Apple Will Save Comics

While the Kindle has done decently as an e-book platform, Apple is about to clean its clock with it’s tablet computer. And it won’t be the only one. Tablet PC’s are about to become the norm. And the Book and Comic will soon become a lot more affordable and easy to read in digital form.

This article from Mashable delves into the new Apple tablet. I look forward to getting one when they come out.

With comics in digital form, they will be easier to find and more people will be able to read them for little cost. It could be the thing that saves the industry.

Print is on it way out. I’ve been saying that for years. It will always be around as a collectors thing, but digital is the future.

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8 Comments

  1. Well I’ll still miss that new comic book smell! 😀

    I think Graphic Novels might be the norm first(they kinda are already), and digital would become the norm for those who keep up with weekly/monthly comics. 2000AD, the Brit comic that features Judge Dredd has already been availble for digital subscribtion for about a year now. And they’re continously adding past archive issues for purchase and download. The same digital service is available for the Judge Dredd Megazine. This is really great for North American fans of Judge Dredd since not all comic retailers carry 2000 AD. Now 2000AD isn’t exactly a major publishing company, but they’re characters are popular enough even with a fan base not as big as Marvel fans. Marvel and DC could still learn something from this.

    Something like this might also help fans of American comics who live outside of North America and don’t necessarily have the privilage of comic book stores or conventions.

  2. Also, while we’re in the discussion of digitized comics, what do you think about comic art being created digitally? It’s already been done with colors, but how long will it be before pencils and inks will be replaced with a Graphics tablet? I mean, do we really need artists to spend money on tons of art equipment when there are so many graphics software that can allow them to draw on a computer? A lot of these software require less tech savvy and allows artists to be artists.

    Is there any reason at all why pencillers have to mail their work to the publisher? When they could just upload their work to some server? What is the point of having a penciller and an inker, when you could do both on something like Adobe Illustrator or ArtRage(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artrage)?

  3. A lot of artists work on tablets. It’s just replacing paper with a screen. They are just replacing a pencil with a stylus.

    I think we’ll still have old school pencillers, but according to my friend Val Mayerik that kind of skill is dying out in the commercial art world. Most people there work on digital.

    Times change, as does technology. I don’t think people send in physical art much anymore. Most are uploading files now to FTP servers. At least at places I have worked or with artists I know.

  4. I’ve tried drawing with tablets but it just isn’t the same as drawing with pencil.

    Coloring I will grant you is a lot simpler with paint and edit programs but penciling not so much…

    Even the best pressure tablet doesn’t have the control that you get with pencil and paper and I’ve taken classes and worked with other media, too… Pencil just gives you more control over the initial image.

    As good as the Wacom tablets have gotten, they won’t change everybody’s way of doing things.

    Sure, workplaces force people to work with certain equipment but a good employer is not going to force his best people to abandon the tools that work for them.

    Most digital replacement of traditional techniques (film and illustration) has nothing to do with expanding art or increasing the tools available for artists. It’s all about the bottomline for companies and increasing productivity. Companies could care less if the actual end product is better than traditional methods. From what I’ve seen, digital still has a long ways to catch up with traditional and far too many people use it as crutch to disguise deficiencies in art training and laziness.

    One problem encountered with a lot of schools is that they bypass traditional teaching methods and kids get told to “do their own thing” without learning the basics first. IE, hippies are teaching kids and the teaching methods that worked for hundreds of years and produced world-caliber artists have been abandoned at many places (or were never there to begin with). You learn far more on your own practicing or attending seminars with well-trained artists than you do at most 4-year universities and even many so-called art schools. You still need to get down and dirty with traditional pencil and paint before you can attempt to replicate these effects digitally.

    Even guys like Alex Ross prefer to do it the old-fashioned way. Both Adam Hughes and Adam Woren still work with pencil. Hughes does, however, most of his coloring in his Photoshop.

  5. For me, it’s not just sketching on the computer. It’s sculpting and coloring as well. I’ve hardly ever touched paper again ever since I got my 9×12 Wacom tablet! There’s a whole world of possiblities with todays 2D and 3D graphics software. It’s not that it’s the software that makes the artist, but it’s the software that helps the artist flesh out his imagination almost instantly. And yes, I have taken traditional art classes in college. Heck, I use to be fanatical about keeping things “traditional”. That all changed when I saw how photoshop can “remember” all the changes you did with your artwork and at any point you could “go back in time” and fix something. Going all digital is just more efficient. I don’t see with having a “tool” that makes bringing your imagination to life a bit easier and faster. Would you honestly go back to writing letters instead of emailing people? And they open up the possibilities of new completely new forms of artstyle. Just check out the kinds of things that are possible with something called ZBrush –

    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/showpost.php?p=597196&postcount=68
    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/showthread.php?t=73956
    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/showthread.php?t=074796

    Artists like Alex Ross are just so used to doing it the old fashioned way because they’ve been working that way since they began their careers. They’re probably better off working that way because it’s what they’re best at. But new artists shouldnt be constrained (yes, constrained!) by traditional tools. If anything, going digital actually frees the artist.

  6. I’ve gotten a medium-sized Bamboo Fun Wacom Tablet in June. It’s no Cintiq (which I’d have to work for), but I’m very impressed with it! It’s not perfect, but I have better control than my rinky-dink old tablet which gets more control over me than I over it.

    Of course, in no way does this mean that I’ll abandon traditional methods, which are still great help. I saw Darwyn Cooke (one of my favorite artists) at Dragon*Con weeks ago, and seeing him at work just overwhelmed me! The simplicity of his tools and techniques really blew me away. I felt like master animator Richard Williams, who was similarly geeking out while learning from his many heroes like Ken Harris, Milt Kahl and others.

    I also talked with Ted Naifeh (another favorite) at the same con, and he tells me he has a Cintiq, and he just doesn’t feel it to be a better inking tool. I know other favorites like Stephen Silver using such tools with great ease, but Ted understandably doesn’t feel it to be a better inking tool. He told me it’s *much* better for coloring, which is what he uses it for.

    I was training myself at doing cartoon-style art with it, mostly lineless style art and such. It can take great concentration to get good lines. Here’s two such works I did on the tablet:

    Original monster creation of mine:
    http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com/art/Rekira-2009-Tablet-Test-126207431
    THE MIGHTY B! Fanart:
    http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com/art/Mighty-B-Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy-131664970

    TJX,

    One of my teachers gave me ZBrush to work with, and I’m very impressed with it! I’d also recommend Poser as a great tool to work with, especially if you want to use model reference.

  7. JohnPaulCassidy, I do indeed have Poser and it’s the perfect virtual human model tool! I can’t remember which one, but I know there is one comic book cover artist who uses modified poser models.

    VUE is another great software, it’s to scenery what poser is to characters. Anyways, once you have ZBrush, you’ll be hardly touching any other 3D or 2D software for a while. It’s just that great and addictive to work with! 😀

    Also, if you can’t afford a Cintiq, I highly recommend sticking with an INTUOS 3 or 4 of a decent size (at least 9×12). It’s what I currently have. It’s no Cintiq, but it should have better and more accurate controls than the Bamboo.

  8. With digital distrobution choices such as comicsxp.com, carbonatedcomics.com, and longboxdigital.com, as soon as I get a modern reliable tablet pc (such as the touchbook from “always inovating”) I’ll be 95% digital.

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