Clickwheel, the iPod comics company, has set up shop on iTunes.
"This is an important move for Clickwheel and our artists," says Will Simons, Clickwheel’s founder. "It holds enormous possibilities and could, we believe, prove a defining moment in the history of this company."
Clickwheel’s first features on iTunes are the movie-themed gag strip Joe Loves Crappy Movies by Joseph Dunn, the punning gag strip Silent Kimbly by Ryan Sias, the fantasy sitcom Sebo by Jamie Robertson, Colin White’s autobiographical, politically charged Colin White Comix and Joe Alterio’s youth-and-quest story Fading Fast.
The current setup of iTunes allows the transfer of mpeg files in the m4v format, a format traditionally assigned to movies and animation, not comics. Since most of the features on Clickwheel are rooted in the art of the still frame and speech balloon, Clickwheel has developed a house style of limited animation that preserves much of the look and feel of comics artwork… very close to what storyboard artists and advertisers call "animatics." "The name ‘Clickwheel Animatics’ communicates what we’re about," says Simons. "Our cartoonists can venture into full animation– of course!– but the vast majority of them are more interested in this kind of work, which shows its roots."
"This move redefines the meaning of the term ‘comics market,’" says T Campbell, Clickwheel’s commissioning editor. "I’m hoping iTunes becomes another channel through which comics pours its energies, another river from which new readers can drink."