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Monday

This week's guest blogger is Tim Demeter who does way too many cool things for me to list 'em. Needless to say I'm grateful for him to take sometime out of his busy schedule to guest blog for the site again (he helped out last summer as well).

BUSINESS

  • Gary Tyrell at FLEEN has a good post on DC Comics Zudacomics project. Zudacomics is DC's webcomic portal for new stuff from creators - not it's "putting DC comic books on the web" site, which oddly enough DC hasn't gotten around to creating yet. Apparently DC must think that the music industry's Internet strategy is awesome as it and Marvel appear to be following large parts of it - although not yet suing large numbers of their customers so good on them for that bit of common sense. Is it just me or is the huge rise in scanlation trading online (scanlation is the direct equivalent of ripping CDs into mp3s) at least somewhat the fault of DC and Marvel for failing to put their immense catalog of material online in any meaningful way for consumers? Sort of related here is Joey Manley's recent post spelling out his view that Modern Tales as a subscription site was a success, but one limited by the subscription site model. Manley links to a post about Zudacomics and cracks wise that:
    It’s interesting and illuminating to see the “mainstream” comics community try to get a grip on how the digital distribution of comics can be monetized. Sometimes, it literally feels like they’re repeating every business idea that took the webcomics community by storm over the past ten years, and in exactly the same order, only to discard each in turn (as did we, for the most part) and move on to the next.

    I'm interested of course in any comics publishers' projects involving digital distribution of comics. It's the future of all media, not just comics and the sooner comics sorts out how to survive the intertubes the better for comics. Anyhow back to Gary's post and zudamania. I think DC's insistence on a 4:3 format for comics isn't going to be a problem for people willing to get into bed with Zudacomics in the first place. The 4:3 ratio is probably equally useful to Zuda to make their site slicker and more consistent for readers as it is to any print spin-offs Zuda pursues. But I definitely think Gary's point that a successful Zuda might benefit some non-Zuda creators more than anyone actually on Zuda to be pretty insightful and likely correct.

INTERVIEWS

DEAD TREES

  • Journalista! points to this Publisher Weekly post on Amazon's new self-publishing program:
    Through Project Vine, readers with a history of posting accurate and helpful book reviews are being invited to receive advance copies for review purposes. And, through CreateSpace, a division of the company that already provides CD- and DVD-on-demand services, Amazon has added book publishing options.

REVIEWS

TRANSITIONS

  • Newsarama is reporting that Mike Wieringo passed away this Sunday of a sudden heart attack. Wieringo wasn't that much older than me (he was 44) and he's also one of the few names in comic book land I was familar with before I got into all this webcomics. By all accounts not only was he very talented but a tremendously nice guy. He had a blog and I imagine there will be some info on memorials there.

SWAG

NOT WEBCOMICS

  • Sometimes superhero movies are cool, sometimes they are ridiculous. Sometimes they're just a muddled mess where the director/writer/whatever can't figure out what kind of movie they're making. Time Nerd World blogger Lev Grossman posts about the planned Thor movie and I have to agree with his doubts about the direction Marvel supposedly is taking with it. The main reason I'm linking to this NerdWorld post though is to harp on the planned The Incredible Hulk movie which is being touted as a "re-do" of the Ang Lee movie (and not a sequel). I'm not sure how I'd script it because I don't think you'd want to make a movie too crowded with Marvel Universe characters but wouldn't you rather see a new Hulk movie along the lines of this "World War Hulk" comic book mini-series Grossman blogs about than another origin story? The Hulk is a big scary ambiguous bad guy (sort of like the Terminator character in T2) that blows stuff up. Make that movie without any pretense to being something else and you'd probably have the summer hit Marvel wants.