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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.
In a More To Come interview special episode, Heidi talks with acclaimed indie comics creator Jeff Smith about his Eisner-winning kids’ fantasy epic Bone, his adult sci-fi tale RASL, the advantages and difficulties of being your own publisher, his new Paleolithic webcomic Tuki Save The Humansand much, much more on this episode of Publishers Weekly’s graphic novel podcast. in this podcast from PW Comics World.
Now tune in Fridays at our new, new time for our regularly scheduled podcast!
Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.
In this week’s episode, Heidi and the rest of the More to Come Crew – Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss Batwoman, J. H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and DC’s editorial interference issues, the revived Penny Arcade “Dickwolves” controversy and ramifications for PAX, iFanboy stops operations, Mark Waid turns print comics retailer, Heidi MacDonald gives a talk about less known influential graphic novels at the Library of Congress and much more in this podcast from PW Comics World.
Now tune in Saturdays for our regularly scheduled podcast!
While the Nerdist Industries’ arena event at WonderCon this year was ostensibly about the future of the Youtube based pop culture conglomerate, and, indeed, plenty was said about upcoming projects, the question and answer period really expanded into a call to arms for fans to help directly determine the future of pop culture.
Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick took the stage, joined by panellists Paul Provenza, Troy Conrad, and Matt Bennett, on March 31st, in the lead up to the season finale of The Walking Dead. Hardwick’s job as host of Talking Dead meant there was plenty of frisson in the audience about the upcoming show, and Hardwick teased, but didn’t deliver, spoilers on the show’s finale several times. In fact, he informed the audience that he was about to “get into a car to film Talking Dead” following his WonderCon appearance. Envy at his early viewing of the finale was palpable.
While Hardwick has a cult following as host of Talking Dead, and also from plenty of Nerdist projects, his presence live is even more dynamic, bringing with it plenty of his stand up comedy background. Since it was also Easter Sunday, Hardwick opened with a relevant quip: “That’s one person who came back from the dead and didn’t do it to rip someone’s heart out. Just put the love in it”. About a thousand attendees found this hilarious. Hardwick showed a promo video preview of upcoming Nerdist projects, often punctuated by applause and cheers from the audience when they recognized an anticipated segment or a celebrity guest coming up on a project, and followed by discussing several of the projects in a little more detail with his panellists.
Bennet’s new series, currently being filmed, entitled Nerdy Jobs, a play on Dirty Jobs, got particular attention. The series will involve him visiting nerdy “cool” companies like tech industries and comic book shops to give an insider’s view of working there. Hardwick pondered what Bennett would find to say if he visited NASA for the show: “Uh, sorry about your funding?”. Another big push for Nerdist is the launch of a comedy combination of stand up and improv based on the British series concept Setlist, a competition that will tour around the world. As a veteran of stand up, Hardwick was particularly enthused, commenting that forcing stand up comedians into an improv situation is like “looking for the God particle of comedy”. His request to the audience about the upcoming new shows: “Please don’t feel compelled to say horrible things IN ALL CAPS in comment threads”.
This led Harwick to speak for a moment about Youtube as a venue for hosting programming. Though delivered in a comically serious tone, the message had some bite: “No longer do companies tell us what to watch”. It was the first of several comments that indicated that Hardwick still has a lot to say about the role of open access and its giant-killing capabilities in relation to big media. Nerdist Industries, he said, is going to be expanding, but not along the lines of some of their peers on Youtube, who branch out into “piles of channels”; instead, they are aiming for a “hyper-curated partnership” with 6-8 channels and plenty of intensive “cross promotion”. They are also considering a move, based on fan request, to try out video podcasts, though Hardwick is a little skeptical of why people would want to watch them. Demand has been high enough that he’s prepared to yield to the experiment. Upcoming guests for the video podcast will include Seth Rogan, Steve Young, Scott Adsit and “surprises” too. Nerdist will also, finally, launch a major app to link to its content and, even more surprisingly, will be venturing into filmmaking following their purchase by Legendary Entertainment. They hope to work as producers on smaller budget films in this new role.
While Hardwick was delivering his energetic spiel, Provenza interjected, “Do you ever sleep?”. It was true, Hardwick looked a little peaked. “I have a robot heart”, he intoned, and continued on to the question and answer period. Questions began with a repeat offender from SDCC who Hardwick had once hugged in the past for his super fandom regarding Superman. “Comic Con is about getting super freaked out about stuff you love”, Hardwick reminded the audience (and he would deliver another hug later to a girl dressed as Wario in sympathy with his own Mario Brothers t-shirt). Harwick was then asked what he would do if his girlfriend was found to be “patient zero” in a potential zombie apocalypse. “Oh, I’d shoot her in the fucking head. That’s what you do for your loved ones”, he said without hesitation, to much hilarity, and added that he hoped she’d do the same for him.
He seemed pretty serious about that topic, but not as serious as he became immediately after the question on the subject of open access production. “There is literally no excuse for you not to pursue things that you love now. You are living half a life if you do not pursue the things that you love”, he said, referring to the tools now available for fans and pop culture creators alike. When a middle school teacher asked him for ideas to keep her students interested in pop culture in their newly formed lunch club, he gave a very invested answer, repeating that the most important thing the teacher could do for them would be to get them to “make things”, whether videos, or other media. “Teach them to be creators vs. consumers”, he pleaded, to much approbation from the crowd.
One of Hardwick’s winning qualities that keeps him from drifting too far from his fanbase due to his ever increasing media success is his earnestness, often placing himself in the role of the fan once more. He described himself as a “lamprey” feeding off the “giant sperm whale” of pop culture products and feeling grateful, trying not to “impose” when working with actors from major shows. The Nerdist panel emphasized again that Hardwick still sees himself as an outsider in the mainstream, and an insider to “nerd” culture, no matter how many celebrity friends he accrues. That lends credence to his requests and his advice that fans continue to interact directly with the things they love through becoming “creators” too.
Photo Credits: All photos in this article were taken by semi-professional photographer and pop culture scholar Michele Brittany. She’s an avid photographer of pop culture events. You can learn more about her photography and pop culture scholarship here.
Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.
This week on More To Come 46: Exit JManga, Persepolis Banned, myself, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss the closing of JManga, the Chicago school ban on Persepolis, writer turnover and turmoil at DC, the digital promotion that crashed Comixology and Marvel, a very interesting panel on Fredric Wertham and much more on PWCW’s More to Come. It was a mad crazy two weeks of news and we’re all over it!
Comic book podcasting has become more and more popular over the years, but House To Astonish remains the one to beat. Hosted by Paul O’Brien (hey, that name’s familiar) and Al Kennedy, the fortnightly show is a funny, insightful look at the current top comic books and the world around them. As part of their never-ending mission to interview the world (not true: they don’t typically run interviews), Al came down to Thought Bubble this year to mingle with the stars.
In the process, he put himself in my crosshairs, and we sat on a cannon (true) to talk about how House To Astonish was started, what it’s about… and how Mark Waid was integral to the whole thing starting out.
Steve: How’re you finding Thought Bubble so far?
Al Kennedy: I got thrown out the bar last night at 3am, which is always a good way to start a convention. They moved us out the bar and into the foyer, and then out the foyer and into the street.
Steve: ….So! You were both bloggers before you started House to Astonish. You did 100 Days of Comics, and Paul writes The X-Axis. How did you get started in comics commentary?
Al: I decided to set myself a writing challenge, where I’d write about something every day. I figured that comics would be something I could easily find things to talk about, so every day I did an essay about something to do with them. It was more an exercise in writing discipline than me having 100 burning things to say about comics, but I really enjoyed doing it as well.
Once it wrapped up, Paul and I had known each other for many many years.We were sat in the pub one night and talking about online comics journalism, and thought “well why don’t we do one of these new-fangled podcasts?” Back when we started it was a far less packed field, and that’s where the thing came from.
Steve: Who else was around?
Al: iFanboy… and John Siuntres was already doing his thing… a few others!
Steve: Do you view it podcasting as a community, or does it feel like you’re all in competition?
Al: I think that the field is broad enough and people are doing enough different things to allow for different voices to be heard. I know that there are some groups of podcasters, where if you listen to one, you’re likely to listen to all of them. I know we share an audience with Graeme and Jeff at Wait, What?, for example. There’s certainly some crossover with Evie and Aaron of Awesomed By Comics, as well as Chris and Euge/Chris and Matt at War Rocket Ajax – although I think their audience is larger than ours!
Steve: Many other podcasters focus on reviews and interviews, but House to Astonish starts with a news roundup. Was that always the idea? That the podcast would focus on criticism and commentary?
Al: Yes. We decided to steer away from interviews for the most part… although… I am here to do some interviews… because the thing about doing interviews is that you have a very high bar to clear in John Siuntres. He’s absolutely brilliant, and if you go into podcasting with an aim to do interviews, you’d better be able to keep up with him.
Originally we were going to do a round-up of what people are saying on blogs and message boards as well as an editorial-style polemic we’d deliver each episode. But instead it turned out that we went on tangents and talked nonsense. So we start with news stuff, three reviews, and then some mucking around at the end.
Steve: Do you think of yourself as a journalist? Does podcasting sit alongside journalistic sites like, say, Robot 6, or Comics Reporter?
Al: I don’t see us as journalists. I think we’re commentators, which is a different thing. In terms of comics journalism, there are a few really terrific sites which cover the majority of aspects of the comics industry, and beyond that I don’t think we have that much to offer in terms of actual reportage. We talk about the news and hopefully share some, but we’re both reviewers – Paul obviously has been doing the X-Axis for 15 years, and I’ve done my own bits and pieces through 9th Art and 100 Days. But we don’t report or investigate, and get scoops and news, so I don’t think it’s journalism.
I like to think that especially in light of legal issues – Paul and I are both lawyers in our day jobs – we try to look into stories and work out what is actually going on, and what the ramifications are. We do go beyond the press releases where we can. History is written by the winners, so when you see a legal verdict reporte, there’s often a framing around it which backs whoever won the case. Which is fine, but you need to be able to look beyond it as well. I think just regurgitating news is not helpful to people. If they just wanted to see press releases, they can just go online and find them. I think we offer a discursive aspect beyond mere repetition, and do it with good humour and a bit of insight
Steve: I think that’s the case with your review, as well. Unlike perhaps some other podcasts, you don’t just review the same 3 comics every episode – you’re going beyond the standard choices and picking new comics to review. Is that a conscious decision – to review things other people don’t?
Al: Absolutely. We each order a lot of first issues, which we will not follow up on. We don’t read many issue 2′s. We go through a lot of first issues and starts of new story arcs, new creator teams etc, because we like to keep it varied and bring different things to people’s attention. I know Paul and I are also both Marvel kids at heart, but we do try to make sure at least one of the three books isn’t a big two title, or is non-superhero.
We try also not to have two books by the same publisher, as well. Sometimes it’s unavoidable – we could easily, this week, do three Marvel Now books. This week there’s a new issue #1 for Fantastic Four, Thor, X-Men Legacy, All New X-Men, but we’ll only do one of them, and focus elsewhere for the other two. Colder was also out this week, and that was excellent. 47 Ronin was excellent.
There are a lot of options, and I think it does a disservice when you review the same three books every time.
Steve: Do you ever think to go further and do digital work, or webcomics?
Al: We have done it to some extent with Bandette from Monkeybrain, which was terrific. We tend to have quite a well-trodden remit in that we usually pick three print books. People have asked us to review webcomics and serials, but I think it requires a different approach. Somebody asked if we would review Penny Arcade – but it’s a different format. It’s a three-panel strip, and it’s not the same as reviewing a print issue.
Steve: Do you find with reviewing that it can sometimes be hard, if you know the creators involved? How do you go about reviewing a comic if you know the writer or artist?
Because we only do three books an episode and we’re not in America, doing interviews, we tend to not have as much contact with creators as some other have. I am good friends with Kieron Gillen, but we’ve been friends since before he was a comics writer, and we tend not to review stuff by people we know. Sometimes we do, but we would never review it because they are our friend and we want to give them some publicity. If we do interview someone we know we make sure we’re upfront about it, and call them a friend of the podcast.
I think you have to be upfront, declare the interest you might have, and then be as objective as you can.
Steve: You finish with a feature called The Official Handbook to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, in which you scour the old Marvel handbooks for an obscure character, and then walk listeners through their history, which tends to be really really weird. How did you come up with that idea?
Al: ….this is all lost in the mists of time…
We knew we wanted to do something to round the podcast out which was funny, and we’re both nerds for the official handbook – I have every one that’s been published. We decided it would be fun to look through the handbooks and come up with characters who are silly and ridiculous, and wonder how they could be rehabilitated I think Wizard magazine used to have a feature similar, called Mort of the Month, where they’d pick an old character and slag them off. What we try to do is take that further and wonder if there’s anything we can do to rehabilitate them.
Speaking of the mists of time — I found recently a bit of paper which had all the names we came up with when first trying to name the podcast, and I think I’ll put them up for the 100th episode.
Steve: How did you decide on House to Astonish?
Al: House to Astonish itself came from the Amalgam Comics. In the wake of Marvel vs DC they did a series where two characters would be smooshed into one body – like Darkclaw, who was a mix of Wolverine and Batman. He fought a cross between joker and sabretooth called Hyena. There were some great ones, and they obviously enjoyed doing it – they took Ice Cream Soldier from Easy Company, mixed him with Izzy Cohen from Howling Commandos, and came up with Ice Cream Cone.
Apparently a load of titles were pitched, and Mark Waid pitched House to Astonish, which would mix House of Mystery and Tales to Astonish. I think I read that in 1997 and thought it’d be a fun name.
Steve: How do you think the podcast has developed over the years you’ve done it?
Al: We haven’t changed anything! We’re basically creatures of habit.
We’re better at it, and more confident, I suppose. There were more pregnant pauses and talking rubbish when we were starting out- not that the rubbish quotient has gone down, but we talk better rubbish now. One thing we tried to always do was keep it short – one hour is about as long as you’d want to go.
Joining Comics Should Be Good has been an honour, and it’s terrific to be a bit more well-known and respected than when we started. Our impressions are… better?
I think we’re part of a community now. We’re part of a firmament. we’ve been around so long we’re probably not going away now. In that we’re like Action Comics – once you hit a certain number, you’re here to stay.
Many thanks to Al for his time. And as luck would have it, a new episode of House to Astonish was released only a few hours ago! You can find it at the website, and find Al on Twitter @housetoastonish. Paul is also on Twitter, at @ifdestroyed
As an appetizer for the coming season, we’ve put together some of our favourite Superhero sketches in a special Webisode! You’lll hear Superman is a Jerk, Woman-Man, and the Supervillain Lifetime Achievement Award, plus many more. Enjoy, nerds and non-nerds alike!
The Beat was the guest co-host on this week’s Comic News Insider: Episode 449 with pal Jimmy Aquino. Lots of dishing on the news and reviews of Arrow #1, FF #1, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #1, RIPD City Of The Damned #1. Of those we really loved FF #1…Fraction, Allred and Miss Thing. How can you miss.
Nobody has any idea why this exists, which I guess is precisely why everybody should be thrilled to view it? After first being announced at San Diego during a strange, strange panel which featured live appearances from several members of the cast, the first episode of Marvel’s ALL-WINNERS SQUAD animated webseries has gone online, which sees basically every Marvel character worth caring about… assemble onto one team.
Not since The Champions have we had such a powerful lineup in the same room. We’ve got The Unicorn (Russia’s greatest villain!), Hypno Hustler, Frog-Man, Squirrel Girl, Howard the Duck, Ruby Thursday and Walrus all on this team, you guys. Ruby Thursday, I say! She’s the notch Wolverine is proudest of having on his bedpost. It’s an inspired lineup of heroes. Here’s a photo Marvel took at SDCC with three of the cast members, who are IRL here but are contained to cartoon in the video:
The video is a ridiculous piece of silliness, in which the characters gather round a conference table to find out why they’re there, and what the point of everything is. The basic plot gets set up – no spoilers – and looks like it could be a whole lot of fun. Ruby Thursday has a seductive robot voice. Hypno Hustler speaks exclusively in 1970s Blaxploitation nonsense. And Frog Man appears to be masturbating.
There is little to no reason for this to exist, although apparently Doop will also show up soon – and as everybody knows, Doop Is. So I suppose that will have to be reason enough.
Now, I know some of you are going to look at this and think that Marvel are making fun of the sad-acts who use the internet to talk about comics. Here we have a group of losers, who can’t make it on their own, desperately clinging onto Marvel to provide them with some small semblance of dignity and power. Some of them are perverts, some of them are fat, and one of them is a furry. ISN’T THAT BASICALLY WHAT A MESSAGE BOARD IS?
Not really, no. And hilariously forced subtext aside from me aside, this is quite a fun start. It’s obviously the most cheese you’ve ever seen in the history of your life, but Hypno Hustler alone makes it worth watching. It’s sad that winning characters like DARKSTAR and HEPZIBAH have yet to appear, but maybe – just maybe – this could be the place to finally see the return of Peter Milligan’s finest creation…. RAIN BOY?
Probably not. More likely are appearances from Deadpool, Pixie, D-Man and Batroc The Leaper. Expect a full breakdown once episode 2 hits the net!
It’s not all about San Diego, you know. Deep in the sodden trenches of Southern England comes a quiet-quiet announcement from Uncanny X-Men/Phonogram/Batroc The Leaper writer Kieron Gillen, regarding a new comic-book podcast. Called Decompressed, the podcast will see Gillen interview a series of writers about specific stories they’ve written, going into extreme detail on things like panel layout, storytelling, and the roles played by artist/writer when creating a comic.
The first episode is about Wolverine & The X-Men #13, by Jason Aaron. And wouldn’t you know? Jason Aaron is his first guest on the thing. Apparently it’s pronounced “Air-ron” instead of “Arr-ron”, which sadly takes away a little bit from the ‘is-he-isn’t-he secretly a pirate’ thing he had going on.
Several other writers like Rob Williams and Andy Diggle have volunteered to appear on subsequent episodes, and it’s likely that you may see appearances from people such as Matt Fraction and David Hine at some point, too. Maybe even Jamie McKelvie? No, that’d be crazy. You’d never get those two in a room together.
I sat down with old pal and amazing artist Francesco Francavilla on Sunday at Heroes Con. Always a great interview, Francesco and I talked about his recent work on Batman, upcoming Captain America/Black Widow mini-series, The Black Beetle, cover work, Comic Twart, What Not, and his genuine love for cartooning. You can check out other great interviews I got at Heroes Con over at the Comic News Insider (my podcast) site!
Stepping into the rotating co-host chair this week is good friend Heidi MacDonald (The Beat). Heidi gives a great recap of last week’s big Chicago comic convention, C2E2. Jimmy hopes his real journalist pal wont call him out on his fajournalism. They chat about Jimmy being interviewed in Stated Mag, wish William Shatner a Happy 80th, judge the first pic of Adrianne Palicki in herWonder Woman outfit, Pop Funk Archie t-shirts and the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Seth Rogen movie Paul. News includes: Zack Snyder’s plan for his Superman film, new Sailor Moon in the U.S., The Sandman TV series is back on, Steve Rude needs an intern and Darren Aronofsky leaving the Wolverine movie. Listener feedback and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
The audio on my voice is a bit low, so you may need to use headphones. We had a blast doing it, and Inky the cat even makes a guest appearance.
For those who don’t know, Jimmy’s podcast used to have a regular co-host, Joe Gonzalez, who left the show not to pursue writing or acting or the usual suspects, but rather to spend more time with his charity, the Project Solution, which, rather than trying to solve a macro problem, tries to fix one thing, like building A well, or buying A class textbooks. From where we sit that’s pretty damned awesome. If you’d like to make a difference, check it out.
Should comics panels be written about or recorded for all to hear?
This panel report from APE of Dan Nadel interviewing Daniel Clowes has been linked everywhere, probably because it’s such a thorough write-up. There’s lots of dish on other cartoonists, and anecdotes from the history of alt.comix:
Clowes told a story how the first panel he was ever on was comprised him, Robert Crumb, Gilbert Hernandez, Peter Bagge and Burne Hogarth. Hogarth spent the entire panel yelling at the independent cartoonists on the panel, saying how they were horrible artists.
“He spent almost an entire hour saying how we were the worst artists who ever lived,” recalled Clowes. “It was an audience full of young, hipster kids who wanted to see Robert Crumb and Crumb was not saying a word because Hogarth was rambling on. People started yelling out, ‘Shut up, old man!’ and finally Crumb just slowly leaned back in his chair and did a pratfall. Hogarth didn’t miss a beat, though, he just kept on going. I literally did not say a word on that panel.”
It’s probably been widely quoted because instead of the usual “Where did you get your ideas for WILSON?” questions, Nadel is comfortable enough with Clowes to just rap about comics, as suggested by Peggy Burns.
There’s finally audio of the panel up at Comics Comics, so you can listen for yourself.
Which reminds me of a growing beef — why is the set-up for recording panels at conventions so crap? During the ICV2 Digital and Comics Conference I tried to record them on my Mac but the ambient room audio eluded my technical ability. Milton Griepp used his little dictaphone but the quality wasn’t the best. I have to admit, I think we both screwed the pooch there with something that the average 12-year-old would be able to handle.
I recorded a few NYCC panels with my iPhone — the quality is fine for spoken word purposes. It takes a few minutes to clean and upload the audio files. In short, this is child’s play. So why aren’t all comics panels routinely recorded? I was told that at PAX, the video game conference, they record all the panels and CHARGE for the audio.
Part of this may be the lowly origins of the comic book convention panel. Having been on untold panels in my lifetime, I can attest to the fact that they range from horrific hungover Sunday exercises in awkward phrasing and long pauses best left in the scrapheap, to stimulating once-in-a-lifetime meetings of the mind. But of late it turns out we comics folks have a lot to say and a lot of Internet to say it on. Perhaps the time has come to archive more of these slices of history.
Thankfully, someone with a decent mike was able to record the Nadel/Clowes panel. But we’ve lost a lot of other pieces of our comics heritage along the way. Unless they are all in Mike Catron’s garage somewhere….but that is a post for another time.
Image of Douglas Wolk, Dan Nadel, and Sara Ryan stolen from Coover. Who just got married this weekend to panelist on the above Paul Tobin so big congrats to the happy couple, and here’s a picture of that, taken by Paul Guinan.
Even though THE BEAT and her helper monkey have been talking about Chris Benoit’s brain, that’s not the wrestling talk we have for you today.
As everyone knows, there are a multitude of similarities between the two popular culture whipping boys: brightly-colored outfits, supersized muscles, and so on.
Today, we shine a line on one of our favorite wrestling companies, CHIKARA PRO, and their love of comics. You may have seen them references on MTV recently, talking about wrestling and video games (CHIKARA has a Nintendo-loving garppler on their crew called Player Uno).
CHIKARA’S DVD releases have, for the last couple years, been homages to famous comic book covers. You undoubtedly recognize the originals that inspired these discs.
More after the break
CHIKARA just released their second pod-per-view on Itunes today. For less than the price of one overly-expensive cup of Mocha Frappo coffee, you can check out this crew of wacky Americanized Luchadors, include Los Ice Creams, as well as two of the country’s toughest female grapplers, Daizee Haize and Sara Del Ray.
Also, we’ll have an ashcan edition of our magazine at the Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend reprint our articles about CHIKARA, as well as a trip a few weeks ago to see the WWE minor league wrestling promotions, Ohio Valley Wrestling and Derby City Wrestling, in Louisville.
– Posted by Mark Coale
Clickwheel has been around for a bit as the first company to attempt to take advantage of comics on the iPod. While it hasn’t been maing many headlines lately, it does have some recent updates in regards to the new generation of iPods:
In the wake of Apple’s new iPod line, Clickwheel, the site for creating and distributing comics to iPod and iPhone, is proud to unveil a brand new look as well as added features and content at Clickwheel.net, including community tools and exclusive online content featuring 2000AD’s flagship character, Judge Dredd.
The new Clickwheel front page features an updated look, a built-in player for viewing content on your computer and new features for registered users including: bookmarking tools that alert users when their favorite comics have been updated, a listing of the top ten downloaded features daily and those most recently updated and added, and rating and tagging tools to help both readers and creators enjoy and share their comics.
Among these comics are three pieces exclusive to Clickwheel. For users new to the concept of comics on the iPod we have part two of Colin White’s Comics on small Screens, a series exploring the possibilities of creating comics in this new medium. Clickwheel is also the exclusive home of a new series from the creators of the phenomenally popular webcomic, Brat-Halla called Random Encounters. True to its name, Random Encounters is an RPG/Fantasy driven comic packed with action and humor for fans of any genre. Both of these comics are available as iPod/iPhone formatted comics ready for download, or as PDFs that can be viewed on any PC or iPhone.
Finally, it has been on the wish-list since Clickwheel joined forces with Rebellion/2000AD, but wish no more because Judge Dredd has come to Clickwheel. Judge Dredd: Fifty Year Man is now available online only at Clickwheel, and is sure to please new and old fans of one of comics’ most enduring characters. Fifty Year Man is available for download as an iPod comic, a PDF, or as a Clickwheel video animatic, playable on your iPod, or on your PC via Clickwheel’s homepage player.
In addition to new content, Clickwheel is now offering a new type of content in our comic trailer functionality. At the top of the right hand panel on theClickwheel home pageyou will find a trailer button that will prompt a list of trailers and previews for various print and web comics currently available on the site. This is only the beginning of this feature and we plan to build a one-stop source for previews of all the hottest upcoming comics, much like Apple’s Quicktime page is for movies. Clickwheel trailers can be either PDF or movie files and if you’d like to have your trailer featured at Clickwheel, simply email the file to tim ’at’clickwheel.netand we’ll happily post it for you with no additional steps.
This is just the beginning of what Clickwheel has planned for 07 and 08, and we look forward to offering additional tools and features to help pros and independents alike create and promote their work to the iPod generation.
For more information, we have completely rewrittenour FAQto include in-depth guides to creating comics for iPod, and if you’d like to chime in, we’d love to hear from you inour new forum.
For more information or press inquiries, contact tim ‘at’clickwheel.net
The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald joins us in studio along with up and coming writer Ben McCool for a lengthy and Twitteriffic show! After a tasty BBQ and many drinks, the gang sallies forth to record a show. Uh-oh. 4 chatty folks on beer and wine! Hang on! News includes Free Comic Book Day, Wolverine Nike’s and easter eggs, Sin City 2, Predators reboot, Twitter wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, get a part in Smallville and more! We get into a heated discussion about Twitter and the advantages/disadvantages of it all.
We definitely had a blast doing this show. Jimmy and Joe put on an entertaining, informative show and always know how to treat their guests well. We also taped another show on a different topic that I’ll plug when it goes live. Please take a listen!
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If you have been missing LOST this last couple weeks, well, no new episodes, but this might tide you over for a day or so. The Helper Monkey was on wrestling historian Karl Stern’s podcast today to discuss the season finale, the show as a whole, the greatness of John Locke and Benjamin Linus, the not-so-greatness of Jack Shephard and more.
The other morning, we linked to a Variety report on the option of a yet-unpublished graphic novel called 7th SON. Writer J.C. Hutchins wrote in to explain that is not quite the origin of the source material:
I wanted to let you know that the Variety article you cited was inaccurate in stating that 7th Son was a graphic novel series. It was actually a free “podcast novel” series — free serialized audiobooks that I released in 2006-07. Each week, listeners would receive a new chapter of the audiobook, narrated by me. A pretty cool way to build a fan base, which helped seal the print novel deal for this fall, and the option/development deal with WB.
Hutchins also mentioned that his debut print novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art, has just been published, and he described it as a “transmedia novel:”
Accompanying each copy of the book are more than a dozen tangible “personal effects” items, such as IDs, photos, legal documents and credit cards. These items are referenced in the novel (presented a first-person quasi “case file” presentation) as evidence. When readers combine clues in the novel with clues in these tangible “personal effects,” they are propelled into a story-enhancing narrative told online, via phone and email.
Which certainly sounds immersive if nothing else. We’re not familiar with Hutchins work (yet) but it sounds as if he’s taking advantage of all the media opportunities available to explore new ways of storytelling.
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Secret Origins of Comic-Con. (61.8mb, 67:32)
Participants of the first and early San Diego Comic cons tell their stories of how it all began. Panelist include Richard Alf, Greg Bear, Dave Clark, Ken Krueger, Mike Towry, Scott Shaw!, Barry Alfonso, Roger Freedman, Ken Krueger, and moderated by William R. Lund. This panel gets cut off before it ends due to a dead battery.
Indie Comics Marketing 101. (41.7mb, 45:33)
How to market your comics if you are not a big publisher. Boom! Marketing director Chip Mosher, The Beat’s Heidi McDonald and filling in for Shanon Wheeler is popular blogger and creator Kevin Church. Chip goes through the mindset and some rules on marketing yourself, Heidi and Kevin goes through some do’s and don’ts on the press end. The panel is moderated by the former manager of development and content at MySpace, Sam Humphries.
Spotlight on Jerry Robinson. (41.8mb, 45:43)
Moderator Mark Waid interviews Jerry Robinson about his career in comics, particularly focusing on his early Batman days and his latest work as a guest curator for an exhibition on Superhero comic art.
Golden and Silver Age of Comics. (69.1mb, 75:31) Panelists include Murphy Anderson, Gene Colan, Ramona Fradon, Russ Heath, Jack Katz, Jerry Robinson and Leonard Starr. The group tells stories about their time in comics. The panel is moderated by Mark Evanier.
COMICSPRO: Selling More Comics and Graphic Novels: A Forum for Publishers. (54.9mb, 60:01)
Joe Field (ComicsPro President and Flying Colours owner), Phil Boyle (Coliseum of Comics chain owner) and Judd D’Angelo (Earth 2 chain co-owner) give instructions to publishers and creators on how to sell more comics.
Spotlight on Dwayne McDuffie. (45.8mb, 50:02)
Dwayne McDuffie receives an inkpot award and just does a straight Q&A with the audience. He answers questions about writing comics and animation. In particular about Fantastic Four, Damage Control, Static Shock and the Milestone Universe, Justice League, Teen Titans and Ben 10.
2009 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. (154mb, 169:17)
The Black Panel. (74.1mb, 81:00)
Moderated by Michael Davis. This laugh out loud funny panel’s participants include Ludacris, Michael Jai White, Kel Mitchell, Prdodical Sunn, Jimmy Diggs, Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan, a surprise guest Michelle Nichols. There was also a performance by a singer Asia Lee, Queen of Cali. Artist Ken Lashley was in the crowd and stood up to participate towards the end. There was much promoting of upcoming projects and some Q&A from the audience.
Spotlight on Sheldon Moldoff. (42.4mb, 46:22)
Mark Waid interviews Sheldon Moldoff about his career, in particular about his time working on Batman. Moldoff also talks about the time he sued DC and won (but still continued to work for them) and his very bad experience with Bill Gaines. I should note I missed about the first 5 minutes of the panel.
Spotlight on Denis Kitchen. (94.5mb, 54:04)
Kevin Dooley gave a very long introduction to Denis Kitchen and also ran a quick moving power point showing lots of Kitchen’s underground art. They talked a bit about his career, what he’s doing now and took questions from the audience.
Comic-Con: El Cortez Memories. (45.6mb, 49:51) Moderated by David Scroggy, this panel includes many early comic con goers and they tell funny stories about the old El Cortez hotel the comic con used to be held in. On the panel was Sergio Aragonés, Mike Friedrich, George Clayton Johnston, Jack Katz, Lee Marrs, Mike Royer, William Stout and Mark Evanier.
Harvey Kurtzman Tribute. (46.9mb, 51:14)
Panelists include Paul Levitz, Denis Kitchen, William Stout, Charles Kochman and Harvey’s daughter Nellie Kurtzman. Panel is moderated by Mark Evanier. The group talk about Harvey, his strengths and his career path in an open and honest way.
The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel. (51.9mb, 56:42)
Mark Evanier is the moderator. On the panel is Bill Mumy, Mike Royer, Steve Saffel, and the inspiration for the 5 String Mob from Jimmy Olsen comics, Barry Alfonso, Roger Freedman, William R. Lund, Scott Shaw! and Mike Towry. The panel talks about Jack, point out that several of the audience members also have Jack Kirby connections as well.
Another jam packed and fascinating discussion among people who have a lot to say. nycParticipants:
Print vs. Digital–War, Co-existence, or Collaboration
Publishers, retailers, and others on how the digital revolution will impact on print sales.
- Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Publishing
- Eric Beaulieu, Vice President Premedia, Transcontinental Transmedia
- Dave Bowen, Director of Digital Distribution, Diamond Comic Distributors
- David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Marvel Comics
- Alison Hendon, Youth Selection Team Leader, Brooklyn Public Library
- John Riley, owner of Grasshopper Comics
- Moderated by Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor, Publishers Weekly
Again, thanks to Milton Griepp for making the audio files available to us.