Sunfire Ink-Lapse

Sunfire Ink-Lapse

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Time-lapsed video of me inking the Sunfire charity piece.

It’s still up for bid,  the auction ends Sunday at 5:30.

And here’s the final piece in it’s high resolution glory.

Staple! is this weekend!

Staple! is this weekend!

Staple Con, the Independent Media Expo, is happening again this weekend and I’ll be there with the rest of the Space-Gun Crew representing Texas’ best indie comics. Doors open at 11am on Saturday & noon on Sunday. It’s $10 for one day or $15 for both, cash only.

I’ll have prints, a few remaining copies of Senryu and my new 2011 sketchbook for sale.

We’ll be in The Hall at tables five, six and seven. Come on out and see us!

Diamond Digital and the “future” of comics.

Diamond Digital and the “future” of comics.

I’ve read a lot of interesting articles and comments lately about this whole Diamond Digital distribution announcement, and I have to say, it’s complete shit. Now bear in mind I’m speaking from the position of an independent comic creator, one who makes little to no money off of my books, and who has never had anything published by a major company.

First off it’s clear that digital comics are here to stay, and on one hand I admire Diamond for trying to get into that market. On the other hand I see a company that already has a tight, monopolistic grip on the comics industry trying to insert itself into the digital distribution chain for nothing more than a further cut of the profits. (For a detailed rundown on how the system will work check out this interview with Diamonds’s Dave Bowen.)

Anyone with even an inkling into how their LCS orders books knows the issues with Diamond. Late shipments, crap service, high fees (higher for indie books even, so the big 2 always get more shelf space), etc. And as a creator don’t even get me started on their minimum order policy and their habit of dropping indie books mid arc for not selling enough copies.

They’re a monopoly, even if no one wants to publicly say so, and they have a stranglehold on the direct market. For now.

Enter digital comics. Finally, you can now purchase, read and collect comics from the comfort of anywhere. Creators are connected directly to their customers, large companies have standalone apps, and Diamond was getting getting handed its hat. Their answer? Insert themselves back into the digital food chain, take another cut and say we’re helping out local comic shops. And I call bullshit on that.

This will in no way attract new readers to comic shops, and here’s why. Wednesday warriors like myself will always be loyal to a shop. Most of us even have subscription services. I’ll read and preview books digitally but if I really want to support it I’ll buy a hard copy. I vote with my wallet.

Now Joe Six Pack who wants to get an Iron Man or Superman book for his kid, he’s going to use the Marvel or DC apps, or go to Barnes and Noble and pick up a trade. Adding another step in the process, where he has to go to a physical store, order a digital copy, have a coupon printed, and then redeem that through the iVerse app? Sorry, not gonna’ happen.

To quote my studio mate Jake Ekiss “Diamond comics, bringing you yesterday’s comics tomorrow.”

And what does the profit breakdown look like for the creators, publishers, distributors, etc.? Well honestly I have no idea, but here’s a guesstimate based on what I know.

Apple usually takes 30% and Diamond’s traditional cut is 60%. That’s already 90%, or $1.80 from a $2.00 comic. Then take out whatever iVerse gets, plus the retailers cut, and then the publishers fee. The rest, if any, might make its way back to the creative team that actually made the book. How that is any help for the comics industry, pros, retailers or fans is beyond me.

In trying to get their cut of the pie they are only going to alienate their existing audience, while the masses will have no real idea what’s even going on. General consumers want to order from the bathroom, and hardcore fans will always support their local shop.

David Hopkins has a much more positive take on the subject on his blog, but I fail to see how this is good for anyone but Diamond. Putting another gear in a system that is already failing is not the answer.

So what’s in for Diamond in the end? Well, they get to stay in business and seem relevant in an age where they are increasingly marginalized and seen for what they are, a burden instead of a blessing.

All things Kirby

So I’ve come across a lot of Jack Kirby related goodness over the past few days and wanted to share. First up, an amazing blog with tons of high resolution Kirby scans, art and insight into the work he created. Check it out here – Kirby Dynamics.

And then there are a a couple of videos of Jack Kirby, one an interview on Entertainment Tonight and another of him drawing Dr. Doom in his home studio in 1983.

Oh, and one more link detailing Kirby’s obsession and eventual use of The Ancient Astronaut Theory in his work.


Senryu – $2 Digital Edition now available

Senryu – $2 Digital Edition now available

With direct-to-consumer digital downloads all the rage I thought I’d jump into the fray and offer up Senryu in a special digital collected-edition for anyone who likes to read comics on their iPad, iPhone, laptop or other PDF e-reader of choice.

That’s right kiddies, you can now get a beautiful high resolution digital copy Senryu, complete with extras for only $2.

The time seems right and with more creators offering up their work directly to their fans and consumers I thought it would be a good experiment to release Senryu this way and see what happened.

Click here to buy the book.

One of the main goals of our comic studio for 2011 is to have more of an impact in the digital world, and this will serve as somewhat of a test bed for that process.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Holidays, deadlines and a new year, oh my!

Holidays, deadlines and a new year, oh my!

As is often the case when I’m under the gun with deadlines and other work madness I’ve  been neglecting the blog. My last post was November 18th so it’s been a good 2 months of craziness with new gigs, deadlines, holidays, family matters and all other sorts of distractions.

They’ve mostly been the good kind of distractions, including a new contractor gig as Art Director for Idea-Loop, a web and mobile app dev shop born from the ashes of the original crew let go from Rockfish Interactive when the new management came in and cleaned house. Coupled with holidays, new work deadlines and some personal issues I’m just now getting caught up on the new year and at a place where I can post again.

One horribly bad distraction was the  sudden and crippling near-deadline death of my beloved PC.  Thankfully my data is all tripled archived, but with a looming deadline and no working machine I was more than frustrated. Thanks to a favor from a friend I managed to get the work done on a borrowed machine. I’ve since repaired the beast (it was a blown power supply) and setup a second, alternate workstation for emergencies consisting of an old laptop and Intuos 3 tablet.

The main setup with new 24 inch monitor.

The alt setup, for when something else dies.

With that taken care of I was able to meet the deadlines and get back up to speed on plans for the new year. Plans that  so far include a trip to Austin for Staple!, another Dallas Comic Con or two and a Space-Gun Studios retreat coming up  where we’ll be planning our world domination for 2011.

So hopefully I’ll be posting more art and design in the near future, and will be able to include some of the design projects I’ve been having to keep under warps, including some sweet iPhone and iPad apps.

So here’s to 2011 and its slow but steady start!