Weekly Art and Comix roundup for May 13, 2009

by Jason Thibault

This is a new weekly feature we’re going to be doing here at Optimum Wound. I hit up a lot of places on the net throughout the week for general interest, education and research. I read over 100 blogs on a regular basis and end up on several hundred others through linkage. My aim is to point to the best of the best every Wednesday. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Floating Light Bulb listed ten reasons why comic hosts are fading. We’ve hosted our online comics on webcomicsnation since 2005 and I’ve generally been happy with the results. We’ve gotten over a million page views spread out across our four series on there. Lately I’ve been itching to move my webcomic over to its’ own dedicated site. I’m going to use the standard wordpress / comicpress plugin combo to start. I’ll leave it up at WCN as well but I want to experiment with a different layout and display size.

Over at Splice Today, Keith Law  looks at Time Magazine’s 100 greatest novels of 1923-2005 and the subject of Watchmen being included came up. This part caught my eye.
One inclusion that confused me at the time that I read it was Watchmen, which is really a short story stretched to novel length by illustrations. To me, it offers none of the complexity of even a short novel like Red Harvest. Tell me about the decision to include a graphic novel in a list of prose works.
LG: There are plenty of things to complain about in Watchmen, but a lack of complexity? I couldn’t disagree more! I’m a great believer in the power and importance of graphic novels — or comic books, as I prefer to call them — and I think they’re one of the most exciting things to happen to the novel in the 20th Century. To me the list would have had a hole in it without them.”

Found a neat little article in an Indian newspaper, the Sakaal Times, entitled prints help art lovers during economic meltdown. I’m not able to purchase a lot of art and as artists and illustrators ourselves we create quite a lot of pen and ink drawings and paintings. I’ve always loved high quality silk-screen prints and have quite a collection of them. It’s true, you get hang something beautiful on the wall that is limited but still a fraction of the cost of the original piece.

‘Motion Comics’ vs ‘Illustrated Films’ – Analysis of Watchmen & Godkiller. Matt Pizzolo compares and contrasts these two mediums. This subject will probably start to come up more often as people now have easier access to technology and motion graphic software.

A whole lotta talk on the new Amazon Kindle. Mashable has a quick overview on it and Amazon’s near future plans for digital literature. Over at Robot6 JK Parkin covers the new Kindle while discussing the digital evolution of comics. Heidi over at THE BEAT also digs the new Kindle. And finally Scott McCloud pipes in about the new device and its’ incorrect proportions.

Steven Heller, a former art director at The New York Times wrote an article on hand lettering and why it still rocks (perhaps now more than ever).

And on that note here’s a video celebrating old-school lettering.

Holy shit, the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will have a print run of 75,000 copies. Go Indy Comics! Top Shelf are hauling ass this year. As a side note I love Meltdown Comics blog and yes I’m jealous that we don’t have a store like that here in Vancouver.

Andrew Wheeler had the most sobering argument last week on the whole trade vs. singles format for comics.

This was the most inventive use of animation that I’ve seen all week. And yes that includes Star Trek.

“If you give away your premium content for free, you are basically…signing your own death warrant”. Valerie D’Orazio of Occasional Superheroine asks the question what happens if you give away your premium content?

There’s two schools of thought on this. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails pulled in $1.6 million in a week “giving away” his music. You can learn more about that in the Trent Reznor Case Study put together by Michael Masnick of techdirt.com.

On the flipside Chris Anderson at Wired tells a a tragic tale of Free gone horribly wrong as he details the decline of the Danish newspaper industry.

Warren Ellis has been actively helping team comics all week. He’s been blogging on promoting your comics. He’s also started very active threads over at the Whitechapel forum on webcomics and minicomics. So if you have stuff to pimp, go over there and get pimping.

Cool things from around the net.
Of note on Mashable; 6 Things World of Warcraft Can Teach You About Social Media Success and 5 Impressive Mashups of Twitter and Flickr.

Master and overlord of all things marketing Seth Godin’s live presentation on the tribes we lead has materialized over at TED. I read all of Seth’s books religiously.

Smashing Magazine released an elegant new Gallery WordPress theme for artists. And yes it’s free.

And finally yes, you’ll have a reason to go to the video store on new release day, Tuesday, May 19th. Dreams CAN come true if you wish hard enough.



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