Markwaid.com digital comics tutorial

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Comments

  • Outstanding! Thanks for bringing this link to our attention, @ShawnRichardson (and for providing the tutorial itself, @JeremyRock)!
  • Thanks for posting this Shawn and thanks for the kind words guys!  I've been meaning to share this but I've been sick and sleeping way too much.  It's nice to hear that LUTHER is helping people explore this stuff. 
  • And this is the Balak comic you refrenced right?

    http://balak01.deviantart.com/art/about-DIGITAL-COMICS-111966969

    I hadn't seen it yet, so thanks for sharing - there is so much to learn from that, and from your click guide, it's blowing my mind. I'm working on the first page of something using these techniques (well, trying them out, probably very basically, initially), so I'm excited to read how other people are doing them.
  • It's a cute gimmick, but it's gonna remain a gimmick I'm afraid. I don't see any reason why this would be the saviour of digital comics or the monetizing of digital comics to be honest.

    Multiple clicks for one page? Yeah, I don't see that catching on.

    Don't get me wrong it's nicely done but I'm not holding out for it.

    Also, I don't really see what the big deal with Mark Waid's project is. He's gonna be some sort of Drunkduck or Keenspot? What's the incentive to submit (or be asked) ? 

  • I completely disagree with you.  Once you start playing with controlling the pacing to that extent...  it's addictive.  Being able to depict speed and duration (slow mo, instantaneous - thing about the teleportation effects alone, static panels, etc...) that much more precisely is going to be fun to play with.

    As far as Thrillbent - it's a spot for Mark and his collaborators to experiment with those techniques, invent new ones and share information.  Whether you can submit is completely dependent on Mark and his partners I'd guess, but there's nothing stopping you from setting up your own site that will do exactly what Thrillbent is doing.
  • Yeah, I don't agree either @Marioboon. I think this opens up all kinds of storytelling devices that are completely impossible in other comics. Some people will use them as a gimmick — but that's a given. Others are going to figure out incredibly powerful ways to use them in telling their stories.

    I'm also excited about that timing/pacing stuff that @shawnRichison is talking about — in part, because that's something I take a lot of advantage of in my comics to begin with. I'm also really excited about the cinematic techniques you can pull of in this sub-medium — while still having the reader in complete control of the time element, and not relying on anything except words and pictures.

    And I'm really excited to put my money where my mouth is and start doing digital-first work that integrates this stuff.
  • Well technically this sort of thing has been possible for many many years. It was done in Flash after all.

    I think its comics, but even if it isn't, that doesn't matter. Its an artform (and the critics can figure out what it is after the fact), artists will experiment.

    One plus that I thought it offered was a surprising sense of movement, occasionally verging on animation.
  • So basically the click guide is a script for the "guided view". Great idea and pretty much a must-have for this kind of thing. Doing all that work up front puts the writer and/or artist in control. Graphicly did an awesome job with the guided view on the comics I submitted which were full page and some were fairly challenging. Very impressed with their pan and zoom. But designing specifically to take advantage of that is cool. Usually it feels gimicky to me, but I didn't mind it in the examples there. It's a very fine line to walk. 

    Maybe I'm just old and jaded at webcomics having done "digital-first" serialization/distribution for about 10 years now, maybe because I've seen guided view work pretty well on my full-page print comics through Graphicly, maybe because I remember the Zuda horizontal format, but most of this seems like re-inventing the wheel and calling it new. But, I have to admit, it's tying it all together nicely. And it is pushing the envelope in a couple of areas. Of course, the hardest part is still AFTER you make the comics: trying to get them noticed in the vast internet wasteland. I'm watching closely and hoping it succeeds wildly because that's good for everyone. It doesn't make me want to change a single thing about the way I already make and distribute comics though. I'm a loner, Dottie... a rebel. 
  • By far the biggest problem everyone's had so far is the delivery of comics like that. You pretty much have to create your own app or try and get thru Comixology. I tested the files out on lots of dift readers and they don't work the way they're supposed to. Dj Coffman has also noticed that as well since he's created his...

    Creating an app isn't so bad BUT that shouldn't be what everyone has to do. That's definitely not the answer. Can you imagine having 40 dift apps just to read so and so's comic? Oh, and they're all 40 mbs, 100 mbs, 400 mbs, each...
  • I think if this thing gets big enough, ComiXology will just adapt their reader. Maybe no adapting is necessary ... the webcomic Valentine was on apps before, and it works more or mess the same way as Waid's comic. 

    Either way, I have a few pitches in the pipeline and I'm thinking of rerouting one of them toward Waid's site, if he's game.
  • I completely disagree with you.  Once you start playing with controlling the pacing to that extent...  it's addictive.  Being able to depict speed and duration (slow mo, instantaneous - thing about the teleportation effects alone, static panels, etc...) that much more precisely is going to be fun to play with.

    As far as Thrillbent - it's a spot for Mark and his collaborators to experiment with those techniques, invent new ones and share information.  Whether you can submit is completely dependent on Mark and his partners I'd guess, but there's nothing stopping you from setting up your own site that will do exactly what Thrillbent is doing.

    Well, I've just set up my webcomic. :)
    And the content there is gonna slightly different when it's in print (some panels will be missing in the print version)

    But, I've seen nothing that is new or hasn't been done before in webcomics or print comics.
    @Brandon: what storytelling techniques do you envisage? But correct me if I'm wrong but aren't Thrillbent's comics also done with print in mind? So, if you go to print you lose those techniques.

    I've read the new webcomic and I just read it and the extra clicking you need to do didn't add to the story in my opinion. Sorry, but I'm not seeing what makes this better or more revolutionary than, say, Act-i-vate has been doing for years. Nice art too (who's bankrolling the production? That would be revolutionary in my mind, like Zuda was a bit)

    In the end it's the story, not the gimmick or technique that makes your webcomic a success and whether you can connect with a community
  • Your mileage may vary, @marioboon. It's not something I'm really interested in debating further — not when I'm in the process of putting my money where my mouth is.
  • I see these as the analogous to doing comics in color, but allowing for the fact that they might end up being printed in B&W.  In taking a comic like this to print you might lose the pacing and attention-focusing tricks of that you get with these kinds of panel-by-panel or balloon-by-balloon reveals on a computer – like losing the mood-setting hues or the focus-grabbing saturated highlights when you print a color work in B&W – but the fundamental storytelling methods are still intact, and the work can be appreciated to the extent that the publishing medium allows.
  • That's a good analogy, @JasonAQuest. That's pretty much how I see it, too.

    Or, hell, the difference between reading a serialized comic issue and reading the same issue when it's part of a trade. You can design the issue to be read in one form, or the other — or you can try to serve both masters.
  • edited May 2012

    IMO, the difference between the printed version of LUTHER and the digital version of LUTHER... is a bit like the difference between  the studio version of a song and the live version of the song.  Same song.  Different vibes.

    And we never said that this is the saviour of digital comics.   That's a silly thing to say. 

  • In the end it's the story, not the gimmick or technique that makes your webcomic a success
    @marioboon I don't disagree that story is paramount, and in Waid's case, I think he has a solid enough track record, for me at least, to trust that the story will be interesting and compelling.  I, on the other hand, don't see this as a gimmick, any more than a silent panel, or aspect to aspect storytelling is a gimmick.  Certainly, it's a tool, and one that is most effectively used in the digital realm (in fact, to rebut your point of having to change the comic for print - well, no, you don't actually have to: the images are all still, in fact, static.  So you could print them all.  If they were .gifs or something with animation or motion, then I'd concede your point.  But they are not.).

    There are certainly a number of digital comics aggregate sites, act-i-vate, transmission-x, drunk duck, comic fury, etc.  What I haven't seen is the use of timing the way Mark, Jeremy and Balak have done (actually, there was a Japanese horror comic that used a jump scare after a click quite effectively - but it still involved motion and sound, so "not-quite-comics"...). If you could point out those titles that use similar techniques (a hanging bit of dialogue that appears in a click, a "surprise" panel that appears in a click, or using multiple clicks to determine how fast - or slow - the action moves, all elegantly displayed in the Balak comic I linked to above - which you can't accomplish in print the same way!!!) I'd be much obliged.

    Of course, your opinion is your opinion, Mario, but it sounds a lot like someone saying "ah, we don't need paved roads - these horseless carriages are just a fad and a gimmick - I don't see how adding a motor will do anything my appaloosa mare can't...".  I think as an artist, this opens a realm of possibility that just wasn't there before, in terms of pacing and storytelling.  Seriously, YOU NEVER NEED TO WAIT FOR A PAGE TURN!!  How is that NOT cool?

    In any event, I've got a "love it or be left behind" attitude about the whole thing.  Digital is where the kids live - how many people our age listen to gramophones or phonographs? How about 8 tracks?  Cassette tapes? Almost no one, and few even MOSTLY listen to CDs anymore (and we grew up with them - in fact I started on records, moved to tapes and THEN CDs), MOSTLY people have migrated to mp3s.  Music hasn't died, in fact it's more vibrant and omni-present than ever.  But if you think that getting comics from a DM store is the best way to do it, you might be someone who is helping doom comics to a slow death (no, that won't actually happen, but the point is to be open minded to new techniques - what if we never adopted breaking borders, or foreshortening, or the kirby krackle or whatever?  We'd still all be drawing the Yellow Kid!! chee!).

    I'm with Jason - I see TWO different markets - or two different products for the same market, a digital version that takes advantage of the possibilities inherent in the digital realm, and a paper version that caters to art lovers and collectors (and that might be the same buyer - who doesn't want to sell their product twice to the same person twice?).

    Anyway, just some quick thoughts.  You don't have to love it.  Just don't knock it until you've tried (creating) it.
  • And we never said that this is the saviour of digital comics.   That's a silly thing to say. 

    He may have been picking up that vibe from my enthusiasm, although I never verbalized it as such.  I do feel that this is definitely something that hasn't been done before, to my knowledge, and as such the effort that you and mark et al. are putting towards "educating" comickers is to be applauded.  I personally feel that these techniques deserve to be in the comics lexicon, and I for one will be embracing them.
  • edited May 2012
    There are certainly a number of digital comics aggregate sites, act-i-vate, transmission-x, drunk duck, comic fury, etc.
    And even pointing that out is missing the point of something like Thrillbent. The sites you're listing are internet self-publishing. Things like Thrillbent, the late Zuda, and others — these are internet publishers. Whatever the cost of the content is to read — they're actually paying the people who produce it. It's not up to the people who produce it to do it for free, or to figure out how to make money off of it. Payment is part of the package.

    And now that that payment's getting involved, and we're starting to see more reputable digital publishers created by people with reputations in the industry — I find I'm interested in a way that I've never been with traditional "webcomics."
  • Yes, but it'll be on individual writers to pay artists to do Thrillbent stuff. Waid and Rogers are only paying for their artists. I think.
  • @BrandonSeifert I had a similar understanding as @SteveHorton based on this quote from the blog:

    No advertising yet, as we're still tweaking the page construction.  Yes, I know that means there's no income from this thing.  Until we figure out the best way to get the material out to the humans, Mark and I are supporting the burn rate ourselves.  He sold his fantastic comic collection.  I am using the residuals from the Catwoman movie.

    But my greater point was, artistically, no one is doing what Thrillbent is doing.  And moreover, I think that Thrillbent is also an experiment in that, yes, it's paid web comics work, wherever the bankroll is coming from, but it's also a proof-of-concept: HERE'S HOW WE MONETIZE IT.  Which has been the argument against webcomics for a lot of creators for a long time.  There are ways, and I think Thrillbent is trying to figure out the best one, and hopefully, they'll share what they learn - because the fact is, there is no money in self-publishing (in print).  If you hook up with an established indie house, yeah, you can make money, but if you want to put out your own thing, without going through a publisher at all, you need to go digital to have a hope to make any money.

    Of course, I may have misunderstood something... lol!
  • edited May 2012
    artistically, no one is doing what Thrillbent is doing.
    That's going to change in, oh, about 15 minutes.

    Well, not really. But there is another Skywalker, as it were. Probably several.

    (BTW, can you give a link to that blog post you quoted?)
  • Here's an interesting thought on the subject, in terms of digital cannabalizing print:

  • Mark Waid's 4 Panels that Never Work. I laughed.

    image
  • Good stuff. With a little thought I'll bet we could come up with a bunch more.
  • Does Mark have a well-known beef with Geoff Johns? Or is it friendly ribbing?
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