Ok, I may have missed “Talk like a Pirate Day”– but we’re talking about a whole other thing here.
On this week’s page, I mentioned that I wanted to try a little experiment out– so, here’s the grand unveiling:
I pirated our comic.
(Which begs the question, is it really pirating if you own it? Or is it distributing?)
Whatever your thoughts on Digital Comic distribution or Piracy are, there’s one thing you can’t dispute: it’s here and it’s here to stay. There are arguments on both ends of the issue– Ron Marz has a great reputation as a creator who stands up against piracy. On the other hand, there are those who argue that piracy actually helps sales. (at least with Anime in the study)
At the end of the day though, we aren’t pirating here– we own Spy6teen, so we can do whatever we want with it. Including distributing it on torrent sites.
I chose to package and upload our Spy6teen torrent on Demonoid.me, which rides the #2 position in terms of popularity– just shy of the world’s most famous torrent site: The Pirate Bay.
Doing my research, Demonoid seemed to be a good choice- It’s community driven and polices against viruses. Plus it is porn free. All of which were important to me in releasing our comic via a torrent site.
We released it a few hours ago and are already sitting somewhere around 87 downloads (that I can track, at least)– Yes, it was totally by design that I chose to release it today, Wednesday = New Comic Day– so what better day to pop ‘er up than on 0-day.
Timing-wise, it was also kind of interesting to release this week– as a flood of new DC #1s hit the scan sites, why not introduce them to another first issue?
As the day/week goes on, we’ll see how effective this method of distribution is going to be– will folks swing over to the site after reading our first issue? I’d hope so, since most of them are reading other comics on their computers. Will they pick up a digital issue? (I assume not)– will they drop us a donation? (Don’t know)
All that said, as a distribution method, I think if you’re a small independent publisher/author/team, this is something you should really look into. As is, I can’t really afford to do a massive print run of our comic– and the simple fact is, I REALLY can’t afford to print 2,500 copies of the book– which is what Diamond (the Comic Book Distributor) requires to even get our book INTO shops– and that’s if they decide they want to carry it.
Basically, if you aren’t in Diamond, you aren’t in comic book stores.
But, releasing via torrent:
we’re basically on the same shelf space as every other major title releasing this week.
Morality of piracy aside, as a tiny, tiny, tiny, publisher– this is an opportunity we need to be looking at.
So that’s that– it’s up an available, and if you’re interested in helping us out, download and seed Spy6teen #1 here:
So, raise those sails and avast…and…well…I….I don’t really speak pirate…Johnny Depp or something.
Be back next week with a look at how Operation Torrent went!
Welcome back for PAGE 15!!
It’s great to be back after a fantastic 3-day weekend (which happened to be a birthday weekend for yours truly)—Now that summer is officially wrapping up (although, if you live in the US, it might not feel like it!) I’m starting to feel like I’m getting back on track with Spy6teen.
The summer was a ton of fun, but between juggling the freelance-day job, and keeping up with visiting friends and going out of town, I was having a hard time balancing out the comic stuff—For example, I’m now impossibly behind on Blog@16, but I do promise to get rolling again on that particular feature.
I’m still happy to report that we’ve only “missed” one day of the main feature though—and hey, 1 out of 59 ain’t anything to shake a stick at.
(Wow…59 pages? I didn’t even realize until now we’ve come this far!)
This week we delve a little further into Anton Vess and reveal him to be the “Big Bad” behind the Chaos Imperious—I’m pretty sure most of you saw this reveal coming, but obviously from a story standpoint: We have to connect the dots.
If there’s one thing I love about this page it’s that we finally get to reveal the Imperious’ motivation: Destroy the World!!
That’s something that has been in place since the start of Spy6teen—when it came to developing a foil for Cally, I really wanted to called back to the old school villains of my youth: Dr. Doom, Dark Phoenix, good ‘ole Cthulhu!
The way I figure it, if you’re gonna go bad, go BIG! And nothing is bigger than a plot to destroy the world…not take it over, nope: Destroy!
That said, the motivation has been thought out: Over the last few generations of genre fiction, we have seen Villain motivation evolve—After all, why would you want to destroy the world? Don’t you LIVE here?!
There was a general shift where Super Villains stopped attempting to destroy, and instead RULE — Cobra Commander, I’m looking in your direction…
I think as the world has become a smaller and more complex place, the idea of a megalomaniac wanting to rule the world has become a bit outdated as well. I sort of chuckle at the thought of Cobra Commander having to attend Worldly Budget Meetings and having to deal with lobbyists. So, back to basics: Let’s destroy the world!
That said, we’re not quite seeing the full picture here: Although destroying the world sounds pretty insane, Vess is a chaotically brilliant man—he’s got a reason!!
We aimed for something different on this page: Sort of a montage of the two sides of Vess. That said, I went WAY overboard on the CAPS/Dialogue on the page, which necessitated an early morning Me/Brant/DJ editing session.
As far as artwork, DJ did a pretty bang up job on the culmination of our “infodump” section—I really wanted to go out with a bang for this chapter of the book, and I think the full body Vess shot, along with the Imperious/Army troops in the background quite visually tells the story.
That said, because I had so much “page room”, I really mucked up with a ton of expansionary dialogue. I gotta hand it to Editor DJ, who managed to whittle down my overwrought explanations for Vess’ rise to power, while maintaining the core ideas.
Again, Lisa’s colors create both a sense of mood and time. She maintains a Sepia-ish tone for the main image of the page—indicating a “past time” as she had throughout our Flashback sequence on the previous pages. I’m a fan of how Vess’ decent into madness matches the same palette we see on this page– creating a kind of color continuity.
Still, I think everyone is going to be happy once we’ve finally moved Cally and the gang out of these dreary caves!
Brant flagged DJ (Kirkbride) and myself fairly early on– He did an initial layout of the page during the flatting stage and discovered, no matter how you sliced it, it just wasn’t going to work.
DJ hopped to work with his red pen and razor blade (he carries them around with him at all times, it’s impressive!) and got to editing. We bounced a few emails back and forth and by this morning had the page you see before you.
if you happened to have swung by yesterday, our last panel looked like this:
Now, obviously Brant did everything he could to maintain Conrad’s final line– which was meant to lead into a bit of a “pet” line for me at the start of next week’s page. Brant provided two versions, one with the “How” line and one without. My first reaction was to maintain the script and keep the “How?” line– but after sleeping on it for a night, I’ve decided to pull it out.
Here’s the thing: Although there isn’t anything technically “wrong” with the “How?” line, it isn’t very aesthetic– Again, no fault of Brant’s at all– he did his best to make the line work, and really– that’s just the only way to do it.
But my job (and Editor DJ) at the end of the day is to make the book work– to make it look as clean and professional as we can humanly make it. DJ shot me an email to let me know that he strongly preferred the non-”How?” version– and (after a good night’s sleep) I have to agree.
So, that’s that– no “How?”– we’ll make next week’s page work without it!
Probably one of the best things about working in this weekly web format is that we can change on the fly like this– Can’t think of any other mass communication storytelling medium that allows for these on-the-fly re-edits…
…well, unless you’re George Lucas and Star Wars…
So as of our next page we’ll finally be moving out of Flashback/Infodump mode– and man am I ready for it! We finally get back to Cally and the main story as we round into the final story beats of this issue!
As soon as I get a chance, I’ll have our Top Web Comics incentive image updated!
and by that, I mean as soon as I reset my password for both Flickr and Top Web Comics, as I’ve managed to lock myself out of both accounts!!
A quick word of thanks (and perhaps our first No-Prize!) to Emote Control, who put together a really great comment on why the MK-Black higher ups might have brought Anton Vess on to begin with! You guys should check it out on last week’s page!
Lots of fun stuff coming up, gang! We’ll be back next week: Same Spy Time, same Spy URL!!
NEXT WEEK: CALLY BACK IN ACTION!!
Well, that time of year is upon us again– heck, it was a year ago almost to the day that I posted up the first PRE-SDCC blog! Kind of weird going back and reading that!
Most of it still holds up, though. Like last year, I’m on a limited time schedule– only heading down to San Diego for the weekend– basically, Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning/early afternoon. If there’s one thing that you can absolutely count on, traffic is horrible leaving San Diego– so, I’m expecting at least a 4 hour commute to a 2 hour drive.
Here’s more or less my plan for the Con– That said, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Con, it’s that fun is often the reward when you go OFF plan.
So, this is the general idea of where I might be:
Because of the work schedule (oddly, working on a project that is AT Comic Con) I won’t get a chance to head down until about 5pm– which lands me in the Gaslamp Quarter around 8 or 9PM– Just enough time to meet up with friends, eat awesome San Diego Fish Tacos, and party into the late night–
This is likely the evening that I’ll hit up TRICKSTER in the after hours– If you haven’t heard about Trickster, it’s sort of a mini-con/shop/hangout created by a collection of Indie and Creator Owned Comic Book talent that decided to create an alternate venue from the madness of the Convention Center–
Since the Eisners are Friday night, it should be a fun party night filled with a lot of celebrating– Hoping that my nominated pals bring home the statue!
(And no, Editor DJ is not nominated this year!)
Saturday starts CON FLOOR day–I’ll likely be all over the place– Kicking off by dropping some of the Spy6teen cards over on the Sails freebie table– The good thing about that table is, no matter what: people take stuff. I have no idea what creates the frenzy mentality of nabbing…well, anything (does anyone REALLY need a postcard that advertises the relaunch of Starlog magazine?) — but I do hope that we nab at least one or two new readers from the freebie table!
From there, it’ll be off to the floor– Meeting up with pals at their booths/Artist Alley and doing some general networking. In general, I try to skirt shy of the mega-booths– as traffic gets…well, “congested” would be putting it lightly.
The Panels I HOPE to get to are as follows:
2:30-3:30 Digital Disruption: Comics, Webcomics, and the Business Model of the Future— The explosion of online digital distribution — not all of it authorized — has created both challenges and opportunities for comics creators and publishers. What is the business model of the future? What can we learn from the webcomics movement? How have other media created innovative money-making solutions for creators? Comics industry legend Mark Waid (Daredevil) and webcomics pioneer Scott Kurtz (PvP) conduct a no-holds-barred discussion on competing with “free,” confronting the torrents, and bringing marketable value to the comics audience today. Moderated by Bruce Lidl (PeerPress.net). Room 8
(I’ve said it before on Blog@16: When Mark Waid talks, it’s a good idea to listen!)
3:00-4:00 The Write Stuff III: Writing for Genre Television and Beyond— Meet the writers and producers who make genre entertainment what it is today, and get an incredible insider look from the scribes behind some of today’s hottest genre shows as they share their candid thoughts on how to make the series we love (and sometimes loathe). Find out the secrets to getting TV shows made and how to break in and break out in today’s highly competitive broadcast environment — and why network executives actually care about what you write on message boards. No canned speeches and press releases here — get the straight scoop from television’s most talented writers and producers, including Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman, Lost), Ashley E. Miller (Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas, The Gates, Riverworld), Steve Kriozere (NCIS, Femme Fatales), Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series), Gabrielle Stanton (The Vampire Chronicles, Haven), Jose Molina (Firefly, Terra Nova), Amy Berg (Eureka, Leverage), and Mark A. Altman (Femme Fatales, Castle). Moderated by Jeff Goldsmith (The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith) hosts. Room 23ABC
(Already a scheduling conflict!!)
5:00-6:00 Pitch Perfect— Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience founder, former Marvel and IDW editor) and panelists John Layman (Chew) and Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra) reveal the keys to creating the perfect pitch for a comics publisher: what must you have, what to leave out, and how to conduct yourself with interviews and correspondence. This might be the most valuable panel you ever attend! Room 30CDE
(Wanting to hit this to support my buddy, Mike Costa– If, by chance, you’re intrested in reading pitches, you can check out Mike’s proposal for his Wildstorm series: Hawksmoor, here. )
6:30-7:30 Dawn of the Digital Era— Join Thomas Jane (Hung, The Punisher, RawStudios.com) in person with industry stars Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher), Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex, Painkiller Jane), David Uslan (Graphicly.com, Branded Entertainment), and Pepe Moreno (Batman Digital Justice, Rebel, Amusedom.com) to discuss the rapidly emerging digital distribution platform of comics! They’ll provide an in-depth look at the creative and business aspects of the digital medium, aiming to demystify the taboos associated with digital comics and demonstrate how they can be more accessible for consumers and profitable for artists. You will learn how it all works together: from social media marketing to worldwide simultaneous distribution on multiple devices. With a moderator like Geoff Boucher (LA Times Hero Complex), this will be a panel you won’t want to miss! Room 8
So, as you can see, I’m mostly focusing on the digital comic/distribution panels this year. The shame about Comic Con is that there’s just SO MUCH COOL STUFF going on– But you can’t take it all in. The only thing you can do is to focus on a few, and leave plenty of breathing room for exploring, meeting people, and– standing in line/walking from place to place.
(Anyone who has been knows, there’s a LOT of walking)
Early Saturday evening, I hope to make it over to Nerd HQ, another off-site mini-Con– mostly to check out what the scene is like. That’ll be followed up by a TBD dinner and then hauling over to the Tilted Kilt to meet up with some of the nerd crew.
Midnight on Saturday is my buddy (and super talented artist/writer) Tony Fleecs‘ birthday bash at the Star Bar– and I’m sure that night will probably end in chaos.
Sunday, I pretty much reserve for hitting the floor and trying to find a few vendor deals. My buddy (and another talent artist!) Pat Loika snapped off this shot yesterday:
…where I spy the Walking Dead Compendium for only $25– so…that’ll be mine. Sunday is such a great deal day– There isn’t a ton of stuff on my “to-get” list, but I’m pretty positive that I’ll still be coming back with half a library.
I’ll likely do a little more grassroots Spy6teen’ing on Sunday before calling it a wrap around 1pm and fighting the northbound I-5 back to LA.
So…those are my Con plans– if you happen to be around, please drop me a tweet @citizentim and let me know– It’d be great to catch up in person! In the meantime, I still have a few errands to run– including a trip to Target to pick up a backpack– exciting, right?!
Next week (hopefully), I’ll have a full post-con writeup with tons of pictures for you guys!
Until then…once more, into the breech!