites. I was surprised that the story starts going into so much of the Fables backstory/universe, I would have expected that to come up more in the main Fables series. I also don't really know how I feel about where that part of the story is going but I guess I'll know more after reading the Great Fables Crossover. In the end though, a great series and another book to add to my trade paperback purchasing.

Logicomix -- I suppose I'm a bit of a math geek. Not a huge math geek but I do have a bit of a background in the field. So the math behind the story did interest me. For non-math geeks, it may be a little daunting. But this book about some of the people behind the math and the people behind this book itself is a compelling character story. I was entirely sucked into their world and the people. It admittedly varies from history in some parts for artistic license type reasons but I'm glad they admit to it and point out some of their "changes". If you have a math history and enjoy comics, buy this book. If you enjoy comics and can look beyond the math, you'll still get an amazing story. Really great work.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Toys

I guess I should admit that I saved the biggest Christmas gift for myself. I recently received the MacBook Pro and 12" Wacom Cintiq I ordered. I'm also giving Manga Studio 4 a try. Not sure if it'll improve Divine Leap or help me work faster but I've been talking about getting it for a while now and finally decided to treat myself. For the moment though, until I get used to it, I'm still working with my old Graphire4 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.