SA: Do you think the future of comics lies in digital media? SS: I don’t think it’s the whole future, but I do think it’s a big part of it. The internet proper is a great entry point for new talent to stretch their legs, get feed back, and learn if they care to. And for more experienced creators it’s a good place to prove something publishers are normally wary of taking a risk on, like unconventional and maybe demanding approaches to pacing and plot. And building an initial interest in a project.
Also, I’ve solely promoted my work online as a comic artist and illustrator, since 1998 or so. And I’d say about 80% of my income has come from inquiries via that.
Then with the new incoming ‘App’ market we have something that may well offer a viable alternative to periodicals, and the problems of overhead and distribution the direct market is struggling with. It’s got a built in monetary stream so that solves that issue, and the new tablets, e-readers and net-books offer an increasingly comfortable reading form factor. Too early to say anything definitive about it but it’s looking pretty viable. Any problems with it I see are more questions of execution and problem solving, than innate obstacles. —>
And as editor at carte blanche I have a shop talk blog post today, catching non-comics readers up with the evolution of the medium over the last 10 years, and adressing the nomenclature of comics, sequential art, graphic novels and graphic fiction.
What I still think of as comics has been going through a time of great change and growth.
When I decided to dedicate most of my time to making them in high school, it was in part because I was being kicked out, and comics were something you didn’t need a degree in. In truth, there were no degrees to be had in comics. If you wanted to learn more about the medium, you studied art, writing, and film, and extrapolated from these different media. If you achieved a professional level of skill there was little worry about competition; I landed my first paying jobs at Marvel after just one serious attempt to get work in the early 1990s.
While I was developing my own skills out on the edges of the scene in the late 1980s, the then lone journal of comics, inventively titled The Comics Journal, called for our bastard medium to be taken seriously by critics, and urged creators to take what they did seriously in order to bring the standards of their work up to where they might merit that attention. —>
To answer one critique/question, “Sometimes, though, his focus on the imagery can be detrimental. I felt key details (like character names) were unnecessarily banished to the margins of the blog post. Shouldn’t this information be incorporated in the comic somehow?” – Yes, it just has not happened yet.
This is a totally fair point. As a web comic with one page a week going up, the pacing is slow enough i felt it was a good idea to add some notes. But the story was plotted for a book, where you would get to later pages where people address each other by name in a natural context as fast as you feel inclined to read the pages. It crossed my mind this could be a problem online, but I didn’t want to add cheats to the art itself, hence the notes.
I’d also say it’s actually a very story intense comic but the way i’m building it up, and with what has been posted so far, i can totally see how it would seem the story is secondary at this stage. Hopefully El Santo stays tuned long enough to see it come together. Muchas gracias for the attention Señor!
For some great tips on where to find the best comics on the web go check out his site.
Word’s out so i can squeak now, Dream Life is amongst the web comics nominated this year for the joe shuster awards!
Got some tough competition, but makes it all the more of a complement. The awards will be given this year at a public ceremony in Calgary, Alberta on the evening of Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo which takes place June 17-19, 2011. Haven’t worked out if i can make it to the event, will be looking into it over the next while. Be nice, got a lot i’d like to do this summer, going to have to find someway to pay for it all. Here bellow is the Outstanding Web Comics Creator list of nominees, quite a few friends in there. Also my friend Kalman got a nod for his lovely cover work, and gentlemen Jeff Lemire who’s been getting a lot of good heat of late, got a few more nominations in a few categories to put under his belt. Check out the full list on the JSA site ici.
Outstanding Web Comics Creator(s) /Créateur(s) Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées Web
Got a bit of nice press the last 48 hours, lot of people tweeting up the comics, thanks KarlDwight and Jack to name a few instigators.
Also the guys at Robot 6 have been really supportive of Dream Life for a while now, posted a nice little thing about the start of Act 2 here.
Here’s an interview a did in November last year. Local radio show Les Mystérieux étonnants posted the clip here, I’m part of the longer post. I’ve made a short version highlighting my bit that you can watch here. As usual i’m less than happy with my ham-fisted responses, hard to be as eloquent as i’d like after talking to teen fan boys all day. My voice was pretty blown out by the time Benoit talked to me here. Slurring my words a lot. Also already was starting to feel the nasty con-bug setting in by this time, laid me up for a week after. Ug.
That’s what I get for shaking that 15 year old Rorschach’s hand.
One thing i feel like clarifying is, i’m not exactly against genre, just letting it drive the story. And the rather blatant leave little up to the imagination put it all out there way it’s written in American Comics a lot of the time. Was talking with Ange about this, we watched the new Being Human series shot here in Montreal.
A good theater friend of her’s is in it, Alison Louder, playing Josh the werewolf’s sister. We watched the BBC series pretty avidly, and comparing, the new one is good, i’m liking it though a lot of that is the familiarity, seeing my town on the tube. But you can’t help notice how much faster they are rushing along in the telling. Not taking as long to build up the personalities at all. Spelling things out much more, rather than letting time pass and you just glean things from their happening. More tell, less show than in the original.
This is what seems to happen in most Genre fiction this side of the Atlantic. Probably elsewhere too, but something that makes most of the good BBC stuff good, is their knack for not doing that as much.
And it’s avoiding that i’m most keen on with Dream Life. I want this story to play out, not be spelled out. You know? Anywho, watch the interview.
And last but not least of all, i recently started putting on an editors cap for chores at carte blanche. As such it’s my duty to inform all doodlers, The next Bi-annual deadline for submissions of graphic fiction to be published in the spring 2011 – 13th edition – of carte blanche is March 15th! You have 53 days to submit!
This is the first of a two parter, Kevin tells me the second will go up in the new year. In this part we covered mostly stuff i’m working on now, Dream Life, the rise and fall of it all, etc. We had a rambling talk via google chat, hoping some of the other stuff gets used in part two in the new year….
KD: Dream Life deals extensively with realms of the subconscious, a fact that is reflected in your fluid, shifting, often surreal approach to its art. Where did you pick up this interest in exploring the latent and manifest elements of the human psyche?
SS: It probably had something to do with my upbringing. Carl Jung was a huge interest of my father’s, and to quote one source, he was a ‘legendary acid dealer’, so the whole ‘consciousness-twisting’ thing was a pretty big part of my landscape growing up. My father died when I was really young, and there’s a whole host of ideas that he was really into that I was sort of indoctrinated in before having a chance to be conscious of that. Later in life when I started reading up on this stuff myself, it was kind of weird recognizing the stuff I read from my Dad talking about it when I was a kid.
It’s Christmas eve, and Max is running around getting ready for the holiday family trip!
Forgot to update this the last little bit, thought i’d take care of it now. Dream life is going on a short hiatus for the holiday, going to take a bit of time to make some new pages based on changed to the script i just came up with. So this posting is the last page for 2010! Bellow, i give you the page from the week before! [so as to not spoil the end of act 1]
Took a short brake to recharge the creative batteries with some pencils for Dream Life, see on the right here! >>
This is Lionel, at a lecture – the plan is to use Asemic writing, the chicken scratch of adult text in Peanuts, that morphs to binary.
Also these are some of the nicer frames i recently completed for the short.
Oh yeah, and check this out, some Ghostbusters Fans are starting to make the mark IIZ I designed for Tainted Love, Bellow is Hal, in a shot of one of the best so far that I hear he whipped up last minute for a show. Nice Job, makes me think it would be fun to do this for Halloween this year, if i had the time. There are threads here and here where people are posting their prop build shots. Check it out!
Did some nice pencils
for the next page of Dream Life – 52 – Want to do till 61,
the end of act 1 in the next week or so as pencils,
get tha chunk ready to ink and colour soon as the Busch project wraps.
Also today, just before those
i was getting into a nice groove
drawing roughs/story boards for
the Adolf Busch project.
Here’s some more of that.
Long summer days: Would be nice if they were more spent outdoors :P Been busy coloring for tuppence most of the time the last month. Some cool drawing for a Factor Grant project with a toronto producer coming up, but it’s not going to be a summer of rest. Got some time to start penciling pages 48 to 51 over breakfast today, and do some walking.
Getting out a bit — after 3 hours of non stop coloring corrections with the Editor and Designer for this Historical book i’m working on yesterday – not a normal amount of time at the desk for me, usually try to get up and stretch at least every half hour or i fold up like an accordion — I was at the Fringe with Ange, saw Uncalled For presents: Hypnogogic Logic, and stayed around for the 13th hour.
Felt like an old man though, when the sound system drove me out with some kind of deep base house that messed my head and guts up Not that it has anything to do with nearing 40, I’ve always found excessive volume nausea inducing. But man….ouch.
The Fringe shows were awesome! Hypnogogic Logic was magical funny surreal perfect i love these guys. Ange is a huge fan, she’s successfully converted me. Go see you must. Also, i bet this book had some small part in the works or inspiration, don’t have the time to check that out but i’d guess maybe….
Hard to put into words how it feels to have this printed. New books are always good feeling to have done. And this project is no where close to being totally done, just about 10% or so. And i’m finding little glitches already i’ll have to fix. But i’ve been working on this thing for a long long long time. So many things have gotten in the way of getting it done sooner, so to have anything completed now, oh man… I just hope i can sell as many of this edition as possible because, all my capital this month is tied up in it! :P So hey, come buy a copy! :) Dream Life
By Salgood Sam
self published – spilt ink
First run of 100 to be made available at TCAF 2010
Dream Life is the story of five friends, Charlie, Lionel, Lucy, PJ, and Dan. Each coming to terms with lives unplanned; in danger of going off the rails, or peter paned.
A biker named Garry Greenberg, a big blue tarpaulin wrapped box, a dog and a red head with no hair will force them each to choose a new path.
Part coming of age, part pulp crime novel, part odd to Charles Schultz.
This 48 page booklet collects the first chapter of the ongoing web comic including pages not yet posted online.
HIT Not sure if it has anything to do with it, people looking at more comics today maybe – but a good turn from a friend was the main thing. About 1200 new readers from reddit clicked on Dream Life and did a fair bit of page turning, thanks to Keiren ‘MrsComics‘ Smith who first listed it! I suspect it might be that Mrs Comics. ;) Merci Keiren.
Added the social network links to the site from it’s birth a few months ago. My Facebook Group as been the work horse, 400 on it as of today, and a lot of daily visits through them. I have a fan page too here if you’re looking for one. Digg has been anemic, i enjoy their vodcasts, but i think i can see maybe why a web comic hasn’t been to the site’s taste yet. More of a trailer and gag oriented scene i’m thinking. Stumble upon has been sending fair bit of trafic to me now and then, but i think reddit blew them away with one click. Clearly a superior web-comic listing is on Reddit! Looking at close to or more than 2500 page views in 48 hours. hope some translate to ongoing readers.
TUNES And a couple of days ago I added the first track in the ‘sound track’ of the comic, go to the cover, open the youtube link in a new page, hit play and give about 4 bars per page.
PRINT I also just wrapped up Sequential Pulp, sent it off to the printers – god speed! – 30 pages of awesome in the end, already spotted a few typos including the one the bottom of the cover. oh well. Hundreds of collective man hours in it, think we did good. Thanks to everyone who submitted both that got in, even just under the wire, and those that did not. There was a surplus of potential content which is pretty amazing news in of itself. And to our sponsors. We had a surplus there too. feels like people are feeling bullish about comics and TCAF, bodes well. :) It’s super tight on Dream Life, I’m optimistic but it’s a race to the line.
PIXEL Something kind of interesting going on at Zuda. I just submitted something to them with Mark Sable, he sent me the link last night – this is big news for us. I kind of think it’s going to be good news. In general for creators.
The way i see it, this probably means you’ll be able to put more time into the work itself and a little less into anxiety expended in a pubic popularity contest. It sounds like maybe they will be moving towards an editorial board model or something? Which i have a lot of experience with. Used to those terms in general. Interesting indeed.
Well, i have a crap tone of inking to do this weekend so out and over!
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