Dear People Who Program Digital Comic Readers

Dear People Who Program Digital Comic Readers,
Please make your products less shitty. Please open up more image types. It can’t be that difficult and it will let you open up digital comics to the future.
I recently made the Socialfist Chapter 1 CBZ file. 90% of the time people tried to use it, there was a problem – not with the file but with the programs running it. Some people had issues opening the files because I made it on a Mac and their computers could read it. That meant that when I zipped the file they stuck in a tiny Mac stamp that prevented the comic from being read in some programs.
Other people had problems because the first several pages were gifs. Why the hell would you not let gifs work in your program? These are basic image files! Does it make sense? I posit that it doesn’t.
I mean if gifs and animated gifs could work in your programs, you could have animations and that would be freaking awesome. That is what the future of digital comics have but it needs you all to come together and standardize gifs and animations.
Just putting this out there.
(Personally I use Simple Comic on my Mac and it does it all.)

Chris Roberson Saved The Man Of Steel

I started working in the local comic shop a few months into Grounded. If you weren’t aware Superman lost his faith in the country and in himself and decided to walk across the country. This was a big thing since J.M.S. was writing it and they even ran a contest for Superman to visit different states and have adventures. We had a giant poster for it and everything.
The problem was this wasn’t Superman. Superman wasn’t being Superman. He’d been really beaten up about losing New Krypton but that was not Superman! Superman walking across the country is not Superman. The fundamental ideas of the Man of Steel were being challenged.
I learned about how bad Grounded was when people talked about Superman being a jerk – it didn’t make sense. When Superman yells at you for expressing distaste in what he does that is not Superman. That is not the archetypal defender of the common people, the anti-establishment hero taking down corruption so that freedom could grow.
I ended up ignoring Superman. When people asked for books I told them All Star Superman but to avoid the comic. It was sad because Superman shouldn’t be a hard person to write for. He is a person who above all believes in good. He is a person who so willingly gives of himself that he would die to save one person he might not even know. He is a person who will fight for those who can’t fight. He isn’t a petty person who gets angry like he was in the comics.
So when I heard Chris Roberson had taken over to do a good job I was surprised. I opened up his first issue and on that first page – he was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He was showing that trifecta of righteous powers. Soon after the Legion of Supermen literally came and said “Superman, you aren’t well. Something is wrong.” And they told the truth.
In the following issues, Superman became Superman again. Following loose instructions from corporate, Chris Roberson reforged the hero. He healed the wounds. He added support and he even shined up his past. He started saving people. He saw his friends in the Justice League, he met up with Super Chief. He had flashback about Lex Luthor stealing 40 cakes. And he hit on Truth, Justice and the American Way. When Superman came out, I was ready for it. More so than All-Star Superman, more so than Superman: The Animated Series, Chris Roberson turning around Grounded made Superman mean something to me. He made me day on those Wednesdays. I laughed, I shared and in the end I cried. Thank you Chris.

If you weren’t aware, Chris Roberson recently severed ties with DC Comics after ending his series iZombie. Besides a pre-agreed run for Fairest, he won’t be working with DC Comics anymore.
Why?
Because he doesn’t agree with how they treat creators. Because he looks at what happened to Siegel and Schuster and doesn’t like it. Because he sees Alan Moore asking a company he helped to remake screw him over time and time again. Because Chris Roberson is in many ways a Superman. He’s not just taking to the comments and complaining. He is not falling in line with corporate policy. I respect Mr. Roberson for that and I look forward to the magic that he will continue to bring in the future.

Thank you Chris.

The 5 Level Rating I Use For MightyFine Voting

I ended up getting interested in free shirts and clothes since my current freelancing lifestyle has me living very frugally. As such I’ve began occasionally voting on submissions for Mighty Fine, a website that allows users to submit designs to contests for various pop culture ephemera like The Avengers, Jem or Scott Pilgrim. They then tend to pick the most popular/highest rated shirts and present them to a set of judges and they’ll commonly pick some someone related to the series to judge the shirts. Then some random voters get free shirts, the winning artists get money and the story ends.

Holy bells do some people have no idea what they are doing!
I ended up creating a chart for my voting list and it has yet to fail me.

5 – Yes if I win or get money I’d buy that shirt. The style works, it looks like a shirt design and it would print out nicely.

4 – If I was given the shirt as a gift I’d probably wear it in public. One or two things keep it from being a #5. Usually some spacing or the style is a bit weird.

And then we descend to the heart of the darkness.

3 – I have no idea how I feel. Something is up – the style might not work, it might have too many colors or it is just poorly constructed/laid out. If I were able to get money for editing it, I might buy it. Most text only designs end up here because they are boring or poorly composed.

2 – It shows something redeeming… Is… is that a pencil sketch of the characters? Why did you just scan a drawing and put it on the shirt. Is…is that fellatio?I… I don’t think you can draw. Or should. Wow, is that minimalism? Again? Without it meaning anything? I … I’d have to be pretty drunk to buy these shirts. Like I am needing a new shirt because I messed up my last one when I stopped being able to process alcohol.

1 – Fuck no. Congratulations. You learned to scan from the source material. Or from another product they actually sell. Oh wait, is that… custom art? Are you 6? I am sorry if you are but god damn. Why… why is this a watercolor? Why is everything in a gradient? I’d never wear these shirts. Except for money.

Mighty Fine needs some sort of art theft button to be honest – and possibly some pre screener. 3 is not the high point on the quality bell curve and something is wrong.

And remember – you don’t need a full cast photo – you just need a good idea, design skills and the ability to compose the image. Which seems to be asking for a lot.

2 Article Monday?!?!

Some of our more aware, intelligent and attractive readers might have noticed that not only were the articles for Monday shorter than usual but there was also one missing. Well, that is the curse of Cyber Monday where everything was 33% off from the number of articles to the length of articles.

(Note: this counts as an article).