Tag Archives: Free

Comic of the Day: Shifter

24 Feb

Comics of the Day Review:

photo 2Shifter: Interactive Graphic Novel (for mobile devices, IOS version)

by Orion Tippens

Writer: Brian Haberlin and Brian Holguin

Pencils: Brian Haberlin, Geirrod VanDyke, Kunrons Yap, Chan Hyuk Lee

Letter: Francis Takenaga

Published by: Anomoly Productions

Date released: Jan 23, 2014

Pages: 875 panels of art, appendix text (book is 224 pages)

Rated: 12+

Notes: Also in print as a graphic novel with augmented reality options.

The UAR app for Shifter is a separate app and not a subject for this review. The app reviewed is currently the iOS version (Version 1.0) read on my iPad 2

The following review contains mild spoilers, and focuses on the story and app viewing technology.

photo 1Story:

Shifter is set on an ultra-modern-day planet Earth (after a mysterious prologue, that occurs six months later): we meet Noah Freeman, an everyman centered on his job of drone-controlled environmental data collection. All seems well with his secure job and upcoming engagement, until a casual hiking trip goes very wrong; Noah is thrown down a waterfall by a duo of sinister mystery men, and survives only to stumble upon a portal leading into some strange, other-dimensional plane of existence.

Here, Noah finds himself conversing with a sentient, spherical device. With that, he discovers a power within his surroundings to travel back to select times and places, but only through a choice of collected creatures and persons. Many specimens are extinct, and are of different sizes and personalities. One is human – a female Celtic warrior – with whom he develops a friendship. As a possessor of each specimen, he also shares its experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Such new explorations are exciting for Noah, but he seeks out a way to revisit to his old life. But he discovers himself wanted for murder – and a grand conspiracy behind it all. Now, he must use these new powers to set his original life right… Continue reading

Awesome comics site TheOatmeal gets sued by website accused of stealing its content. (Yes, you read that right.)

11 Jun

by Mike Hansen

The Oatmeal

The Oatmeal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is effed up on so many levels.

Matthew Inman, the creator of the terrific webcomic site, TheOatmeal.com, accused another site called FunnyJunk of allowing his comics to be reposted on its monetized site – In other words, FunnyJunk is making money off Inman without permission.

Now, I get sharing funny pictures online – everybody does it – but the big difference here appears to be that FunnyJunk has hundreds of The Oatmeal comics copied on its site, which makes money off others’ content. Inman complained about it in a blog post last year. Now FunnyJunk’s lawyer is threatening him with a federal lawsuit unless he coughs up $20,000. BuWhat?

Now Inman has posted the full attorney’s letter, with his hilarious response – he’s going to raise that 20 large, but not to give to FunnyJunk: he’s giving it to charity and rubbing his internet love in FunnyJunk’s face. Or, as he puts it,

Instead of mailing the owner of FunnyJunk the money, I’m going to send the above drawing of his mother.  I’m going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

In my opinion, what FunnyJunk is doing is despicable. I think this is worth sharing with as many people as possible.

Since this is in the process of blowing up on the internet, The Oatmeal is loading pretty slowly right now. Either that, or the forces of evil are launching a DNS attack on it. But it’s well worth checking out. In the meantime, here’s The Oatmeal’s Wikipedia page.

Here’s a site that does it right: the newly launched Comic Rocket, which doesn’t scrape content from other sites, and from which every view counts as the original site’s traffic. That’s how it’s done, son.

JUSTICE!

Free rare Neil Gaiman comic available from Steve Bissette (offer ends TONIGHT)

9 Jun

by Mike Hansen

Sweeney Todd TABOO PD cvrI’ve ordered mine. If you want it, you should order right now -

Comics legend Steve Bissette (of Tyrant, Taboo, and Swamp Thing fame) has a special offer at his online store: with every purchase (no matter how small!), he will include a free copy of the 1992 Sweeney Todd Penny Dreadful, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Michael Zulli, originally included in the now-very rare Taboo #6. I’ve never seen a copy of this myself, though I’ve searched for it for 20 years – so there’s no way I was going to pass this up.

Mr. Bissette asked me to spread the word about this offer, which I’m happy to do! As he posted yesterday, this offer is in its final hours – at midnight TONIGHT, unless he runs out of copies before then – so if you want a really cool and rare piece of ’90s comics history, go place an order now! There’s a lot of great stuff available, from Tyrant (one of the most acclaimed self-published series of the ’90s) to Taboo (one of the greatest horror comics series ever, containing the first chapters of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell) to many other terrific books.

From his announcement (sample page in the link):

This genuinely rare Gaiman & Zulli gem was originally offered in 1992 as a pre-order special with all pre-ordered copies of Taboo 6. It was available only through Direct Market distributor pre-orders of that Taboo volume, shrinkwrapped with Taboo 6 all initial shipments to retailers. That was the one and only time the Penny Dreadful was made available to the market.

Since only a few thousand copies of Taboo 6 were preordered, this exclusive Penny Dreadful is among the rarest of all Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli‘s 1990s comics/graphic novel creations. Continue reading

ADC Q&A with Marvel’s Jeph York: Part 3 (of 3)!

1 Jun

by Mike Hansen

“Nobody works in the comics industry because they have a plan to retire and buy a yacht.”

English: Logo of Marvel Comics

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s the third part of my interview with Jeph York (Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here). In this final segment, Jeph talks about the challenges of researching over seven decades of Marvel’s “shared universe” and creating new collected editions of older Marvel comics, while offering some behind-the-scenes tidbits about the contents of some recent and upcoming books:

I’ve noticed that occasionally Marvel will make changes to its reprints from the initial publication: Ultimate X-Men reprints have removed the swearing from the early issues, and the recent Avengers Free Comic Book Day reprint recolored Spider-Woman so she’s fully clothed in scenes in which she was previously nude. Do these editorial changes ever complicate your work?

I wouldn’t say they “complicate” things, but I do have to keep them in mind. When I researched the Avengers by Geoff Johns 4-volume HC set, I had to check whether or not we could run the full version of Avengers #71, with the implied sex scene. We chose to run the censored version, to keep the book’s rating consistent with the first three volumes. And for the upcoming Marvel Firsts: the 1970s Vol. 3 TPB, we had to replace some mild cursing with “@#$%^&” symbols, because we didn’t notice them until too late – we’d already solicited the book with a lower rating, and changing it would have caused problems.

On the other hand, I imagine that the collected editions of Avengers #12.1 will keep the naked Spider-Woman, because the book’s rating already takes that kind of content into account – whereas the Free Comic Book Day version needed to be rated for kids.

Peter Palmer

“In general our mandate is to reprint a comic as it originally appeared, warts and all.” It’s ‘Peter Palmer,’ the Spectacular ‘Spiderman’!

Do you have any idea why other problematic lettering – that is, mistakes from the original comics (word balloons pointing to the wrong character, misspellings, etc.) – don’t get changed for the collected editions? (As a professional proofreader, this is one of my biggest pet peeves in comics.)

I’m not sure. My impression is, in general our mandate is to reprint a comic as it originally appeared, warts and all. I know that typos are annoying, but look back at the classic 1960s comics – in some cases, typos are part of the book’s charm! Like how Dr. Octopus called Spider-Man “Super-man” in issue #3, or how Stan Lee kept fouling up the characters’ names – Bruce Banner became Bob Banner; Peter Parker became Peter Palmer. Or, to use a more typo-like example, how Amazing Fantasy #15 didn’t use a hyphen in “Spiderman”‘s name. If we were to correct those, fandom would get annoyed. (And remember: some previous reprints have corrected them. And Cory Sedlmeier went back and reinstated the original typos!)

Then again, we have fixed reprints in some cases. Mostly ’90s books, when a digital production error drops out lettering that should have been there, or something similar. Or when color plates are switched in a 1980s book. So I guess we don’t have a mandate for 100% purity, no matter what.

I think the question boils down to, at what point do we stop doing our job, which is collecting books into TPBs and HCs – and start doing someone else’s job, which is catching and fixing every single error? And I’m not sure there’s one single, definitive answer for that.

Essential Godzilla TPB

“In certain cases we’ve looked into reprinting licensed stuff, and sometimes we succeed.”

The Astonishing X-Men: Northstar HC is coming up. It collects Astonishing X-Men #48, where Northstar is called “Jean-Claude” instead of “Jean-Paul.” Given that this arc is Northstar’s highly-publicized wedding, I’d be very curious to see if that error gets touched up.

A few creators have, in the past, publicly complained about not receiving comp copies of reprints of their work, or not being involved in their production. Have you been involved in dealing with these concerns? If so, what happened?

I haven’t really been involved in addressing either of these things, sorry. I will say that we DO send out comps, and we try to send them to as many creators as we can.

I understand that there been various legal issues that have prevented Marvel from reprinting certain stories or series, like licensing issues with Rom or Micronauts, the Fu Manchu appearances in Master of Kung Fu, and contract issues with the Malibu Ultraverse material – in fact, this was recently addressed by Steve Englehart (see here) and Marvel (see here). Is there anything being done, or can be done, for Marvel to reprint this material?

Again, sorry, but I’m not really involved in this.  I know that in certain cases we’ve looked into reprinting licensed stuff, and sometimes we succeed (Essential Godzilla!) and sometimes we fail. It’s one of the pitfalls of licensed publishing, and it’s disappointing at times. But at least the original issues still exist for anyone who wants to own the material!

That’s true: The good thing about most ’90s comics (especially Marvel) is that most back issues are still dirt-cheap! Marvel is well known within the comics industry and press for letting most of its collected editions go out of print relatively quickly. Do you have any insight into why so many Marvel books (including random volumes of long-running series, for example Ultimate Spider-Man) are unavailable to retailers and not overprinted or reprinted? What do you think about the idea that there some “evergreen” titles that will always sell and deserve to remain in print? Continue reading

Going Digital: Five Crazy Ideas in Re-revolutionizing Digital Comics!

16 Mar

by Orion Tippens, ADC

Weapon X (story arc)

It's like I'm INSIDE THE COMICS! (Image of the future via Wikipedia)

Digital Comics, where are you going?

Recently, the leading digital comics multi-platform app, Comixology, achieved over 50 million downloads in single-issue comics and graphic novels. That is the good news for the comics industry, at least in knowing that many people are now exposed to the sequential-art storytelling format.

Of course, not all comics fanpeople will accept the new medium. Digital comics are all bits and bytes, with no real chance for resale of purchase and the fear that all purchases could disappear of the service permanently dies out. Those who favor the digital format will relish in the higher definition color, availability selection, and “light” reading. There have been breakthroughs to further the revolution of digital-comics reading, including the single-panel “Guided View” option, cross-platform account access with cheap digital exclusives, and free samples. Is that enough?

No, but the publishing industry is improving. As digital piracy will continue, innovation is needed to usher in this potential new digital golden era.

Marvel Comics, meanwhile, has announced its new “Marvel Infinite” imprint. Within are a few curious ideas to enhance traditional narratives including the “control the caption boxes and how they’re delivered to the reader.” Marvel also announced its new Augmented Reality system for mobile devices, where the scanning of strategically placed QR codes adds to its comics content.

However, a well-sequenced art narrative is all one needs to enjoy a comics story to its fullest. That being said, the industry should focus on innovative ways to get the readers better involved with published content. This can be done by enhancing not just the experience of reading the comic, but also getting involved with other aspects including the setting, the technology, and the invitation to new, innovative ideas.

Here, below, are my crazy ideas to ponder in the new and revolutionizing expanse of the comics-publishing biz. Interested companies, feel free to take note and steal (through credit would be nice). Ponder the possibilities. If such ideas are in the works, please point them out in the comments below. Or even better, add a few of your own.

Annotative tagging – Red Lanterns, Secret Invasions, Renegade Clonetroopers, obscure Grant Morrison characters got your head in a spin? Backtracking on such elaborate mythologies may procure in difficulty for those with empty wallets, or lacking in free time. A simple solution, especially for the new readers, would be genius. How about, for those fancy touch screens, a simple tagging system with access to some sort of large information collective on repeat characters, past events, and relevant back issues? Perhaps holding down on some returning character can pop up some information on background, abilities, favorite pie, whatever.  Does this take away or distract from the story? As long as it is optional, then no. Also, think of the other possibilities Continue reading

Interview with AXE COP artist Ethan Nicolle!

7 Mar

UPDATE: Welcome, all of you Axe Cop fans! Since so many of you are new to this site, I just want to say Welcome, and if you like the site feel free to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @AllDayComics – thanks for stopping by!

(Mike here – this interview was conducted WAY back on October 29 at the Long Beach Comic and Horror Convention. Due to various difficulties, it’s just getting posted now. We thought it was still worth posting because – it’s AXE COP, so it’s awesome! – and Volume 3 is coming out soon (click the preorder link below the interview). Hope you like…)

Axe Cop artist Ethan Nicolle at his booth (photo by Orion Tippens)

Axe Cop artist Ethan Nicolle at his booth (photo by Orion Tippens)

Interview by Orion Tippens

I love Axe Cop, so much, that I have considered naming my firstborn, Axe Cop. That is how much I love Axe Cop.

And if you have not, perhaps you should visit axecop.com and understand the joys of this brilliant webcomic. Or even better, check out the first trade paperback Axe Cop: Volume 1 collection published via Dark Horse Comics, all the early strips with Ethan’s fun commentary added on the side.

Axe Cop, in short, is the brilliant product of a five-year-old’s (now seven) imaginative mind (Malachai Nicolle), brought to life by the sequential art of his 29-year-old brother (Ethan Nicolle). We meet a superhero with powerful sock arms, a flying dinosaur with gatling arms, an optic blastic dog, ninjas on the moon, a man-baby, a uni-baby, and so much more.  We as readers who enjoy such work, and laugh, love this fresh and ever-changing world centered around our awesome protagonist. He, who is Axe Cop, the mustached, axe-wielding lawman of justice with secret attacks, and well defined (and often lethal) style of fighting evil.

So imagine my delight, when I had the chance to personally meet the artist of Axe Cop, Ethan Nicolle, at the Long Beach Comic Con in Los Angeles. Ethan was alone, promoting Axe Cop and his newest self-published work, Bearmageddon. Malachai was elsewhere, tending to a book signing. Here, from the show’s artist alley section, is a transcript of a wonderful yet brief interview:

ALL DAY COMICS: Hello, Ethan Nicolle.

ETHAN NICOLLE: Hello.

(During this point, there was a nearby live Star Wars live roleplaying event going on, so please if you will..imagine the Star Wars: Episode I Duel of the Fates music track playing in the background)

ADC: With Malachai’s schooling and state of adolescence, the creative process must be unconventional, perhaps challenging in the production of Axe Cop. In working with Malachai, where and how often do you meet in planning new material?

Continue reading

More Ways to Improve Collected Editions

2 Feb

by Mike Hansen

One or two comics...

(Photo credit: fengschwing)

I just came across this today:

A couple weeks ago, before I wrote about various publishers’ collected editions, The Weekly Crisis posted “10 Ways to Improve Collected Editions” – some highlights:

1 – Keep your Readers Informed
Let’s start off with one of the simplest and easiest way to improve the way companies approach collections. As much information as possible must be easily available when making a purchase, and that includes all creators and collected issues. For best effect, these must be placed in an easily readable part of the back cover and (perhaps more importantly) in the product description of the item.
Yes! There have been a number of times when publishers, especially Marvel and DC, post incomplete or inaccurate info about book contents in Previews. Sometimes this is a good thing (additional pages in the X-Men by Claremont & Lee Vol. 2 Omnibus for more extras), sometimes not (Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers dropping solicited content). With collected editions SO dependent on preorders, these books need to be figured out ahead of time as much as possible.
2 – Extra-er Material
HELL YES

4 – People Must Sample

It’s the traditional drug dealer tactic: the first one is free, the second one isn’t. If you get people hooked on your series, they are more likely to come back for more. … It’s not just putting this first chapter for free, but also making sure that the people reading this know that the collection is out and available for purchase/pre-order, with in-house ads placed in the digital comic.
I wholeheartedly support this – as far as I’m concerned, this is the only way for new stuff to find a bigger audience.
Free Comic Book Day does an okay job, but I think it’s better at getting regular comic-shop purveyors to check out new material than at bringing in brand-new readers. Still, every bit helps.
I’ve been a big supporter of Continue reading

Feds Still Clueless About Filesharing

19 Jan

by Mike Hansen

SOPA imageFirst, a special “Words ‘n’ Pictures” link: an easy-to-understand chart that explains why SOPA/PIPA suck balls.

I emailed my Senators (Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer) and Representative (Mike Thompson) urging their opposition to these bills.

Here’s an email response I received from Feinstein (or, more likely, her staffers):

Dear Mr. Hansen:

I received your letter expressing opposition to the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act,” commonly known as the “PROTECT IP Act.”  I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

The “PROTECT IP Act” (S. 968) gives both copyright and trademark owners and the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to take action against websites that are “dedicated to infringing activities.”  These are websites that have “no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating” copyright infringement, the sale of goods with a counterfeit trademark, or the evasion of technological measures designed to protect against copying.

The bill does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech.

America’s copyright industry is an important economic engine, and I believe copyright owners should be able to prevent their works from being illegally duplicated and stolen.  The protection of intellectual property is particularly vital to California’s thriving film, music, and high-technology industries.

I understand you have concerns about the “PROTECT IP Act.”  While I voted in favor of this bill when it was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have also been working with California high-technology businesses to improve the bill and to address the concerns of high-tech businesses, public interest groups and others.  I recognize the bill needs further changes to prevent it from imposing undue burdens on legitimate businesses and activities, and I will be working to make the improvements, either by working with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) or through amendments on the Senate floor.

On May 26, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the “PROTECT IP Act” for consideration by the full Senate.  Please know I will keep your concerns and thoughts in mind should the Senate proceed to a vote on this legislation.  As you may be aware, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced similar legislation, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261), in the House of Representatives.

Once again, thank you for sharing your views.  I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.

…So it’s clear that, as an Old Person, Senator Feinstein doesn’t understand the structure of the internet or how overreaching laws can be implemented, regardless of their intentions. You’d think she’d have learned by now: SOPA/PIPA are a wish-list written by the entertainment companies, just like the PATRIOT Act was a wish-list from U.S. intelligence agencies (and we all know how effective that’s been at stopping terrorism). Either that, or Hollywood likes their politicians to be bought, and Feinstein wants more of their sweet cash. (All the more reason to ban private campaign financing entirely…)

Now, the Feds have taken down file-storage-locker site Megaupload and arresting its owners for piracy. Sure, these sites have been used to distribute copyrighted material by unscrupulous folks – but how is that the sites’ fault? Just like BitTorrent, these sites can be used for perfectly legitimate and legal purposes. (In fact, just this week I used Megaupload to send large files to a comics publisher of material that it owns, for its use. Exactly how is that piracy? Oh, wait, it’s not.)

BoingBoing (one of the best websites, period) has two more related Words ‘n’ Pictures graphics that are worth a look (here and here).

It ain’t over yet…

Neil Gaiman and Peter David on SOPA/PIPA

18 Jan

by Mike Hansen

SOPA Resistance Day!

Image by ~C4Chaos via Flickr

Two of my favorite comics writers have been talking about SOPA/PIPA online.

Neil Gaiman posted an open letter to Washington, signed by quite an array of creators, including some of my favorites:

We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.

(much more in link)

On his own site, Peter David blames illegal downloaders for the bills’ existence:

All people had to do in order to prevent anything like SOPA from ever coming into existence was respect copyright laws. You don’t bitch that copyright law is outdated. You don’t declare that the rise of the Internet means that everyone, everywhere should have free access to everything. If you felt that strongly that copyright law should be changed, then you do what you’re supposed to do: you go to your elected officials and seek redress of grievances. You don’t just sit on your ass in front of your computer screen, announce that you can do whatever you want, and declare that anyone who disagrees with you is clueless and should just piss off. Because you know what? Maybe they are clueless. But they’ve also got high-powered lawyers who are going to seek redress of grievances, and suddenly you’re staring down the double cannon of SOPA and PIPA and wondering how it all went wrong.

(much, MUCH more in link)

For added fun, read the comments, in which Mr. David and I misunderstand one another, make blanket assumptions about each other, and disregard each other’s points! (I’m being nice: it is his site, after all).

Any thoughts, readers?

Dear Marvel: Stop Supporting SOPA

4 Jan
Dear Marvel logo

No es bueno.

Today, Thwipster linked to an online petition to ask Marvel to end its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, a really really bad piece of legislation that if passed would cripple the internet and take away our rights.

WHAT IS SOPA?

Some of the worst legislation ever seen is currently before Congress. Three pieces of legislation, H.R. 3261 in the House of Representatives and S.968 and S.978 in the Senate, would cripple the internet by stripping your due process rights and making everyday users wary that the next thing you post might get you sued or thrown in jail.

And unfortunately, Marvel Entertainment is supporting it.

Thwipster made it clear where it stands on SOPA and piracy a few days ago, with this great blog post:

SOPA
We at Thwipster wholeheartedly oppose SOPA as it currently stands and as we understand it. We believe in due process and not a Patriot Act for media companies to take down parts of the internet. You can find out more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

Piracy
If you know anyone downloading illegal things off the internet, take a moment and tell them to stop being a dick. We don’t need the government and media companies to tell us not to steal…

Media Companies
You’ve got it hard, right? You make all this stuff that people are so ravenous over that they steal it, remix it and share it with everyone they (don’t)know. But hey, you gotta get paid! Guess what? Don’t be a dick. Cut out the DRM, cut out practices like making things unavailable for 30 days on Netflix or iTunes, and cut out going after people celebrating your products…

(more in link)

Piracy

(Image by ToobyDoo via Flickr)

It doesn’t surprise me that Marvel supports anything that prevents digital piracy, but this legislation spells trouble for anyone who uses the internet in any way.

(And, really, does digital piracy really do that much damage? It’s not cool, but there’s a strong correlation between the most illegally downloaded work and the bestselling material. I’d argue that a huge number of those downloaders would never have been paying customers in the first place.)

Thanks to a wave a bad publicity, a lot of companies are pulling their support of SOPA, including GoDaddy, Nintendo, and EA (see the links below).

If you have a problem with Marvel’s stance, check out the petition at DearMarvel.com, and share how this will effect your support of Marvel’s product.

Personally, I love a lot of Marvel’s comics, and a lot of its creators’ work, but I have trouble with the idea of my money going to support taking away our freedoms. The best solution I can think of is to buy the Marvel books I want secondhand, so I can read the stuff I want without putting my money towards a bad cause.

I’m interested to see Marvel’s reaction (or lack thereof) – Marvel tends to be like Teflon with a lot of its controversial policies, but tends to make changes when it gets hit in the pocketbook.

What do you think?

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