Friday, April 4, 2008

Our Zuda Pitch: The Father In Law Test

When Zuda was first announced, and before there were a lot of details about what Zuda really was, I got all excited thinking it would be a DC's Digital Comics site. - Because, more than just about anything, I want a place where I can go and download the entire Bob Haney/Dick Dillan World's Finest Super-Sons Saga legally. Because you never know when you might be in an Airport and want to read one of those great Bob Haney stories...

...Sadly, Zuda was not a Digital Comics site. It was a Web Comics site.

Initially, I was crushed by this news. Crushed I says! I just KNEW the site was going to be nothing but endless barrages of Emo Comics, PVP imitators and *Humor* comics. (Not Adult Swim Humor, which is great, sometimes, but more like Human Resources PowerPoint Presentation Humor, which is bad, all the time...)

But when High Moon won the first Zuda competition I started to rethink this whole Zuda thing. And comics in general.

Because High Moon passed what I call The Father-In-Law Test. See, I on every other Friday night, I watch a movie with my Father-In-Law. These are typically Action movies that I feel my wife wouldn't be interested in. Sometimes they might be Horror or SciFi, but they always have an simple, straightforward plot and good amount of action.

These are usually movies that did well in the theater and go on to live forever on Showtime and HBO. (The Rock, Pitch Black, Aliens 2, Con Air, Hellboy) - I sort of feel that's the sort of stories that might bring in a bigger audience to the comics medium.

Another term I have for this type of story is 1 Times Larger Than Life with a twist.
Fantastic, but not TOO Fantastic.

You don't overwhelm your audience with too many new concepts all at once.
  • In Aliens, you've seen one Alien already, but now we're gonna fight a bunch of them.
    With Space Marines.
  • In Terminator, we gonna fight a killer robot. From the future.
  • Con Air is a prison movie. On a plane.
In High Moon, I saw a comic that fit this mold and could really break out and catch a wider audience than just about anything being published currently by the big two. (Y the Last Man being the lone exception I think)

The difference between High Moon and Y the Last Man is that High Moon was on the web which makes it infinitely easier for the average joe to stumble across.

The difference between Zuda and other Web Comic sites is that it has Time Warner money behind it.

I believe that if Time Warner really got behind Zuda, AND Zuda had a lot of content like High Moon, then you might see this sleepy Zombie TV Nation of ours rediscover the joy of reading illustrated fiction again!

I know, it sounds like crazy hyperbole, but If I don't pick up the flag and wave it, who will? ;)

So, Pierre (who was thinking something along the same lines) and I started working on our own Zuda project. The idea in my mind was to create something that IF it got accepted by Zuda, would pass my Father-In-Law test.

On the Flipside, if it got rejected, we could easily port it over to Flashback with no changes to it whatsoever. For inspiration, I looked at the old Marvel Premiere and Marvel Spotlight comics. (You know, Deathlok, Solomon Kane, Man-Thing, that type of thing...)

I think that's a good place to stop for today. Next time I'll show you some character designs for our project.

Have an awesome weekend!

1 comment:

Content Digital said...

Jim
You may want to look at both Darkhorse's & Malibu's offshoot line of comics as well. Of course Malibu's was ULTRAVERSE, and Darkhorse had two: Comics Greatest World (and I forget the other)but the majority of those books were styled after action movies. Who knows, you might get thrice inspired. Looking forward to seeing you're concept develop...

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