Origin, Mon Dieux!
Submitted by Logan on July 31, 2007 - 19:05
Part 2 of 3 in the â€œWho the hell is Logan DeAngelis?â€ series
It was March of 2001. The pixel-based land rush which was the early days of the webcomics scene were aâ€™bornin, Â and a funky little comic called KU-2 made its online debut. A heartwarming tale of a foul-mouthed punker from New Jersey (based none too loosely upon myself in the 90s, down to the idiotic haircut) and his adventures in Hawaii with an alien android combined elements of sci-fi, horror and Polynesian mythology which was, at the heart of it all, really just a heartfelt slice-of-life tale with some pretty weird trappings.
Received well by both critics and readers alike, KU-2 was amazing to work on; it was a fantastic opportunity to tell my stories in an open medium and reach people who would like the quirkiness of it. At the same time I simultaneously ran self-contained short stories, and spun off more sites based on other comics Iâ€™d had brewing in my brain for ages. Sure, this same â€œopportunityâ€ presented itself to anyone with a modem and some webspace, but thatâ€™s really the beauty of it, isnâ€™t it? The community aspect of putting your work out there amongst the work of your peers and have it appreciated was a blast. â€œLove your comic man â€“ hereâ€™s a link, check out mine!â€ was viral entertainment at its best, before the advent of YouTube.
It was around this time that I started to meet a lot of like-minded folks, such as Nate Piekos of Blambot Comic Fonts and Atland fame. After a time, 12 cartoonists (including myself) and one very talented webmaster joined together under the banner of PV Comics with the focus of a common goal to entertain our readers, and all the organization of a pack of feral cats. It was a pleasure to work for a time with so many talented folks; creators whose work I respected and admired. But the beginning of the end came when we printed our first anthology comic, PV Comics Vol.1.
A few of us were going to meet at a convention with our first booth, and wanted our first print volume for the show. Bringing our job to what we had heard was a reputable online printer, we wound up shocked when the final bill came: it was almost twice the initial automated online quote! We heard every excuse from rush shipping to art bleeding off the page edge as phony reasons for the 11th hour price gouging, but my favorite reason was excessive black coverage. Wait a sec â€¦ let me get this straight. Youâ€™re charging me extra for my black and white comic book being too black?!? We ate the increased bill and vowed never to do business with these guys again (to this day I still wonâ€™t give their names and trash talk them specifically),Â but I was pissed and vowed to do something about it.
I loved making webcomics, but I had always been an India-ink-under-the-fingernails, paper-pulp-gripping traditional comic book reader. I had also worked in my professional career as a graphic designer and digital pre-press operator for over a decade at this point in my life, and I didnâ€™t have to sit back and take it from this bait-and-switch printer. There had to be a better way, even if I had to do it myself.
Tomorrow: the third and final installment of â€œwho in the hell is Logan DeAngelisâ€ featuring the birth of ComiXpress.