viernes 23 de enero de 2009

Misery Depot on the spotlight @ Septagon Studios News Blog


Misery Depot gets reviewed on the first column of Septagon Studios News Blog's newest feature: E-Book Spotlight. The article, written by Dave Baxter, uses Misery Depot as an example a alternative distribution models. Some excerpts:

On the American major comic publishers attemps at digital comics:
The major companies’ provisional attempts at offering products and services online have all been, frankly, pathetic. Not just within the music and book industries, but comic publishers are off to a bafflingly slow start to boot. Marvel is offering 6-month old product available only on their security-protected non-customizable “reader” and DC’s Zuda is fundamentally an American Idol-type competition that results in a handful of ongoing webcomics, to be cancelled at a moment’s notice due to poor response, and which may or may not ever see print (depending again on response), and the comics’ rights are locked away with DC for years before the creators can look into the ever-evolving, spontaneously sprouting, ground-breaking avenues of exposure that should be the right of any creator to pursue in order to sell more books. Beyond this then: unless a Zuda-spotlighted comic is picked up by DC, any story appearing inside a Zuda competition will have a mere 8 pages of material posted. That is, in a word, and to repeat myself, but what the hell let’s add a second word to spice things up: absolutely pathetic.
On Misery Depot:

The story reads like Philip K. Dick writing for Alfred Hitchcock; it’s The Twilight Zone given a good kick of literary post-cyberpunk post-modernism (yeah, wrap your head around that). Being a book tailor-made for online reading, Piqué smartly keeps things visual. There was a study enacted a while back (which I’ll be covering in greater detail inside the upcoming, third Killing the Grizzly installment) which concluded that online readers naturally skim a page and do not “read” it exhaustively, as they would a printed page. Even a PDF document is considered a “content blob” and won’t be read like a book unless printed out. This means that, if chasing a purely online audience, who likely won’t, in numbers, print so costly a document as a full-color comic, the book itself must be legible to the “skimming” eyes of online readership. Misery Depot is a largely silent story, following the journey of the main lady protagonist, as she wanders and struggles to reach her daughter. Information is imported through images, labels, designs, and dialogue that are parsed out with a designer’s eye, placed at key moments that are effortless to read, even online.

On Juan Romera:

But this leaves the lion’s share of the work to artist Juan Romera. His figures and backgrounds have the dark and liquid look of a 2000 A.D. sci-fi thriller, reminiscent also of Charles Adlard (The Walking Dead). His work is expressive, while maintaining the sterile and inexplicably sinister qualities that MD requires. Romera masterfully presents the inhabitants and their plights, laying-out each page with an intuitive choreography that taxes the reader not at all. Romera colors Misery as well, and his grey and drab-green palate fits like a formaldehyde-stained glove.

Dave Baxter also writes the column Killing the Grizzly at Septagon Studios News Blog, in which he further explores the world of digital comics. A must-read for those interested in the medium.

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viernes 2 de enero de 2009

The Figthing Stranger: also free by Juan Romera


The Figthing Stranger is a webcomic about an amnesiac masked man, in search of a free meal while attempting to ignore a dancing robot. So far.

Another free webcomic drawn by Juan Romera and written by Adam J. Monetta. Updates weekly at Drunk Duck.

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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.

Follow this press release on: PRLog | i-Newswire | PR-GB | pressbox

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jueves 16 de octubre de 2008

Misery Depot begins

Misery Depot is a free mystery/science fiction comic drawn by Juan Romera and written by Hermés Piqué, intended for mature audiences. Read it online or download it at www.miserydepot.com, and come back to this blog to check for updates.

Synopsis



An anomaly causes an elderly mother to awake undressed inside a humid capsule. The voice of her daughter echoes in her memory, the intent of her words forgotten. Was she sharing the completeness of their unity, or hatefully wishing her mother's demise?


A seemingly infinite corridor of capsules hosts hundreds of persons, calmly sleeping, miserable underneath. Yet, an old man shares the mother's awareness, and is even certain of the nature of the place: a high-technology concentration camp; the second one for him to escape...


The story continues at www.miserydepot.com.

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