AMBER LOVE 24-JAN-2013 I had an incredible conversation with Comics Experience alum, NICK DEDUAL. Of course we discussed the much buzzed about comic he wrote TORCHBEARER but we also talked about the implications of corporate greed, drone surveillance and other elements from TORCHBEARER that are relevant to today’s world. Other big news was announced last week that TORCHBEARER and QUANDARY are among the first beta comics to test out Comixology’s new program for indie digital comics called Submit.
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Twitter came to Nick’s rescue when he was ready to find an artist for TORCHBEARER #1. He made contact with freelance artist Dennis Calero who has worked in major publishing houses and indies. Dennis’ noir style lent itself perfectly to Nick’s vision of a Blade Runner style universe. Our conversation covers a lot of ground regarding the comic’s plot about corporations running the world and technology at opposing sides. Feel free to weigh in in the comments about any of the items like privatized space exploration, drone surveillance, anti-cloaking technology, holograms, and civil rights.
Nick said the most impacting piece of advice he received for writing was the old adage, write what you know.
Comixology’s Submit platform is still in beta for private users. Nick discussed what he feels his key to the submission process was: being nice. He made contacts at New York Comic Con and kept up with professional networking so when TORCHBEARER was ready to distribute, he was able to make it happen with the leading digital distribution company.
Comixology is often criticized for being the “Diamond” of digital and I have plenty of reasons why. Readers want to purchase their comics through one app to make checkout easier which means that one company will be a monopoly edging out all smaller apps. They still don’t have a subscription option. Ideally, I’d like something that can automatically add comics to a temporary cart that I would need to approve, decline, or wait before being charged.
The news that Comixology is finally getting into the indie marketplace is exciting. I can’t even say it’s “long overdue” because it only feels that way moving at the speed of technology. It’s still evident where their bread is buttered: DC and Marvel have easy and upfront navigation menus on Comixology’s home page. To find anything else, including heavy hitters like Image and Dark Horse, you have to go to Browse > Publishers, then scroll through page by page (skipping to a letter would be swell). There’s also the Search option. If, for example, I enter “Dynamite” into the Search bar, I get results for series, artbooks, and publisher; I click on “publisher” and see way more series titles than the original four results that were listed as “series.” I then scrolled through the Dynamite pages and saw plenty of older titles but THE LONE RANGER and any of its older volumes are conspicuously absent. Basically, you have to know what you’re looking for and even then, you might not find it. I also found a discrepancy when clicking the top navigation menu for “DC” the resulting page is different than going via Browse > Publisher > DC new 52.
The company is growing but not keeping up with demanding consumers. As reported in my latest OGN review of Ellen Forney’s MARBLES, even New York Times Best Selling graphic novels and authors are not available because they aren’t mainstream. It seems awards, critical acclaim, and amazing content have nothing to do with getting into Comixology’s platform just like creators and publishers struggle in the print market with Diamond Distribution. It’ll get better but there’s no indication of when.
If you find it, there’s a special tag for Creator Owned comics. Unfortunately since this page has another navigation menu to the left to “Other Publishers” despite the main toolbar navigation being right at the top of the frame, it gives the impression that Comixology wants users to see this page exists but get off it and get back to bigger books. Fair Trade would be if users clicked on DC or Marvel and had a similar shortcut menu on those pages to Creator Owned and Small Press books. It’s unlikely this would ever happen considering how much retailers fear upsetting the big companies.
* Nick Dedual on Twitter
* TORCHBEARER publisher, Red Stylo Media
* Comixology’s listing for TORCHBEARER
* Ben Blacker & Ben Acker Michelangelo Screenwriting in Italy