I thought I’d mentioned this here, but turns out I completely forgot. Tomorrow, from 1-4PM on Saturday, August 27th, I’ll be doing a signing at Rogues Gallery in Round Rock. But I won’t be alone!
I’ll be signing alongside the stalwart Matthew Sturges and the debonaire Kristian Donaldson. That’s three, three, THREE Vertigo creators for the price of one! (Or, in other words, “free.”) Some come on by, why don’t you?
August 26th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed
This coming Friday, August 19th, I’ll be doing a store signing for the good peopel of Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, Delaware. Joining me is the lovely and talented Chrissie Zullo, the artist who’s made the covers of both Cinderella miniseries look so fantastic.
Hey, remember when I used to update my blog more than once every two or three months? Yeah, those were good times.
Seems like these days I only post something new here when I’m announcing that I’m going to be at some convention or store signing or something. Sheesh…
Speaking of which, have I mentioned that I’ll be at Baltimore Comic-Con, August 20th and 21st?
I did the Baltimore Comic-Con for the first time last year, and it immediately became one of my favorite conventions. I have every confidence that this year will be just as good. If you’re going to be there, come by and say howdy. And if you’re in the area and aren’t already planning to go, then why the heck not?
I’m doing signings on Saturday and Sunday at the BOOM! Studios booth from 1PM-2PM, and Saturday from 3PM-4PM I’ll be on the Legion of Super-Heroes panel with a bunch of guys who have way more reason to be up there than I do.
August 13th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed
I attend a fair number of comic conventions in any given year, but I have to say that HeroesCon is my absolute favorite. And it’s just a few days away! If you’re going to be there, come by and say howdy, why don’t you?
I’ll be set up at table AA-608 (right next to my collaborator on Starborn, Khary Randolph, as it happens!), and I’ll also be doing a panel on Saturday afternoon.
1:30 PM : Heroes Discussion Group #32—Cinderella-From Fabletown with Love Room 207BCD
Please schedule your weekend properly so you will have time to join writer Chris Roberson and cover artist, Charlotte’s own Chrissie Zullo as they discuss everyone’s favorite secret agent and shoe provocateur. At last year’s HeroesCon we discussed Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall. This will be the perfect follow-up.
Copies of the book will be available after the discusion for brief signing.
If I’m not at my table or at that panel, I’ll be in line at Starbucks, outside having a cigarette, or having a drink in the hotel bar, so come and try to find me there.
Many apologies for my long silence, everybody. It’s been… sheesh, two months since I last posted to my blog. Oy.
Well, I’ll try to be a bit more timely with the updates in future, and today I’ve got an update that’s especially timely. Tomorrow, May 7th, is Free Comic Book Day, when comic shops all over the place give out scads of new comics for free. Most of the free offerings are introductory issues, “jumping-on points” as they’re called. And there’s one point in particular that I hope you consider jumping on.
This summer sees the launch of a new 12 issue miniseries that represents a dream come true for me, Elric: The Balance Lost. As an ardent fan of the works of Michael Moorcock for the better part of three decades, the chance to add a tiny bit to the continuing story of the Eternal Champion and the Multiverse is, well, it’s a dream come true. And with art by Francesco Biagini and colors by Stephen Downer, the series is going to look amazing.
A 10-page prologue to Elric: The Balance Lost is one of BOOM! Studios offerings for Free Comic Book Day, so if you’re on the fence about picking up the series this summer, you can get the free prologue and try it on or size. Heck, you can even read the first few pages right now online and decide if you want to pick up the free thing tomorrow. What do you have to lose?!
And if you’re in the Austin area and want to get a free copy defaced by me, I’ll be signing at Austin Books & Comics from 10AM to 5PM. Come on by and say howdy, why don’t you?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ll be in Seattle this weekend for the Emerald City Comic Convention. I went last year for the first time and had a BLAST, so I’m really looking forward to it.
If you’re going to the show and are interested in tracking me down for any reason (unless, you know, I owe you money or something), here’s where I can be found.
When characters are talking to Starling, they often talk direct to camera, when she is talking to them, she is always looking slightly off-camera. Director Jonathan Demme explained that this was done so as the audience would directly experience her POV, but not theirs, hence encouraged the audience to more readily identify with her.
#ThrowbackThursday: The iCOS: iComicsOnSale #Apple Dashboard Widget. The secret origin of @comixology
In lieu of recent events, I thought it would be cool to show where comiXology all began – the iCOS Dashboard widget, the app that launched a million digital comics downloads.
Before comiXology, I had worked at Marvel Comics circa 2000. I was hired to head up their dotComics program, Marvel’s first attempt at digital comics. While I was there I converted their static html website into a dynamic PHP/mySQL website reducing the time it took to upload the monthly solicits from a week with two dedicated resources, to two days and requiring only a single person.
I should point out that Marvel.com was the first site I had programmed in PHP – let’s just say, I’ve gotten much better since then.
It was a huge step for comics, because at the time all the major comic book publishers hadn’t really embraced technology. This was about to change. My seemingly minor tweaks started an arms race as all the publishers tried to keep up with each other.
After Marvel, I was looking for another way to merge my two loves, technology and comics. I took what I had learned and applied it to the website of Jim Krueger.
At this time, around 2005-2006, keeping track of which comics were coming out on a weekly basis wasn’t as easy as it is today. Sites would post the monthly solicits, but that information wasn’t updated and lay stagnant. What this meant was, I would go to the store and inevitably forget something because I didn’t know what was coming out that week.
Diamond Comics, the primary distributor of print comics, did release a public list or comics shipping that week, but it was a simple tab-delimited text file and not exactly user friendly.
However, since it was tab-delimited it meant that it was easy to parse and easy to convert into something more user friendly.
The original iCOS widget simply loaded the list, parsed it, and then presented the data in a way that was easy to search and browse. The first version was very crude, just the title of the item, the publisher, and the price.
Reception of the iCOS widget was pretty good; a lot of people really enjoyed it, including James Sime at Isotope Comics. But there was one individual who felt it didn’t go far enough.
I was browsing a message board, soaking in all the great comments, when one unimpressed individual pointed out that there weren’t any images. At first I was annoyed: here I had created this wonderful new thing that made the lives of comic book fans easier, and this guy wasn’t impressed. I was all ready to fire off a nasty response when I realized something…he was right. iCOS was just the beginning. It was a good start, but it didn’t go far enough. So I channeled that anger into the next version of the iCOS widget. Not only would I include images, but descriptions as well. Essentially, I made it better.
A section of Apple’s site put out an open call to developers to submit their widgets. It was then that I made my first Apple contact, and the iCOS widget was featured as a Staff Favorite. Both would prove useful later on as comiXology entered the App Space.
While things were great on the Dashboard side, the PC side wasn’t as good. Creating Konfabulator widgets, the PC alternative, was an archaic process best described as torture. Instead I created a PC Application based on Flash and Macromedia Director. That worked great, but made PC users weary as they thought it was Malware.
So the logical solution was to create a website. A website wouldn’t be constrained by the operating system of the user and the data could be used by the iCOS widget. In a sense, everyone would be happy.
With the website built, all that remained was to find a name that was less clunky then iComicsOnSale.com. So after a rousing round of brainstorming that went into the wee hours with the other founders, the name came to me: comiXology.
Fast forward eight years and millions of downloads later, comiXology is the biggest platform for digital comics and soon to be an Amazon.com subsidiary.
Not bad considering all I wanted to do was know when my comics were coming out.