viernes 20 de febrero de 2009

Comic books arrive to Google Android!

Press release.

Independent publishers like PAPYRUS COMICS and its release MISERY DEPOT pave the way for a new and healthy distribution model for comic books: moving to mobile devices like Apple's iPhone or Google Android powered mobiles.

On February 18th, 2009, Papyrus Comics released its international hit Misery Depot for Google Android. In less than 36 hours, the comic was downloaded 3100 times, which is the number of monthly units that a comic must sell to be in Diamond's top 250 titles.


Misery Depot for Android is free and licensed under Creative Commons, and may well be the first Creative Commons comic for any mobile device. The license allows readers to copy, share and remix the comic, giving them control and involvement that traditional distribution has failed to offer, and that ultimately readers expect.

Misery Depot is no stranger to mobile phones. It was recently made available for Apple's iPhone and iTouch by its own fans, who embraced the Creative Commons license in which Papyrus Comics distributes its releases. "We were excited to learn iPhone and iPod Touch users could also read Misery Depot, but we felt that a direct port didn't seize the opportunities of the medium. We tried to fix that with our Android release.", says Hermes Pique, Misery Depot's writer and Papyrus Comics' Director.



Indeed, Misery Depot for Android is basically a new comic, adapted to seize the opportunities of the medium. Mobile comics are a new breed of sequential storytelling, where the reader has to focus his attention on a smaller area, and has control of the pacing. "The techniques are different. If the reader is more involved with each image, should we use less panels to tell the same story? The distribution is different as well. Should be release comics in brief installments so users can download them through 3G, or assume wifi is more popular? Everything is new and exciting, and we're more than happy to be there at the beginning."

Papyrus Comics expects to release an adapted iPhone version of Misery Depot in the near future. Their next comics, scheduled for the end of this quarter, will also be distributed through a variety of formats and devices, of which mobile phones are only a part. Their projects populate P2P networks, can be read online, can be downloaded in PDF, CBR and CBZ, and are available in half a dozen languages. What about traditional distribution, namely print? "8 hours of development and 25 dollars gave us 3000 readers in a day and a half. Is it really worth the effort for publishers like us to concentrate on a stalled model? Our goal is to maximize our audience, and while I would love to hold our comics in my hand, right now paper is not our priority.", concludes Pique.


About Misery Depot
Misery Depot is a free mystery/science fiction comic written by Hermes Pique and drawn by Juan Romera, intended for mature audiences. Released on late 2008, the comic now garners more than 10000 readers worldwide, as it has been translated to Spanish, French, Portuguese and Catalan by its own fans. Misery Depot is available for download at http://www.miserydepot.com and the Android Market (search: misery depot).

About Papyrus Comics
Papyrus Comics is the first e-publisher of Creative Commons comic books. Its goal is to maximize the audience of comics by embracing digital distribution, and translating/adapting its projects into as many languages/formats as possible. Three new releases are scheduled to be released in various languages and formats at the end of the first quarter 2009. For more information or general inquires, email: contact@papyruscomics.com.

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lunes 20 de octubre de 2008

Flahback Universe gives Misery Depot its first shout out

Thanks to Jim Shelley of the FlashBack Universe, one of the first publishers -if not the first- to distribute its comics exclusively in cbr format, Misery Depot gets its first shout out of the blogosphere. Shelley's latest installment of Free Comics Monday features Misery Depot as an example of free comics available on the web.

The FlashBack Universe currently offers 9 free colorful super-hero comics designed for computer screens, such as Saturn Knight below. Download them here.

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domingo 19 de octubre de 2008

Misery Depot: New Distribution Models for Independent Comics

Press release.

Independent comics like MISERY DEPOT borrow ideas from free distribution channels like P2P, and the open source movement in search for a wider, more involved audience.

Embracing the growing trend of digital distribution and free content, the mystery/science fiction comic MISERY DEPOT is now available online in its entirety, without charge and without ads. The comic makes use of innovative techniques to give their readers an immersive and participative experience, far different from what the traditional distribution channels offer.

"We don't want the money of our readers; we want to buy their attention.", says HERMES PIQUE, writer of MISERY DEPOT.

MISERY DEPOT is distributed under a CREATIVE COMMONS license, allowing anyone with non-commercial purposes to reproduce and share the work. This allows MISERY DEPOT to be downloaded legally through P2P or TORRENT networks, a practice that the creators encourage by providing links and files in their own site. Two versions are offered: English and Spanish, with more soon to follow.

Drawn by JUAN ROMERA (THE FIGHTING STRANGER for ZUDA COMICS and ZOMBIE HIGHWAY: DIRECTIONLESS for DIGITAL WEBBING) and written by newcomer HERMES PIQUE, MISERY DEPOT can be read online while listening to music suggested by the authors, or downloaded in PDF and CBR or through a TORRENT client, formats commonly associated with illegal downloading.

MISERY DEPOT tells the story of an elderly mother, who awakes undressed inside a humid capsule amidst hundreds, the voice of her daughter echoing in her memory. Uncertain of the nature the place, the mother joins with a stranger who believes they are in a high-technology concentration camp, and hints that the daughter might still be alive somewhere inside.

Borrowing ideas from the OPEN SOURCE movement, PIQUE and ROMERA not only provide their comic for free, but also give insight to the whole creative process by including the original script and each stage of every page (pencils, inks, colors and finally lettering) of the comic book. The creation of a mother's desperate search for her daughter is fully documented, even including annotations reminiscent of DVD commentary tracks.

The success of MISERY DEPOT will be measured in downloads, subscriptions and links, not sales. ROMERA and PIQUE are already working on new projects to be distributed in a similar fashion, improving the experience based on what they learn from MISERY DEPOT. It is unclear what tools and formats will resonate more with their readers. One thing is for certain: there are plenty to choose.

For more information on MISERY DEPOT, please visit http://www.miserydepot.com or contact HERMES PIQUE at miserydepot@gmail.com.

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