I gotta tell you...

The comics e-DVD - the poor man's publishing ;o)
thip at 2:31AM, April 6, 2007
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Cover your ears for a moment, please.

YIPPEEE!!!!

All right, you can get your hands back to the keyboard now ;o)

Just got a mail from my e-marketplace provider, that I've sold my tenth copy of “Purgatory Season 1”.



Ten copies?!? Is that something to shout maniacally about?

No, not really - but it IS a micro-milestone for my hope that an amateur like myself could create, publish and sell a long-format, detailed-realism style comic series all on his own, on a reasonably schedule, in his spare time and on next-to-no budget. If you have a story with wider appeal than mine you might even make a bit of money from it - so read on, the next time you're on a coffee break and want to rest that mouse finger ;o)

Waaaaaaaay back in the eighties, I had a short and inglorious career as a pro comics creator. Only lasted a few years, and lean years they were, but I did sell three whole graphic novels and a half-dozen shorts.




I also learned a disconcerting lesson : I didn't like doing comics for money.

Huh?

Well, I certainly didn't mind the money, but I always worked on someone else's script. Some were by people I knew and whose stories I liked (and who allowed me to tinker a little with their stuff *LOL*). Other scripts were supplied “factory fashion” : the publisher bought scripts from writers A, B and C, and sent them to artists D, E and F, yours truly among them, for visualizing.

Fine scripts, to be sure, but not my genre (horror stories, mostly). Doing comics became WORK - now that's horror for you *LOL*

So I was stirred, but not shaken when the 90s hit the comics field, and I had to find some other kind of paying work. Apart from a few favor-for-friends projects, I did no visual work for a decade - no comics whatsoever.



I still had comic stories swimming around in my head, to the point of feeling creatively constipated - I'm sure you know what I mean ;o) But my stint at creating comics had given me a very realistic sense of just how long it takes to produce the damn things. You can do it in your spare time - if you can do without sleep, and I was getting too old for that ;o)

Then Poser hit me, and the www hit everyone, as internet connections became commonplace in my part of the world.

Oh, it took me several years to realize the obvious : that, using Poser (or any similar app, but there WAS no similar app back then), one could do in hours what used to take days. Using html and the www, one could publish without having to charm an editor (or rob a bank to self-publish). No having to hit precisely 64 or 128 pages (or whatever). No deadlines, other than respecting the interest of those who actually might like to read the story. And, lest this begins to sound like a Poser commercial, there's lotsa apps out there now - Poser has heavy competition from the free DAZ Studio..



…and other apps such as Quidam are snapping at Poser's heels - or will be, when the Quidam users outgrow the dollhouse-porn stage ;o)



It sounds sooooo seductive (no pun intended). Run the story on the web, gather an audience, make a collection, put it on an e-marketplace, rake in the money - the world's your audience…;o) All right, the wired world, then. Well, the comics-savvy part of the wired world, anyway. And, oh yeah, there's a few thousand other gals and guys who had the same idea, and are chasing the same audience.

But it's DOABLE, and it's amazing how EASY it is, relatively speaking. This may sound like flattery, but it is actually amazing that there are so many well-run, well-designed comics galleries out there. For free, too! My regular Poser hangout, Renderosity, is not even a comics site, but has a fine gallery with very handy features. Can't compete with DrunkDuck's extensive comics-presenting services, but Rendo does have one thing that DD doesn't (yet) : a marketplace.

Publishing the first collection of my humble comic was a piece of cake, technology-wise. Borrowing the interface style of the movie DVDs we all know how to run, I set up an “e-DVD” (play/read, chapter sels, extras, etc.) using nothing but JPGs and barebones html (no, I didn't use PDF, since I agree with Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20010610.html that PDF is great for print design, but stinks for web use).



The whole thing zipped into a nice, download-friendly file that will work on any machine with a browser without which you wouldn't be on the web in the first place. If you've ever run a DVD, and if you've ever clicked a web link, that's all you need to know to master this fancy new product. In fact, I'll bet you had a fairly good idea what “Purgatory Season 1” was, even before I started talking about a collection ;o)

For the creator, the typical page needs only twenty-odd lines of code, a menu page rarely more than fifty.



Choose a simple design and you can re-use those basic types endlessly. The web's awash in shareware and freeware html editors, so doing those pages are a no-brainer. If you are doing webcomics, you already have all you need to create JPGs. And e-marketplaces like Rendo's are MADE for selling goods as downloadable files, so your “e-book” will fit right in.

Note to admins, in case you read this : an e-comics marketplace would be a good idea for DD, IMHO!!!

Kind commentators have occasionally asked when I am going to put out a print copy of Purga - the answer is “never”; Lulu.com is a damn fine idea, but Purga was never intended as anything but an e-book. That's as indie and desktop as you can get ;o)

So no, I ain't gotten famous or rich, but it's my idea out there, as my story and my product - and my less-than-stellar performance ;o) Sales or no, there's a very special, slightly megalomaniacal kick in that, and I hope that reading this has made you wonder if you shouldn't try it, too. Helps make “space on the racks” in the audience's minds. Helps even more if it's a more-or-less standardized packaging or “brand” (in the loosest possible meaning of the word), such as the “e-DVD”. All right, the DVD itself is becoming obsolete already, but so are comic books, so we've gotta reinvent them, anyway ;o)

Have fun.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
slimredninja at 4:49AM, April 6, 2007
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posts: 108
joined: 11-18-2006
great looking stuff really enjoyable!!!
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IZON at 8:40PM, April 7, 2007
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posts: 9
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Very good webcomic.. everything looks cool!!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
slimredninja at 8:52AM, April 9, 2007
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posts: 108
joined: 11-18-2006
just went back and read the history of your career fascinating and inspirational. Youve certainly paid your dues.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
GinckPress at 8:39PM, April 25, 2007
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posts: 28
joined: 7-25-2006
Personally, I'd rather it be in print via Lulu or ComixPress, but I do appreciate what you're trying to do.

J.
www.planetaeruen.com
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slimredninja at 12:13AM, April 28, 2007
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posts: 108
joined: 11-18-2006
i feel weird commenting in this format because i can see my old posts and i cant give you the fives you deserve
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magicalmisfits at 7:22AM, May 5, 2007
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posts: 44
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wonderful stuff with lotso good info!
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Defilia at 7:35AM, June 11, 2007
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jeg vidste ikke du var dansk.
its a small world after all.
Defilia is not to be used unless recomended by your psychologist.

im a soldier, im a judge, but most of all i am my own executioner
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James Roden at 10:44PM, June 26, 2007
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Congratulations on selling copy #10 of Purgatory. I had a chance to run across it quite recently and I found it to be a pretty good piece of work. I will definitely be checking it out on a regular basis :)

Requiem: A Dark Sci/Fi Fantasy.
http://requiem.spiderforest.com
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grahamulus at 9:02AM, Aug. 13, 2007
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Great WebComic BTW, love everythng about and i have a copy siting at home. But, try as i might i cant find the font you're using for the aliens. Please can you post the font.

this comic reminds me of a Sci-Fi TV show i used to watch long ago. Earth fighting some alien force that wore suits and breathed liquid. got canceled way to early as all the good Sci-Fi shows seem to (Serenity). Thanks and keep up the good work.

Marc
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
pinkertonpark at 6:48AM, April 3, 2008
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Aside from an amazing page, I really liked your blog post too.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
cyberdog at 3:22PM, May 24, 2008
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posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
Yeah, that old man deserse to get his ass kicked. Let me know how that works out, LOL. Hey, how do you write code. Its foreign to me.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
cyberdog at 10:05AM, June 7, 2008
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posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
THESE ARE THE BEST TWO PANELS I HAVE EVER SEEN! I don't know were or how you got the idea for that page but it is awsome. Wow, keep it up. Oh, and selling 10 copies, I would scream about that too. Congradulations, and good luck.

CyberDog
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
cyberdog at 1:45PM, June 15, 2008
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posts: 61
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Nice page. You the funniest concept in the world is Military Intelligence,LOL.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
cyberdog at 5:34AM, June 24, 2008
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posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
Nice dialog. Whens that guy going to put a shirt on? LOL

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
cyberdog at 4:55PM, July 11, 2008
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posts: 61
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Awsome!!!!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
cyberdog at 9:58PM, July 12, 2008
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posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
you tell 'em Sergent
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cyberdog at 8:35AM, Aug. 17, 2008
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posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
Nice page. I like the last two panels. Good storytelling.
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cyberdog at 8:56AM, Nov. 1, 2008
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posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
just checkin in
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houseofmuses at 10:57AM, Dec. 4, 2008
(online)
posts: 156
joined: 4-4-2008
Hey, great job and congratulations! DAJB told me about your comic, and it's nice to see other Poser/DAZ created comics out there!
So you've got 10 sales now–that's super! I wish you much success in your endeavors to create for the sheer thrill of it!

Drop in and see me sometime.

Pam Harrison
http://houseofthemuses.com
http://user.drunkduck.com/houseofmuses
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Lopriest at 11:46PM, Feb. 27, 2009
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posts: 58
joined: 10-28-2008
10 is cool! Mine's sold one copy so far :-)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM

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