bad signal WARREN The comics talk today is going to be alive with the late-breaking news from last night that Speakeasy Comics is closing its doors with immediate effect. Which comes as no surprise to most people, as Speakeasy made most of the classic errors associated with new comics publishers who think being a fan of the medium is enough. And Speakeasy publisher, Adam Fortier, bless 'im, is a superfan. I met him some years ago, in connection with a project outside comics; a very personable guy with a lot of money who made the two animators he was travelling with drive him all over LA in pursuit of comics. Adam always struck me as a smart guy, who'd done his homework on the medium, so I was kind of taken aback when Speakeasy started releasing book after book with no visible marketing plan beyond the usual "if you build it they will come" that always spells doom. Especially in an overheated publishing marketplace that now has increased expectation placed upon it by the internet conversation. We used ELK'S RUN as an example on the Engine a few months ago: why was there no dedicated marketer who could develop an ad that worked for that book? As time went on, and financial responsibilities were placed on the creators, Speakeasy began to sound like a vanity press, despite the efforts of people like Rich Johnston -- who works in advertising, and therefore orchestrated his own marketing for his FLYING FRIAR graphic novella at Speakeasy -- hailing it as a radical new step from a publisher to prevent it bleeding money and assuring continued operation. Publishing isn't just a case of assembling and trafficking books. Speakeasy's moves just baffled me from start to finish. They filled no obvious gap in the marketplace, and, sad to say, I think they'll vanish with not a ripple at all. Except for the creators. I think a lot of people got their start at Speakeasy, and I'm damn sure there's people who had books in the pipeline there who will now feel robbed of their start. All I can say to those people is: it happens. Almost every pro creator has a false start early in their career, sometimes more than one. It's never easy. Things aren't getting harder. This isn't market correction. This, I'm sorry to say, is one publisher getting it wrong from start to finish: releasing too many books, without a support structure. Adam's saying online that he's done with publishing, and would like to go back to just being a fan. Some might say that it's being such a great fan of the medium that did him in as a publisher. But if he does come back, he will do better. Publishing comics is a harsh gig, and he's been through pretty much the most unpleasant learning curve it can give. The Speakeasy-related creators on The Engine should be talking about their plans for the future on the Engine throughout the day. http://www.the-engine.net -- W --- Sent via mobile device probably in the pub ................... UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.flirble.org/mailman/listinfo/badsignal
… it occurred to me that if the U-Bahn system could somehow be hooked up to massive, earth-anchored magnets, and made, therefore, to produce a magnetic field of its own, that you could transform all of Berlin into a geomagnetic harddrive.
As a sail traps the wind, a planetary harddrive would use geomagnetism.
Provided constant motion on behalf of the trains, I thought, and given absolutely gigantic magnets of the right polarity and location, Berlin could start producing its own magnetic field â€“ which meant that any city with a subway could be transformed into a harddrive. Harddrive London. Harddrive Beijing. Harddrive Moscow.
Of course, it’s obvious even to me that you’d have to do quite a lot more than just bury some magnets underground in order to transform a city into a harddrive â€“ you’d need a shovel, for instance, and perhaps some strong anti-manic drugs; but my point is that if Christopher Wren could build a tower that simultaneously memorialized the Great Fire of London even as it acted as a scientific device, then perhaps you could turn urban infrastructure itself into a kind of working scientific apparatus.
You could turn all of Berlin into a geomagnetic harddrive….
(Thanks to Matt Jones)