notebook 06feb10

February 6th, 2010 | notebook

* why porting graphic novels to the Kindle makes sense: a million people (or whatever) have Kindles, will want to use their Kindles because they paid a lot of money for them, and therefore need stuff to put on their Kindles. Platform-locked audience: eventually people will start reading outside their immediate interests just to keep using the thing they paid through the nose for

* Suzanne Gerber (longtime readers will remember "Miss Wurzel Tod") trying to set up an art/design space in London

So here I am, asking you, fellow (preferably East) London creative/artist/designer/utopian to join forces with me and share a space for creative endeavours with me.

* note to self: remember to try hooking this up to Posterous.

* why is post-by-mail on (non-hosted?) WordPress such a fuckaround? Why isn’t blogging getting easier? (Answer: it is, if you’re using Tumblr.) Why is it still such an ugly, fiddly process? In essence, it’s no more elegant than the early days of moblogging.


9 Responses to “notebook 06feb10”

  1. Thank you, o Dear Leader!

    I will provide you with free RedBulls and/or Godzilla Bukkake ice cream at future opening receptions.

  2. I’ve played around with putting B+W comics on the Kindle and it can work – the tricky bit is the font, the line weights need to be a fair bit heavier otherwise the Kindle destroys any text with antialiasing.

    I think that you’d really need to format for a reader rather than convert something that has been put on the web, or physically printed first.

  3. Re: Kindle. Um, no. You forget there is Kindle software for iPhone. If Apple permits it, there will be Kindle for iPad too. Amazon can try to make K a platform — but really, how many can devs support? Windows, OS X, iPhone/Pad, Android, webOS, frikkin Facebook, et al. Make it look good for the iSoftware and try not to go completely mad when it looks like muddy shit in eInk. eInk is doomed.

    BTW, you might have forgotten your prior thinking on this, in your Comment:
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/print-is-dead-well-to-some-of-us-ok-me/#comments

    Heh. I guess you’ve called up FA on the iPhone. Any thought about that and iPhone-format comics? (No need to reply here. You are about to travel and I’m sure this is all percolating in your head as it is.)

  4. Mike: I wrote that comment in 2008. And you’re ignoring what I actually say above, which is that lots of people have Kindles and will want to fill them. Kindle software for iPhone is entirely beside the point.

    iPhone-format comics suck, sorry. They do too much destruction to the working parts of a comics page. This is why comics people got excited about iPad: a device that can show a single page or turn to show a single double-page-spread, completely preserving the working parts of the entire page.

    (Kindle will necessarily do violence to the page too, but, Kindle being monochrome with a 64K-per-page top end, only a certain kind of GN will work on it in the first place. Manga can stand up to phone treatment because it’s b/w and its pages tend to be much less complex)

  5. The question is, will the big media conglomerates/publishers wake up and smell the money, pushing mainstream material at a cheap (but still profitable) rate? If they do, then people won’t be forced outside their comfort zones into Kindle-comics. What you’re describing definitely worked in the days of VHS (or so Lloyd Kaufman keeps saying about Troma), but if the publishers have learned their lesson then they’ll find a way to make familiar material (i.e. the Dan Browns of the world) profitable without cannibalizing their print sales. I think that means Kindle-comics have a future, but they won’t explode due to platform sales.

  6. Thanks for your reply, Warren.

    I wonder if you recall this post?
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/ebook-breakthrough-for-iphone-comics/

    I love that software’s ability to step below the surface.

    You know I hate print, so I have no respect for anything called a “page.” There were similar arguments about movie screen vs TV screen back when. David Lynch extends this argument to cellphone screens too:
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/director-david-lynch-scrags-pocketable-video/

    At any rate, my point is: Out of everyone out there who could revolutionize comics in a *digital* format, I think it’s all down to YOU.

    Sorry for the pressure.

  7. You make the standard mistake that a comics page is just a container for a collection of panels. And it can be. But, most often, the page is in itself additional language. That is not the same as Lynch’s argument.

    Gordon:

    “I think that means Kindle-comics have a future, but they won’t explode due to platform sales.”

    They don’t have to explode. They merely need to be treated as * an additional revenue stream *

  8. @Mike EInk isn’t doomed, it’s just beta. They’re predicting color EInk in the next couple of years and I give them 3-5 before it’s high resolution and affordable. In the meantime, we have the iPad. But until then, why not port b/w comics to the current kindle? Sunday funny strip collections and manga would do especially well. Who wouldn’t want to read calvin and hobbes on their kindle?

    And now, the divergent rant of a software developer: In a way, you’re right about having too many platforms to support, but not for software devs. We’ve gotten pretty good at creating platform-agnostic code. I think in 5 years time, the big discussion won’t be whether EInk can display a comic effectively, it’ll be how you create a comic that looks decent on many different sized screens and platforms.

    Whenever I hear the words iPhone and comics in the same sentence it makes me want to stab somebody in the eye. Whether it’s content created specifically for the iPhone or scans of existing comics, the screen is too small to really enjoy it. It’s like album art on CDs vs Vinyl: there’s just not enough real estate to work with. The only comics that work alright are the narrow and tall webcomics (questionablecontent.net) and sunday funny style strips.

  9. >>>You make the standard mistake that a comics page is just a container for a collection of panels. And it can be. But, most often, the page is in itself additional language. That is not the same as Lynch’s argument.

    Touche.

    >>>EInk isn’t doomed, it’s just beta. They’re predicting color EInk in the next couple of years and I give them 3-5 before it’s high resolution and affordable

    In 3-5 years time, an iPad will cost US$99.00. (Go ahead and laugh, but have you considered, as it struck me just today, that a paltry 8GB iPod Touch is $199 while the lowest-priced iPad is just $499? The value comparison is skewed there and I suspect Jobs will drop the iPod’s price before the iPad hits shelves.)