Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pierre Speaks!

Hi guys,

No this time it won't be Jim entertaining you but Pierre.

As the official Flashback Universe Art Guru, once in a while, I will add my 2 cents to the Flashback Universe blog to either discuss past, present or upcoming Flashback Universe projects, share my experience as an artist, talk about comics, movies, or a thousand other subjects that just don't come to mind right now.

But for this first blog, let me introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me.

As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a comic book artist.

As early as 4 or 5 years old, I would fold in two whatever pieces of paper that I could find and would draw tiny 4 pages comic books. My inspiration at the time was some collectable cards featuring Batman. I would take a card, and make a 4 pages comic based on that card.

Ahhhh the memories.

Sadly growing up.... no one I knew even had a single clue as to how someone could become a comic book artist (or even just an artist). So I had to find out the hard way... and it was a bumpy ride.

Like many other artists, I learned by copying other artists whose work I admired.

First copying poses I liked, then panels, then entire pages.

Then I got my first published drawing. A pin-up of Nova. You can compare it to a more recent drawing of Nova that I did for the "30th anniversary of Nova magazine".

After high school, I still had no idea on what to do to become a comic book artist. All I could think of was to mail some samples to various comic companies, which got me my first rejection letters. So I went to college in Arts, then Graphic Arts, and finally Illustration and Design.

After doing various crappy gigs (posters and business cards), I got my foot in 2D animation. I worked on many TV series (Arthur, Marsupilami, Bob Morane to name just a few) for various animation studios and even a feature film (Heavy Metal 2000, AKA Heavy Metal FAKK 2).

Although not being comic book work, working in animation is still for the most part fun. And I learned a lot in animation that can be applied to doing comics. The coloring style used for Flashback Universe for example pretty much comes from my experience in animation.

Then between some animation gigs, I started dawing comic book pages for various independent publishers. Sadly I quickly discovered that it does not take much for a project (or an independent publisher) to go down the drain. So not much of what I did actually saw print.

Until at some point I met a crazy "buckaroo" called Jim. And you guys can see the result on the Flashback Universe site. ;)

Click to Enlarge...

So how does one become a comic book artist?? Did I finally solve the riddle that has been plaguing me since I was a kid?

I will share with you the secret that has eluded me for so long.

One becomes a comic book artist...

... by drawing comic books. ;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Comic Mondays: Smash Comics 01

Good News, Bad News...

Bad News first - I'm only going to have one free comic today, as this is a 50 meg file, so it took forever to load onto the server.

Good News - It's got a story where a Robot fights a Gorilla.

[ Download Smash Comics 01 ]


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Digital Comics Downloader Update

Thanks to Caine for bringing this to my attention...

Digital Comic Downloader discontinued

Update: 2008-04-25 17:15

I've decided to take down Digital Comic Downloader. I'm all about digital distribution as where comics need to go, so I'm afraid of making it less palatable to companies like Marvel (and others in the future) by causing any cold feet... As I said when I launched DCD, the purpose is not piracy but I have to admit that it is capable of enabling it. (It's probably a bit unrealistic for me to think that because the images are not perfect that users would never choose to spread them around.)

I think Derek's decision here was a very good one. :)

Forgotten Art Credit:

I would also like to credit Sean Kleefeld with the PCDW graphic I used is yesterday's column. Sorry for the oversight.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Paper Comic DeathWatch: Greenskin's Grab Bag

Yes, it's time for another installment of the column some people love and some people hate...

...from an email I received last week

"I like your Flashback comic, but why do you say to hate paper comics? Paper comics will be here forever being that people all love them. I wish to kick you in the head."

Look, just to set the record straight - I don't hate paper comics. I used to love them in fact.

However, given the historical record of comic sales since the 40's, I don't see much of a future for them. EVEN if you were to exclude the effect of rising Manga sales (as Paul Levitz seems wont to do.) AND the rise of trade paperback sales, you'd still be left with the onslaught of digital threats to the industry that seem ready to bust out of the gate any day now.

So, if we are all on the same page now, let's begin collecting the coffin nails...

Item 1: Somebody has found a way to make a 500,000 Gigabyte MP3 Player...

No. That's not a typo. That's 500,000 gigabytes. Now why you would want such a thing is irrelevant. If people can buy a TeraByte capable iPod, well, they are gonna get one (especially if they are mac people, cuz lord know those guys will pony up to the bar for more of that Steve Jobs coolaid, won't they?)

Why I think this is yet another sign of the oncoming paper comic apocalypse is because, well, once you've got a TeraByte capable iPods floating around, people are gonna want to put stuff on them. That's the whole Download/Own It mentality that so many online vendors don't seem to get. Having more room to download and own stuff is just going to enhance this mentality.

So people who have, oh I don't know, a site where you can only read their comics online are gonna get some pressure to make that content available offline...

...unless some joker doesn't find a way to force their hand. See our next item for details.

Item Two: Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited - Now Downloadable?

From Rich Johnston’s highly entertaining Lying In the Gutters…

Apparenty, an industrious individual named Derek Quenneville has built Digital Comic Downloader - an application that will make the Marvel Digital Comics library a little more *portable*

From Derek's site:

What it is

If you're a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, you know how awful the official web viewer is. It displays pages, sure, but it is basically useless for reading. Digital Comic Downloader brings the selected comic down to your hard drive, allowing you to choose which viewing software to use. This makes reading issues a pleasant experience, letting you make the most of your subscription. It can even combine the separate text and art layers of newer comics into flat files!

What it is not

Digital Comic Downloader is not meant for piracy. The issues that you download should be the ones that you're actually about to read (and later delete). Marvel has been very kind in not using encryption or DRM and that needs to be respected.

Further, the downloads produced are not perfect copies, so even if you had a mind to infringe copyright, what you've got is useless for archiving... But great for reading.

Marvel's response so far to Derek's application has been to patch their site so Digital Comic Downloader stops working (until Derek figures out a workaround, which doesn't seem to take him long.)

This little back and forth will entertaining to watch until Marvel brings out the suits. :P

Speaking of Marvel Suits, they, just hired a really big one on the digital side...

Item 3: Marvel has a new EVP for the Global Digital Media Group

From Heidi MacDonald's The Beat

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) has appointed Ira Rubenstein to the position of Executive Vice President of Marvel’s newly launched Global Digital Media Group. In this newly created position, Mr. Rubenstein will oversee Marvel’s digital distribution strategy across all media and platforms.

Ira meet Derek. I think you might learn a lot from him. :D

Meanwhile at DC...

Also on the Beat...Comic sales slip in 1st quarter of 08.

Paul O'Brien tells us it's nothing to worry about due to the fact that last year was a big upturn because of Civil War.

And while, that's probably true, there are quite a few respondents to the post who suggest that it might be a more permanent downturn.

Is it possible that readers are starting to walk away from the big Company Wide Events?

Hasn't everyone been saying this day was coming, and that going down the Event comics road was just a bandaid for a bigger problem?

Well, Marvel seems to be ready to go with Secret Invasion. Sales on the first issue seem to be good (even though there seems to be some question as to whether it actually sold out or not.)

DC on the other hand.
Not so much.

Damn Marvel Indeed. :D

Item 4: Why is Apple buying PA Semi for $278 million?

Some people are speculating that Apple may come out with a bigger PSP type of gaming device.

Other people are suggesting what I’ve been saying all along, that Apple might be working on a portable Mobile Internet Device (or beefing up the iPod Touch.)

I think the latter is the better bet. The gaming market is extremely tough, and currently, even if Apple did come out with an awesome portable gaming device, there are absolutely no games with any hype around them for people to purchase. Apple would almost have to build the first wave of games themselves (A VERY risky proposition) before other game companies would jump on board.

No, I think that you don't have to look any further than Amazon's Kindle to see where Apple is headed with this one. Even though it is heartstoppingly ugly, the Kindle sold out initially. At $400 a pop, that's pretty good. Remember, the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player - it was simply better than anything out at the time. Improving other people's devices is sort of Apple's forte, isn't it?

"But is anyone actually reading/buying books for the Kindle?"

Yes, people are apparently buying quite a lot of eBooks it seems.

So, stringing all these various bits of news together, of course it can only mean one thing. Paper Comics are doomed and no amount of kicks to the face can save them. :D

Total PCDW Points for all Items: 15,000

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Characters to Flashback Universe

Flashback artist Jerry Hinds asked me the other day how do I manage to have the time to work on Flashback while working on other projects AND spending time with my family.

I told Jerry, I honestly don't, and on some occasions, this blog suffers for that...because I can't really sacrifice time from my family. - Especially when my wife is buying kitchen sinks that are bigger than our old sink and I have to spend all night cutting PVC pipe to fit - but that's just a hypothetical situation. ;) with that bit of insider information, I present a little parade of character that have created for Flashback, but haven't used yet...let the picture speak for themselves. :D

First up: Dr. Arcane by Pierre

Next: NyghtShade by Jerry Hinds

King Scarecrow by Pierre (KS actually appeared in Same Time, Next Year, but he'll be showing up in another story soon, so I thought a nice reminder was in order.)

From the Golden Age of Flashback: The Purple Puma by Pierre

That's all for today. I now have to go buy some plumber's putty. :P

Monday, April 21, 2008

Free Comics Monday: More Black Terror

You know, I had this big post typed out discussing a trend I saw on this weekend's Headbangers Ball, then I realized that most of you coming to this blog probably don't care about metal, and to just ramble on about bands you've never heard of, nor care to listen to would make this blog like, uh...the Bad Signal, so I just deleted it.

Today I present 2 more Black Terror comics from Nedor Publishing in the 1940's.

[ Download Exciting Comics 09 ]

[ Download Exciting Comics 10 ]


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our Zuda Pitch: Character Designs

So last Summer while at HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina, Pierre starts talking about how John Byrne said comics should be like Big Summer Movies (or something like that. I have only the vaguest recollection of the conversation as it was a long, fun weekend...)

Anyway, Pierre says he's been posting pictures on a messageboard where other artist hang out and he's got this story idea and he hits me with it...

...Now, I'm not going to tell you what the idea was, because, well, Pierre might want to use it somewhere else one day -

- but let me say this - the idea contained one of those *concepts* I just can't stand - like for instance, Cheerleaders who fight Werewolves! (but that wasn't it) so when Pierre told me his idea I was like, "huh...let me think about it."

Pierre also showed me the pictures he drew for the concept - the first two to the left were among those pictures.

While I didn't like the overall concept so much, I was fascinated with the pictures. I kept asking myself - "Who is this character?"

So with the pictures in hand, I told Pierre I'd find a way to work with his ideas.

So I went home and promptly began to figure out how to take Pierre's story (the good parts) and replace the part I didn't like with something I might have an easier time working with.

Here was the crux of my problem with the story (still using the Cheerleader analogy)

Cheerleaders who fight Werewolves is played.

Werewolves are okay.
Cheerleaders are okay.

But together, they are played.

So, I asked Pierre if we could separate the two main parts of his concept into two different ideas. Pierre - who've I've got to say is just such a trooper when I ask for such changes - agreed. With that, he drew a newer version of the character. (see the third picture on the left.)

When I saw this picture - everything started clicking. I new exactly who this guy was and where he had come from. He was undoubtedly some badass barbarian king who had fought his way to the top of some long forgotten mystical country.

That guy sounded interesting to me.

But it also sounded like we had come in late in the story. I started thinking it might be more interesting to see just how such a guy takes control of his country.

So, I had Pierre whip up another design for me, this time with a younger version. That's the fourth picture on the right.

This one looked great - I've never been 100% sure what Imperious meant, but I *think* this guy's look is about as good a definition as your gonna get.

You'll notice that in this version Pierre ditched the the cape and added this interesting sort of Bone Shoulder pads.

Initially, I wasn't sure of the shoulder pads - they were a little to Football looking.

Still, I sort of liked them.

I also wasn't sure about the chainmail hanging over the arm.

But I did like the idea of a chainmail half shirt - it just makes for a neat visual.

So I suggested a few more tweaks to the character. Then we went through color tests. Always a torturous part of the process, but it can be a lot of fun too.

Pierre also added a neat looking club for the character to use as a weapon.

Eventually, we settled on this final version - a character who has evolved past the barbarian king idea I initially came up with into something quite a bit different.

I've been telling people the concept is basically Deathlok, if Ronnie James Dio had written Deathlok. I don't know how entirely accurate that is, but it's a fun analogy. :D

That's all for today. Next time I'll discuss the painful process of naming a character. :D

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paper Comic DeathWatch: SilverLight

Before I launch into this weeks Paper Comic DeathWatch, I gotta couple of items of business to attend to.

Item 1: You can get PCDW mugs now!

You have no idea how much I am loathe to mention this, but...

You can now buy Flashback Universe Shirts and Mugs at CafePress.

Yes, I know. I am now officially one of *those* guys.

Look. Here's how we got to this point - I made some of these shirts for HeroesCon last year, and while making the PCDW shirts for me and Sean Kleefeld, I thought, "Why not let other people buy them if they are so inclined?"

Not a bad idea on paper, right?

The only problem is that meant I had to tell you guys about them. Ugh. Pimping my own band merch. Next I'll be mashing up Evanescence songs with Anime pictures on YouTube.

On the flipside - The Trex vs Prometheus T-shirt is pretty cool.

Anyway. Let's just move on.

Item 2: I'm interviewed on ContentDigital

For those of you who've been following Flashback since the get go, some of this interview will be familiar, but there a few things in there you may not have heard me say before, so check it out.

Okay, so on with our regularly scheduled Paper Comic DeathWatch.

Today I'm going to talk about a new internet technology, that while it's over a year old, I'm betting most of you have never heard of. Microsoft SilverLight.

SilverLight has been called Microsoft's answer to Adobe Flash.

Like Flash, SilverLight is partly a plugin for web browsers that will allow users to view graphics (both raster and vector formats), animation and audio/video content.

There are many, many reasons why SilverLight is superior to Flash on the development side, but I'll spare you the gory details and web developer jargon.

What SilverLight can do, that Flash can't that's pertinent to us lovers of Digital Comics is a feature called Deep Zoom!

What Deep Zoom allows you to do is take, well GIGS of images, and stream them over the internet in a way that is just absolutely amazing. The idea is that say you have an image that is 8 megapixels in size (a fairly large image, with lots of detail), well with Deep Zoom, you can zoom in and out of the picture examining the details as you wish and only the parts of the picture you are looking at travel across the internet into your browser.

Check out this awesome example of Deep Zoom used live at the Hard Rock Memorabilia site. Note: this site is going to ask you to install the SilverLight plugin to view the content.

After you install the plugin, you will be able to use your mouses scroll wheel to Zoom in and Zoom out of the images on the page (see the colored blocks in the picture below? Each one is a separate high rez image.) Notice how fast this process is.

Where this all comes into play for Comic Books, is that developers are already starting to see the potential for SilverLight as a method for reading Digital Comics.

Here's a developer talking about having seen a presentation discussing such a device:

And here is a talented developer by the name of Jeff Prosise who has built a very nice SilverLight web site called devoted to his collection of Silver Age DC Comic.

The neat thing about this site is you can click on a picture, and when the cover comes up, you can Zoom In and Zoom out with your mouse scroll wheel OR turn the cover around to see the back by clicking and dragging the mouse.

I have also seen a prototype comic reader for the internet in SilverLight that was quite amazing (you could actually flip the pages like a regular comic book.)

Where I think this all comes together is with DC Comics.

Last year, Marvel made a huge media splash with the unveiling of their Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. (A Flash based app btw)

I keep thinking that Time Warner is going to put some major pressure on DC to get busy with an internet project soon - and I don't really count Zuda, because, as far as I know, there is like Zero DC branding on Zuda. Mom and Pop America would never guess that site is related to the company that publishes Batman or Superman.

Somebody at Time Warner is eventually going to see the Marvel Comics DCU site and wonder why DC isn't doing the same thing.

Now if DC wanted to beat Marvel at this game, they would partner up with Microsoft and use SilverLight to build their Digital Comics library. It would be a great way for Microsoft to spread the SilverLight plugin and a good way for DC to take advantage of all of Microsoft's PR muscle.

This idea has already been run by some people at the Microsoft Silverlight team, and they like it. Now, whether DC is ready to start such a project is the question.

PCDW Points: 5000

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free Comics Monday: Cowgirls and Indians

Today I present 2 more comics from Fiction House in the 1950's.

This first one really shows you how mass marketed comics have changed since the 50's in that I don't think you could have a comic simply called Indians anymore. No, nowadays, you'd have to slap an Aliens Vs before Indians. Even then, you'd probably have to pull some sort of shady kickback deal to get a comic store to order a bunch of them. ;)

But enough of that..check out this awesome cover.

[ Download Indians 16 ]

This next comic, well, I think it's plain to see that Fiction House was trying to reach out to that often ostracized female cowpuncher audience. I mean how many times have you seen a comic targeted at girls who like romance comics AND cowboy comics? (Now that I think about it - Dan Slott's She-Hulk run had a little bit of that in it didn't it?)

[ Download Cowgirl Romances 12 ]


Friday, April 11, 2008

Paper Comic DeathWatch: MID Devices

Before I begin this latest installment of PCDW, I'd like to announce that Sean Kleefeld [ ] has won the Paper Comics DeathWatch Logo Contest.

Check out his winning entry!

Thank you Sean! (and everyone else who sent in a logo too.)

Okay, a few weeks ago, I introduced you to the term UMPC or Ultra Mobile PC.
As luck would have it, the current issue of PC Magazine has a nice feature on Ultra Mobile PCs. Now I usually find PC Magazine to be a ho hum collection of articles on How to Get the Most Out of XP! or The Top 50 Free Apps You Need for Your PC!, but this issue has a lot of nice stuff in it, so check out a copy at your local place that still sells books (and you best not tarry, because we know how long those places are gonna be around...)

And before anyone asks - my subscription to PC Magazine was a gift.

Moving on.

Well, this week, I'm gonna introduce you to another term: the MID or Mobile Internet Device. Here are some great videos of a few Mobile Internet Devices in action.

Sneak Peek of Intel based BenQ Mobile Internet Device

The Intel MID

Full article on the Intel Mid Here

The video below comes from Josh Bancroft of

And the Lenovo MID (only available in China currently, but coming to America)

Another video with the incredibly cute Veronica Belmont

PCDW Points for the Oncoming Wave of MID devices: 2000

Paper Comic DeathWatch Bonus Link:

Submitted by RAB (the author of the Fantom Force comic) sent in this great link wherein author, pirate DJ, magazine editor and economist Matt Mason giving the keynote speech at the Medici Summit; Matt talks about the theories in his book The Pirate's Dilemma, which discusses the ways that pirates can benefit society, the economy and the businesses they profit upon.

Now while this has Zero to do with Paper Comics becoming like B/W Television, his thinking is very similar to mine in that the industry should be learning from the pirate scene instead of trying to close it down.

Thank you for the link RAB!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lady Nemo vs Dr. Doom

Sometimes I get emails like this...

Dear Flashback. Do you ever worry that people will think some of your characters, like Lady Nemo, are too similar to some Marvel characters, like Dr. Doom?

- your friend, Benji.

Well, Benji, that's a good question. Let's take a little look at Lady Nemo here...

Now, let's compare her to a recent instance of Dr. Doom...

I think I'm pretty damn safe, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, to help you guys get that horrible bit of Doom Dialogue out of your head, let's imagine what he COULD have said...

Hopefully that will take some of the pain away. :D

Monday, April 7, 2008

Free Comics Monday: Planet Comics

Today I present 2 issues of Planet Comics, a series from Fiction House in the 1950's.
Here's what Wikipedia says about Planet Comics:

As a comic book, Planet Comics was the foremost purveyor of good girl art in the comics, and is considered highly collectible by modern fans of comics' Golden Age. Each page of each story featured at least one large image of a very lovely female, attired in very little in the way of costume, and in particular
displaying long, bare legs.

However, as with many other Fiction House comics, a number of the series developed by Planet Comics upped the ante by providing female heroines who handily defeated the space aliens and interplanetary bad guys, while needing no or little assistance from males. Cynics might have noted that this proto-feminist strategy in effect simply multiplied the number of lovely girls shown per panel, and insured that each and every panel featured at least one smashing spacegirl. Fiction House also employed a number of female artists to work on such tales, particularly Lily Renée, Marcia Snyder, Ruth Atkinson and Fran Hopper, whose art for "Mysta of the Moon" was often stunning. [ Read more here ]

Note from Jim - I will try to find some Mysta issues for another FCM post. For now, check out the awesome covers!

[ Download Planet Comics 71 ]

[ Download Planet Comics 72 ]


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!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paper Comic DeathWatch Logo Contest

Attention Artists, Graphic Designers and anybody else who wants to enter: I need a logo for Paper Comic DeathWatch.

The winner will receive $50, a T-shirt with their winning Logo and a Flashback Universe T-Shirt.

Email entries to

Okay, on to this weeks PCDW notes...

Item 1: MySpace revamps its Comics Home Page

I saw this article on Heidi MacDonald's The Beat...

MySpace for Comic Book relaunches

I don't know if I should award this a lot of points. MySpace is such a damn unnavigable mess of 14 year old girls trying to look 18 and 20 something slacker guys hawking their band merch, that I'm not sure this is really worth a single PCDW point.

Still, Boom Studios did okay with that issue of NorthWind on MySpace didn't they?

And the Home page DOES look pretty nice...

And Joe Quesada moved his My Cup of Joe column from Newsarama to go here...

PCDW Points: 500

Item 2: Steven Grant's thoughts on the state of comic industry...

Steven covers Joe Field's keynote address at the Comics Pro retailers conference adding this bit of interesting commentary...

Field took on a similar, often-repeated retail myth, that comics sell best during economic downturns, such as the one the country's currently experiencing. The theory generally goes like this: in good times consumers gravitate toward more expensive entertainments, but in bad times "cheap" entertainment (i.e. comics) holds more appeal.

By that logic, comics shops are about to enter an unprecedented era of prosperity. Field suggested the assembled retailers not put a lot of stock in the theory, correctly pointing out that in earlier downturns, comics were a cheap entertainment option, but, even when compared to $12 movie tickets, at a starting price of $3 a pop, traditional format comics aren't "cheap" anymore by anyone's definition of the term.

TPBs/graphic novels generally have a better content-to-price ratio
but still require a decent capital outlay that could just as easily go for videogames. (Not that the videogame market is having good times right now.) Our buffer of producing product that only costs ten cents in an era where people only have ten cents to spend is long gone.

Reading this, it's easy to see that when things get *really* tight, people will NOT be cancelling their Netflix memberships, but they'll damn sure pass on that needless Final Crisis/Secret Invasion tie in...

PCDW points: 1000

Item 3: A new toy for Comic Scanners

From Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters

Wizard Magazine recently plugged this product, a scanner described as “Comic Book Collectors Heaven”
The Plustek OpticBook 3600 is “Comic Book Collectors’ Heaven”

Yeah, I'm thinking this is gonna make a lot of peoples lives easier on New Comic Wednesdays. :D

PCDW points: 10000

Tell your friends about my Logo Contest. :)


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