Cartoons, illustrations, and drawings can add a nice touch in the Internet environment where text stories are aggregated, chopped up, syndicated or simply re-skinned and re-written without giving credit. Art, on the other hand, is treated as a more proprietary piece of intellectual property and can catch a reader’s eye, build a brand’s signature style, and help tell the story.
But I want to give special attention to the video, in which Bakshi answers a question at 2008’s ComicCon about being an independent creator in the shadow of big studios.
It’s a great pep talk, and while he’s specifically talking about animated films, his advice is relevant to any type of independent creator. Look at the webcomics professionals who are striving in spite of the newspaper syndicates, or the graphic novelists funding themselves through Kickstarter.
Bakshi’s attitude: you have the ability and resources to make and distribute your own things, so why aren’t you doing it?
And to those bemoaning the crumbling of the studio/syndicate/publishing industry? “It’s not crumbling; you’re crumbling.”
Proving Bakshi’s wisdom, Machine of Death — the self-published illustrated short story anthology edited by webcomics’ Ryan North and David Malki — recently reached #1 on Amazon, surpassing the sales of both Glenn Beck and John Grisham. These are creators who beat the system by ignoring the system.
Former NYTimes.com designer Khoi Vinh on magazines formatted for iPads and tablets.
In a media world that looks increasingly like the busy downtown heart of a city — with innumerable activities, events and alternative sources of distraction around you — these apps demand that you confine yourself to a remote, suburban cul-de-sac.
Jason Schwartzman demonstrates the magazine’s new iPad app. It’s particularly nice to see the attention given to the cartoons, which get their own gallery in addition to being peppered throughout each issue.
This is an interesting look at what the future of books could be. Nelson and Coupland are intriguing concepts, but would they need to be integrated into a proprietary digital marketplace? Alice, on the other hand, seems to be nothing but gimmick.