Tablets, Apple, control, and the future of casual pixels.
On Facebook i just had a interaction typical of many online about, and over the IPad. Funny that i'd have an opinion about an IPad given i don't even use a mac. But I do.
So pardon this wordy ramble.
I'm optimistic. Not converted per say, but i recognize the Ipad's significance. There's no denying it presents a viable way out for big segments of the print media. Not to be what they were maybe, but to be something? As a comic artist looking to improve the way i can get my work out there, i see a lot of potential in these things. And from the list of things not allowed...
...well unless i want to make porn i don't see that affecting me too badly. I don't really care to make porn no.
I can see how it chafes if you do, but we're not talking about the entire digital market here. More like one outlet store chain? And I doubt the device is perfect at all. For a breakdown of the IPads flaws far more informed than i could offer, i like the thoroughness of Cory's at boingboing - and he links to some others worth looking at as well.
Many users are going to love it just the same - but if you're root, a creator or maker, you're going to want more. I do.
Those with the spare $ for a IPad as a casual device will get one anyway - heck the thing can last 10+ hours on a charge and do VIOP, kicks my old N800 all to hell and that was pretty nice. If i have the spare change in the future i'm there. But it's not going to work for everyone all the time. And i don't think that's their idea. That might be what YOU wanted, but not Steve. Xeni Jardin's first blush reaction to it shows how something like this was always a great idea with a waiting and ready market. It's clear this thing is a Win for them, and i think for me too as a comic artist and illustrator. And I think it's going to be a perfect brick for wedging the door open on digital media devices with the same kind of practical form factor.
A market leader, a trend setter, but the long run owner of the game?
Someone finally getting the hardware this right though, is going to make the future brighter for this kind of machine. And that's going to make any free market or speech concerns mute as more and more of these devices come into play. Eventually someone has always matched a mac with an open platform if not in market shares. It's only a mater of time.
If you really want to push the issue of market or speech, then do it in the community and the court, and even use the device to make a statement. But don't expect a device and it's support infrastructure to be the root of liberalizing culture. People do that, not machines. If i draw an X rated comic in print today, i have to deal with the same things app makers are, in brick and mortar retailers all the time. And customs! I don't hear extreme examples in the stories about Apple's shop and if that's all i had to contend with, i think it's quite possible to manage a new booming market for magazines and comics there. Not saying don't critique Steve, he does read Penthouse it seems. But lets keep it in perspective?
I don't want shops to stop being able to have a say about what they sell on their own shelves for the sake of free speech, be they made of mater or pixels. That's just trading intolerances.
Not even a question of capitalism to me. The change that means anything, is that of the cultural standards that inform the consumers who influence retailers.
The best way there is not in their face, but through the back door, via content they will listen to.
So i think the IStore is overblown as a censorship threat - They just reflect the middle moral ground of the american market - There lays the problem, not at apple.
And really I don't expect to see vibrators and blow up dolls at Toys'R'us either. Or less extreme - a larger mens section in a women's clothing store. Not going to happen is it? It's not practical.
Apple may be chasing the largest market there is, but it's not the whole market is it? And so? Just leaves what, 90% of what dominates the internet open to being exploited still? This is bad how? For who? And that i can go somewhere digitally and not have to wade through stuff like this? I like brick in mortar shops like that i have to say. Bit less crass is not always so bad you know. Not my favorite part of the internet exactly. Not the worst, but hey.
Hardware wise, i think the Ipad is a case of low hanging fruit, and they were able to pick it first with the usual apple flair. The touch screen tech and limitations in thinking regarding interface were holding tablets back the last 10 years - geeks loved keyboards, Gates only just flipped on the question - but since before Star Trek sleek slate computers have always been a dream desire. And because of that this has been one of the more thoroughly explored format ideas. We've had our model T and a few more since. The larger hybrid tablet laptops and IPhone have both explored the possibilities here more than tentatively. So while the reality of it may be a little mind blowing, it's not quite something all together new.
The control Apple exerts over it is pretty fragile too. More of an evelitonay influence than a regime. The Iphone OS being the system means not just a built in sweet of apps from the smaller cousins ready to go out of the gates.
More than a few companies are cracking the technical problems of battery life, leaner OS's, and touch based interfaces with different approaches. Others with less interest in tightly controlling content, or even having a 'store' will be the rest of the market in the long run - Apple itself is bound to come up with a souped up pad running OS X, the HP Slate specs and price point almost guaranties it. Why leave that part of their less casual market completely unexplored?
The IPad looks to me like a fantastic dynamic proof of concept you can own today - sounds like a sales pitch don't it?
But i have to roll my eye's when the drama gets overplayed. Some rather intense arguing going on about it from what I've seen. From the Coming of the Tablet to dark talk of Fascism and Monopoly, like they have already cornered and own the market or something? The market is still just being invented here - I think they are still just one player with fairly modest goals in terms of what they want this device and it's a 1.0 for them.
It's a cheep stripped down version of what's to come, that has a pretty secure income stream built in - and that IS something people have been wanting. It looks like it does what it said it would do really really well. Most people will be able to afford to take one for granted.
But i'd put money on Cory being right. That the real fun is going to be the open format versions of what follows. Where we will really see what tablets can do. Simply because that is where the experimentation is naturally going to be.
That the IPad is such a 'perfect' performing little bastard will make the game all the more fun. Like the left needed Bush, geeks need IBM and Apple's to retaliate and one-up against. Working so well, the first thing hardcore users will see are all the things it might do, once cracked. :)
Apple will likely continue to be good at offering luxury goods to people who don't really care much about or want to know how it operates unless that = simply. I'm not being condescending, many believe in and pursue push button convenience and the freedom to conform. I don't think it's that they are incapable of more. No. Being lazy is a state of mind, not of nature. I've been lazy and so have you. Question is just how lazy and when. And then Apple has you covered in the modernist clean inoffensive style of the minimal. The slickest of cutting edge recycled electronic goods. For now, for that game - they are the Kings of it - all hail apple.
Whatever, I converted to a home built PC in the 90's and never looked back yet. :P
But as a content provider, when it comes to a broadly commercially viable comics market, taking root 'online' POST collector era that will support a salary? In a post pirate bay world? it's a good platform to start with i'm going to bet.
Dream life continues afoot. Or no, it's in the air. well, whatever, :)
There was a rewarding surge in traffic when the latest page dropped. Need to get the last few dream sequence pages uploaded tonight. I posted a clip of script that was cut out along with page 16 today.
Just completed a total renovation and conversion of Sequential to a word press site. Came out well i think. Lot of new functions possible now, Bryan Dave and I have been throwing round a lot of ideas. Need to catch up with TCAF things but so far everything seems to be coming together.
The wing nut's wing nuts are on the wing. But they can't outrun Rachel Maddow!
So I just want to say, when we depicted the end times in Therefore Repent, i didn't mean to say i belive in it! Nooooo, not even a little. We were taking the piss. But these crazy guys!! Fuck!!! Holy crap, you can't write it this bad. Check out the patch. Man.
But they could not outrun Rachel Maddow. Nice. If there were a god that would mean he watches her.
Good old Michigan. Don't you guys play in our rain dear games. Not unless you got some antlers.
Well, that's cute, but quite true i think. I'm getting old but this is not how i remember it. They used photos of cow brains alright, thought that was really cool! But i doubt it was smeared on the Multiplane camera directly. :P hah!
I was around as a little kid at the time at Nelvana, 8 or 9 years old. 10 or 11 maybe by the time that part was being shot. Watching that film get worked on was the highlight of several summers - my mother was on the crew and we didn't have daycare. Remember the crew working on that part in particular, it made an impression.
The demon was drawn on black paper with red and white pastel, or something like. Lot of smudging was involved. Crazy hard work for the artist. I recall they were copying from pencil drawings done by the animators who had worked out the mechanics of it traditionally on a light table. Think it might have been the first time i saw someone make tracing paper by rubbing something [chalk in this case i think] on the back of a page and re-tracing the lines of the drawing. Only way they could get the animation onto the black paper.
But it didn't look intense enough when they were done that. I recall the big debate in the paint department about what to do after the first rushes came in. People who worked on it still talk about that part of the production wide eyed about all the work that went into it. So, that's when the guts came into it.
The pastel art was shot on to full size transparencies, the blacks blacked out solid leaving the demon translucent on the films/cells. Making an overlay layer.
The photos of guts n' brains was shot in a bucket as i recall, poked and sloched to make it unduatle. That footage was terned into large stills and were under the cell art, lit from below on the Multiplane. It was footage of moving guts, so they would have to change the photo of the guts for each new frame shot, far more often than the animated demon's cells had to be changed, making it slow going.
Have a clear memory of the camera guy showing me what he was doing at the time and making eyes about all the work involved with perverse pride. Pretty awesome stuff.
But they loved that machine, maybe something happen when i was not around and i never heard about it. But I kind of suspect they could just shot the bucket of stuff with a regular camera, be a heck of a lot easier, and doubt they'd have gotten that gunk on the machine, it was huge and expensive.
...I've seen run true in my own lifetime, is that humans are boom and bust creatures, with a well documented tendency to ignore folly and run after the endless return. Not a revelation. Not everyone all the time or anything, but yeah, as a general thing just about all of us some of the time.
There's a real strong, but kind of late push towards electric renewables these days. But sadly we're far from braking point with Gass just yet. Got some more rev to grind out of those hot old hot rods.
There's also a kind of particular level of crazy fascination that we often associate with greed for things like gold, that inevitably heralds the bust of these booms. And that's what i thought when i saw this.
Put this up on Flickr a few days ago, it's open to the changes different venues and opportunities will provide but I'm kind of hopping i can do it just B&W like this. I really love working in this style, and i think this one would suite it well. Can't say too much yet but this is something I'm collaborating with Mark Sable, my co-hort on Upside Down for Comic Book Tattoo.
More to come soon. Juggling doing some pages for a pitch [as seen here] and inking two Dream Life pages, shooting for 5 in all by the end of the week. So far looking good.
Messing around. It's important to remeber play time while i keep looking for work, as an old doodle reminded me the other day when we crossed paths by the river.
Cleanead up a bit this would be a cool T-shirt i think.
I wounder what the best site for that kind of deal is these days?
K wrapps up soon, i'm doing roughs on 10 now. Don't know what the numbers are on it but it's been seen all over the pace in QC. I sould take a cammera around and shoot some of the displays the publisher had for it. Pretty good coveage it looks like.
Still in Toronto for another day, but soon I'll be back at work. In the mean time though....
After the con, i was able to finally catch Ronley Teper & co preforming @the Tranzac in Toronto Live. This is a band/performer i've been following for a little while now, found her via myspace, my cousin plays with her sometimes. you can check her out here.
Also lots of links on youtube with the vid, check them ALL out. :)
The great thing was that i wanted to see this show but forgot the day of about it, lost in Kensington market reminiscing w old friends. Made some new ones too. Then me and john walked up to Bloor on Brunswick to get some sushi, and lo there we were passing the Tranzac! Ronley was out side and we said hello, got the stage time and grabbed a great din before the show. Nice night.
This was at a zine launch, Cass was helping out set it up and i tagged allong. There were a few good local bands/acts, and one god awful one from out of town. But this is one song by someone who's voice was just amazing, reaches out and grabs you.
I have to check in with the organizer, for now only know her first name is Meghan Riley, she has some opera training and she's also very charming in person. We [Cass and I] were both smitten. I'll post some more from this show shortly, want to get the info sorted first....
Taking a few days to ink, then back to Top Secret project.
Blocky thing takes forever to ink, I'm telling you, Boyo.
Having some interesting conversations with a few writers right now, considering illustration a sort of philosophical picture book, been approached about a couple of comic book ideas that if not too big I might end up doing, and maybe even seeing if I cant think of an interesting animation idea - had a studio contact me about the possibility of talking about developing an idea with them, pretty exciting the more I think about it. Pondering what concepts i've been kicking around might make the leap well, or if I have any new notions that might be worth pitching....hmmm.
Also making small steps towards writing a new Sea of Red project, that i've pretty much decided I'd like to do sooner than I can draw it, so looking into other artists for that maybe.
Been making plans
to tour for Therefore Repent!
It's looking very good for me going to the NYCC, and Paradise, and by hock or crook my first visit to the San Diego Comic Con. Also Windsor/Detroit as well in the next 6 months! Maybe more yet, haven't got a confirmation but might be giving a presentation here in Montreal at the end of the month as well in NDG, hosted by geekmontreal.com
Jim's going to hit the road as well a little bit, stay tuned and i'll have dates and places for all that.
I was waiting for the rain to let up a bit so I could go to the D&Q book store opening, but the roof drain was blocked and it all started coming in through the ceiling!
Landlord had to come over, fist we drilled holes to control where it was coming in - it was pouring out of light fixtures and all over. With the holes it was possible to get it to all drain out in one place. But it came down in torrents! it would fill the bins in about 5 min. So the landlord went up to the roof, saw that the drain was blocked, and that was almost it. Mostly it's stopped now, except one slow dripper in my bed room, that's keeping me up......grumble....
Years ago when i first started visiting Montreal, Rupert Bottenberg introduced me to a fellow young Jewish lad name of Josh Dolgin.
We talked a lot over the years, and i always liked the guy, eventually I ended up living a few blocks from his place and would drop in from time to time to say hi. His pad was always hopping.
The guy is inspiringly creative. First off he's a DJ, and Rapper. Did a lot of sampling and turntabling and had really interesting eclectic taste. He was also a classically trained musician, and played a squeezebox too.
He also makes documentary films, a fair bit of that really, lately with the NFB.
And to top it off is really amazing with slight of hand tricks that he obsessively practices for hours on end. Its not just a hobby, he performs as a magician sometimes. When I held the first Monthly Montreal Comix Jam for my 30th birthday I invited him to come and perform, the show was amazing.
Lost track for a while, mostly because he started touring a lot for his music and I started hearing mutterings, every once and a while something on the CBC about him.
Last year for a while we were neighbours and when he was in town it was great to go over to his place and talk the shit. Half the time he's just making shit up, but then it's even deeper! :P
Words been getting out, this guy is talented. DJ, Filmmaker, Musician, Magician, oh, did I forget really excellent Photographer too? Forgetaboutit! Check out his web site for some of that action. All around creative and inventive dude I tell you!
So if you haven't been bit by this bug yet, lets see if i can fix that. He's got two Youtube pages going. Here and here. Some highlights to hook you in bellow.
A comic book launch featuring two very different visions of the end days, spanning the political spectrum:
Claudia Dávila's spOILed is a peak oil parable about a world without petroleum. A peek at that here.
Salgood Sam and Jim Munroe's THEREFORE REPENT! is a post-Rapture graphic novel about a world without God. preview here on comicspace
The creators will be in attendance, and their original artwork from the comics will be on display. Books, original artwork and silkscreened posters will be on sale. This event kicks off the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which culminates in the weekend fair of international artists on the U of T campus.
Thursday, August 16th, 8pm-10pm. Free. Tequila Bookworm (512 Queen St. W., upstairs)
(The Bookworm's new location is ten doors west of their old place, and the upstairs features lots of cozy rooms and an outdoor patio to enjoy their local brews.)
Born in Santiago, Chile, Claudia Dávila moved to Canada in 1973 and grew up in the culture-rich cities of Montreal and Toronto. She began drawing and painting at an early age, and was fortunate to attend art-focused public high school Wexford C.I., followed by York University for Visual Arts. She emerged to develop a multi-faceted career of graphic design, art direction, illustration, painting and cartooning. Five years were dedicated to the award-winning children's magazines Chirp, Chickadee and Owl, first as Associate Art Director and subsequently as Art Director. She is presently creating a book-art piece relating to survival in Toronto after the end of petroleum energy, for which she received a Toronto Arts Council grant. Claudia's art is informed by her various interests, such as the environment, social politics, yoga, vegetarian cuisine, ayurveda, and metaphysics, as well as the issue of the end of fossil fuels, and as such is a member of the Toronto Peak Oil Discussion Group.
Salgood Sam is Maxim Douglas backwards: Toronto-born, Montreal-based artist and author. Since the early '90s he's worked professionally for Marvel, DC and other commercial comic publishers as well as in the alternative world of zines and underground comix. In recent years his work has appeared in a variety of comics, such as Terminator 3: Before the Rise (Beckett Comics), the bloody swashbuckling Sea of Red (Image Comics), and Revolution on the Planet of the Apes (Mr Comics). In 2005 he was nominated for the Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent for his self-published book RevolveR, and in 2006 he received a grant from The Canada Council for the Arts to complete another graphic novel currently in the works. He's also worked in animation and as an illustrator, but his first love has always been pictures that talk with balloons.
Jim Munroe had his first novel Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask published by HarperCollins. Despite their interest in his second book, he was uncomfortable with the corporate ownership and went back to his indie press roots. He founded No Media Kings, named in dishonour of right-wing media magnate Rupert Murdoch, and published his next book in Canada himself - it sold just as well, made him more money, and drew attention to the issues of media consolidation and the alternatives to it. His do-it-yourself publishing resource website created an international network of people through which he was able to found The Perpetual Motion Roadshow - a volunteer-run circuit that sent a hundred people on seven-city tours. He recently released a lo-fi sci-fi no-budget movie he wrote and co-produced called Infest Wisely.
SAM's WORK DIARY | an account of endeavors
and random musings | the web-log of Max Douglas, a
professional cartoonist working and living in Montreal Qc Canada
max at salgoodsam dot com atom feed