suzene: (Default)
[personal profile] suzene posting in [community profile] scans_daily
After missing their projected Fall '09 launch date, digital comics distributor Longbox Digital is finally showing signs of life. The private beta is in progress, and they're making noises that suggest the public beta phase may not be far away. But they already seem to have competition from Graphic.ly. Not much there, but they seem to be going with the same "iTunes for Comics" business model, with a greater focus on community, but also at a higher price-point than Longbox's projected per download cost. Interesting. No word so far on Graphic.ly's DRM or which publishers -- if any -- they have on board.

According to the latest Previews, vocal homophobe Orson Scott Card will be penning the comic-book continuation of Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins RPG. *sigh* Dear IDW: You just lost a good chunk of the goodwill you got for the Bloom County reprints. I will be keeping my four bucks.

And now, a question for the community: what are your comic-buying habits? I was contemplating my own today, and I figured I'd ask. I'm not necessarily talking about what's on your pull-list -- though, by all means, feel free to share -- but more along the lines of if you prefer monthlies or trade-waiting. What does it take to get you to pick up a new comic? What does it take to get you to drop a comic? LCS, Amazon, or eBay? That sort of thing.



I love comics, but I'm also of the opinion that most of them aren't worth the cover price, so I'm not much of a casual browser. It takes a lot to get me to pick up a new monthly title. For a creative team I don't have any experience with, it usually takes multiple positive reviews from sites that are not Newsarama or CBR, interior previews, and one hell of a good hook. Even then, if it's from the Big Two, I'll probably still wait for the trade...and then wait another couple of months so I can pick it up used off of eBay or Amazon. I just don't have that much interest in paying full price for what the company-owned books deliver, even the really good titles. The exceptions to the pattern usually come from this comm and Comics Worth Reading. S_D is bad for me, in that when I'm online and have Amazon open in another tab, it's so easy to impulse-buy trades from merchant vendors when I see something I like. Likewise, most of Johanna's recommended books wind up either on my wishlist or as impulse buys; I've been reading her site long enough to know that a lot of what she recommends so far as manga goes is likely to do it for me.

On the other hand, once a creative team actually does engage me, I am nearly impossible to shake, and I generally go to double-dipping. Every book currently on my pull is pretty much a guaranteed TPB sale, most likely a hardcover sale if that's what comes out first. Having the TPB safely on my shelf means I can start passing the monthlies around to unsuspecting souls, after all.

As for what it takes to get me to drop a book once I'm on board, for creator-owned books, the biggest thing is when it starts feeling like the creator's lost interest in the story being told. Meandering storylines, new characters popping up and eclipsing the established cast, that sort of thing. A change in artist isn't really a big deal for me; the artist certainly contributes a lot to the story, but I can overlook a change in visual style a lot more easily than writing style. For a company book, a change in writer will usually do it, unless I trust the team coming in. Switch out Mike Carey for Gail Simone, for example? Odds are I'm not going anywhere. Greg Rucka for Bruce Jones? Heading for the horizon.

From the above, you've probably already gathered that I do a lot of my shopping online. I do get my pull-list and its associated trades at my LCS, and if they get in something I was going to buy anyway, faboo...but they also don't have a lot of what I want, and often can't get it. Some of it's out of print, and some of it just isn't offered through their distributor. Of the titles on my to-read list right now, my LCS can't get me City of Glass, Asterios Polyp, many of the Krazy and Ignatz reprints, and most volumes of Oishinbo. Really, if I didn't genuinely like the crew at the shop, I'd probably be mail-order and internet buying only instead of splitting my shopping. I know a lot of folks get their geek-bonding time in at the shop, but that never really was much of a draw for me -- I do most of my plugging/discussion/fanwankery online.

And speaking of plugging books...

Title: Age of Reptiles: The Journey #2 (Dark Horse, 2010, 24 pages)
Creator: Ricardo Delgado
Availability: On Shelves Now

I was exposed to Age of Reptiles waaaaaay back on S_D 1.0, and my inner ten-year-old immediately popped up and demanded to know why we were not reading this. Unfortunately, I never managed to track down any of the previous series in trade, but the visuals stuck with me. Now that there's a new series out, I am so very on board.



The Journey follows a mixed herd of dinosaurs on their migration across an arid desert. There are no talking monkeys and no villainized species, just the dangers of predators, terrain, and weather. It's a few-million-years-late nature documentary done in sequential art, essentially, and I'm enjoying it a lot. I can't do the cover scene justice without going over page limit, but here are some moments from the opening sequence of the current issue.









(Out of sequence, but d'aw!)



Worth snagging, I'd say, and I'm hoping Dark Horse will reprint the previous trades.

Date: 2010-01-16 10:31 pm (UTC)
furioussterling: (Default)
From: [personal profile] furioussterling
Oh jeez, that baby triceratops(?) being carried by the adult is freaking adorable.

Date: 2010-01-16 10:50 pm (UTC)
darklorelei: (Default)
From: [personal profile] darklorelei
Tradewait. Always. I just don't like floppies at all.

Date: 2010-01-16 10:59 pm (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
vocal homophobe Orson Scott Card

He's not exactly a "vocal" homophobe. He expressed his opinion.

Date: 2010-01-16 11:10 pm (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
Okay, well, it's not like he's Fred Phelps and the other idiots at the Westboro Babtists. Those assholes are vocal homophobes.

I hadn't realized he'd joined a group who are trying to keep same-sex marriages illegal.

Date: 2010-01-16 11:29 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (misc: flowers)
From: [personal profile] skalja
That's still kind of bizarre and screwed up in my not especially humble opinion.

I suppose the obvious tack-on to that speech of his is, "Unless they're gay, of course."

Date: 2010-01-16 11:49 pm (UTC)
elf: Rainbow fist (Join the Impact)
From: [personal profile] elf
His claim is that of course gay people can marry ... someone of the opposite sex, just like everyone else. Your sexual preference shouldn't matter to your God-given duty to propagate and raise a family.

A few years back, Yonmei posted a five part dissection of Orson Scott Card's bigotry at feministsf.net.

Date: 2010-01-16 11:20 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (marvel: daredevil on white)
From: [personal profile] skalja
I would say "writes essays about his opinions" is a pretty good working definition for vocal, and in that case, OSC more than qualifies.

Date: 2010-01-16 11:37 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: hold back the flood)
From: [personal profile] skalja
Thanks for the update on Longbox, and I hadn't heard about Graphic.ly ... that one, I'm leery of just because of the extremely limited platform release. Windows 7, the iPhone and the adobe AIR? Unless they're planning on branching backwards into the other Windows at least, and ideally into Mac OS X as well, they're basically just making a toy for an extremely small cross-section of an already fairly small audience.

Longbox I am cautiously optimistic about based on what little I've heard -- I like their price point, and I adore the idea that if you buy the comics digital you can get a voucher for trades (although that's not going to work out so well for overseas readers like me).

Date: 2010-01-17 04:32 am (UTC)
blakeyrat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blakeyrat
AIR runs on pretty much everything: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/systemreqs/

Just use that version. Oh, and upgrade to Windows 7 ASAP, it's awesome.

Date: 2010-01-17 03:02 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: gwen eyebrow)
From: [personal profile] skalja
You're missing my point, which is that a program which someone has to install other programs -- or an entire new operating system -- to use is not very accessible.

I'm not a believer in constantly updating my tech when whatever I have still works. Besides which I use BootCamp, so I don't have the hard drive space for Windows 7.

Date: 2010-01-17 04:43 pm (UTC)
blakeyrat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blakeyrat
Downloading AIR to run an app is just like downloading Java to run an app, or downloading Flash to run an app. Or refusing to install a web browser to run Gmail. Or do you refuse to install those, too? (Well, Java I could understand.)

Besides the Windows 7 release is almost certainly the same AIR application, just with AIR embedded in the installer... I doubt it's any different than installing AIR separately.

Considering all the Mac software that never gets ported to Windows: Adium, Scrivener, Coda-- I don't see any Mac user having any right to complain about software not being ported to Mac anymore. :)

Date: 2010-01-17 05:00 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: spideyrat)
From: [personal profile] skalja
The GMail comparison is ridiculous, because it's not a program, it's a website/e-mail host I can use with a web browser, which is one of the most fundamental programs on any computer. It runs on any browser (to the best of my knowledge) and all operating systems. I don't "need to install a web browser" for GMail, because I already have one!

As for Java and Flash, they pretty much run themselves once they're installed. They don't require a learning curve. That said, I do tend to think carefully about programs which require the use of Java or Flash because of the hidden costs to run such a program (that is, the given system requirements are less than the actual system requirements because you're running several programs). And I hate Flash websites.

A better example might be using X11 to run Gimp -- I want to have Gimp, so it's worth it to me, but still annoying. And if there were an alternative to Gimp without X11 I might consider it on that basis alone. So unless I'm far out on the edge of picky users, which I really doubt, then Graphic.ly is already in trouble unless Longbox is just as restrictive.

The number of Windows programs which aren't Mac compatible far outstrips their counterparts, but I dislike Windows incompatible Mac programs as well, so you're tweaking the wrong person. I really don't see why I wouldn't have the "right" to criticize a programmer for neglecting part of their potential audience either way.

Date: 2010-01-17 05:21 pm (UTC)
blakeyrat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blakeyrat
The GMail comparison is ridiculous, because it's not a program,

You're using a different definition of "program" than anybody in the software development world, because of all them firmly believe that Gmail (or Flickr, or Twitter, or whatever) are programs. Just FYI.

I don't "need to install a web browser" for GMail, because I already have one!

Ah, that's getting more to the real point: OS X ships with a few APIs, Flash, Java (I think), Cocoa, Carbon (if they still support that), a browser... but it just doesn't happen to ship with AIR.

As for Java and Flash, they pretty much run themselves once they're installed. They don't require a learning curve.

And AIR *does*? Considering it's based on Flash (ActionScript 3-based), I highly doubt it's any different learning-curve-wise than Flash is. All it is is basically Flash's script engine with access to the filesystem and native OS widgets.

A better example might be using X11 to run Gimp

No, because (raw) X11 is a POS and Apple's port of X11 is somehow more of a POS than X11 is normally. Plus GIMP is a POS, so you're piling POS atop POS... that's not even slightly comparable to AIR.

I really don't see why I wouldn't have the "right" to criticize a programmer for neglecting part of their potential audience either way.

But the part you're not addressing is, likely or not, you can run it on your Mac-- RIGHT NOW! Here, click the link: http://get.adobe.com/air/ 15 MBs later, bam, you have AIR on your computer and you're ready to go.

So far the only real reason you've given for not downloading AIR is "X11 sucks." Which is true, but there's a basic fallacy there in that X11 != AIR.

Date: 2010-01-17 06:31 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: spideyrat)
From: [personal profile] skalja
You're using a different definition of "program" than anybody in the software development world, because of all them firmly believe that Gmail (or Flickr, or Twitter, or whatever) are programs. Just FYI.

Point taken. Let me rephrase, then -- I can use GMail without installing anything that I don't already have.

Ah, that's getting more to the real point: OS X ships with a few APIs, Flash, Java (I think), Cocoa, Carbon (if they still support that), a browser... but it just doesn't happen to ship with AIR.

... Which brings me to exactly my point, that I don't want to download an extra program to run someone's application if someone else's application will do the same things for me without said extra program. I don't think this is a particularly niche point of view, nor an irrational one.

So far the only real reason you've given for not downloading AIR is "X11 sucks." Which is true, but there's a basic fallacy there in that X11 != AIR.

No, I've given you a reason for being reluctant to download AIR: I dislike having baggage on my computer, and I'm automatically wary of a) applications that require another application to run and b) "support" applications that aren't widely useful. I'm far from being a luddite or a novice, but I'm not tech-savvy, so I like to keep things as simple as possible.

That doesn't match up with the way you use a computer, which is fine, but instead of, say, trying to sell me on why AIR might be useful to me, you're dismissing my point of view and being vaguely condescending.

As it happens, I decided to give it a look, at least, and while messing around discovered that I had a copy of Acrobat.com already, which is an AIR application. Of course, I never use Acrobat.com and I can't find a single widget on the Adobe website that I'd actually want, so right now AIR is useless to me. Possibly I'll keep it around long enough to give Graphic.ly a fair shot, but if Graphic.ly isn't a helluva program then I'll probably uninstall it all.

Anyway, the crux of my irritation with Graphic.ly is less based on whether I can use it but on the whole philosophy of how they designed their program to run; the future of American comics very much depends on getting some kind of working digital comics market together, and any digital comics scheme needs to be as accessible as possible to as many kinds of users as possible -- a criterion which a program that requires another, non-default application to function does not meet, pretty much by definition. Every extra thing to download and learn to use/keep updated is a barrier to less tech-savvy people.

Date: 2010-01-17 06:53 pm (UTC)
blakeyrat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blakeyrat
As it happens, I decided to give it a look, at least, and while messing around discovered that I had a copy of Acrobat.com already, which is an AIR application.

No, Acrobat.com is a website. Acrobat Reader is an application, which you likely have. But it's not an AIR application.

Anyway, the crux of my irritation with Graphic.ly is less based on whether I can use it but on the whole philosophy of how they designed their program to run; the future of American comics very much depends on getting some kind of working digital comics market together, and any digital comics scheme needs to be as accessible as possible to as many kinds of users as possible -- a criterion which a program that requires another, non-default application to function does not meet, pretty much by definition. Every extra thing to download and learn to use/keep updated is a barrier to less tech-savvy people.

Works for Steam.

Date: 2010-01-17 08:07 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: orangutan)
From: [personal profile] skalja
No, Acrobat.com is a website. Acrobat Reader is an application, which you likely have. But it's not an AIR application.

Acrobat.com runs on AIR, and I do know the difference between it and Adobe Reader, thanks.

Works for Steam.

Which is a gaming program -- video gamers have different needs and attitudes about computer use than someone casual and not especially techy, and game programs, being objects of desire in their own right rather than tools to achieve particular goals, are not interchangeable in the same way that function-based programs are. A gamer who really wants a certain game isn't going to not get it just because it's on Steam.

You're obviously ignoring everything I'm saying, so I think I'll cut this off here.

Date: 2010-01-16 11:52 pm (UTC)
fungo_squiggly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fungo_squiggly
I think I recall reading that the Dragon Age comic is going to be an original story about new characters in that universe. Nevertheless, now I can't help but imagine what could happen with Card writing for Leliana and Zevran.

Date: 2010-01-17 12:42 am (UTC)
bluefall: blue-tinted autumn leaves (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluefall
Well, if it's post-game, nothing says Morri's still *in* Ferelden. Is the claim "new characters" or "no familiar characters"?

Date: 2010-01-17 01:00 am (UTC)
bluefall: blue-tinted autumn leaves (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluefall
If it's post-game, then Morrigan is definitely not supposed to be in Ferelden.

I didn't get that from the epilogue. It just gives you a compass direction. She could be anywhere; she might even have looped around back to the Wilds, just to throw you off (provided she doesn't go back to Flemeth's hut specifically, it's not like your PC could ever find her there even if s/he goes looking).

The fail isn't OSC getting his hands on established bisexual characters...

The fail is that anyone, anywhere, is hiring OSC for anything. His invective should make him toxic. That any sane people at all are still willing to work with him even in the face of what he's written and put his money behind, much less theoretically forward-thinking people like the Bioware folks (or PAD, as long as we're talking OSC gaming clusterfucks), is depressing beyond reason.

Date: 2010-01-17 12:42 am (UTC)
bluefall: blue-tinted autumn leaves (gamer)
From: [personal profile] bluefall
I bet Card would love Branka and Hespith, though.

Date: 2010-01-17 01:35 am (UTC)
fungo_squiggly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fungo_squiggly
And hated Wade and Herren.:P

This whole thread calls for a Morrigan Disapproves macro.

Date: 2010-01-17 07:18 pm (UTC)
bluefall: blue-tinted autumn leaves (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluefall
Like this?



Man, I can't take that woman anywhere.

Date: 2010-01-17 12:47 am (UTC)
skywaterblue: (art school perverts)
From: [personal profile] skywaterblue
There's a new Age of Reptiles??! Excited!

Date: 2010-01-17 06:13 am (UTC)
tsunamiwombat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tsunamiwombat
Yeah, I get it, he's homophobic.

I don't care. He can believe what he wants, respect is a two way street. He's WRONG certainly, but Card is entitled to be as wrong as he wants as a United States Citizen without reprocussion. Thats the hidous beauty of the country. If you want to persuade people, your not going to do it by boycotting businesses and responding to their hatred and closed-mindedness in kind. Simply by being gay and being an awesome person do you make Card look like a fool.

In the meantime, i'm going to buy whatever I please, even if Card writes it.

Date: 2010-01-17 01:44 pm (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's default icon... (Default)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
What she said. Voting with your wallet is a perfectly valid expression of freedom of speech, in itself.

Even if I were a Dragon Age fan, I'd be sadly passing on this.

(It will take more than hiring Card to make me turn on IDW as a whole - Transformers and Doctor Who are too compelling to me - but I won't do anything to cause them to hire him again/keep him on regularly.)

Date: 2010-01-17 02:03 pm (UTC)
kagome654: (*Eyebrow Raise*)
From: [personal profile] kagome654
How nice for you.

The average citizen is acting in a perfectly reasonable way when he or she refuses to support an artist or writer with whom they fundamentally disagree.

I am not going to knowingly put money in the pocket of a homophobe who uses his (relative) fame and influence to reach a wider audience when it comes to spewing his toxic views. I feel if you say something stupid or controversial you should expect there to be consequences. It's how the game is played.

Date: 2010-01-17 03:25 pm (UTC)
galateus: Too Tired For This Crap (tired)
From: [personal profile] galateus
No, just without government repercussions. Everyone else is free to shun him.

boycotting businesses and responding to their hatred and closed-mindedness in kind

Pfft, because everyone owes bigots money!

Date: 2010-01-17 12:02 pm (UTC)
magus_69: (pic#370600)
From: [personal profile] magus_69
When I heard about the Dragon Age comic, my responce went roughly as follows: FUCK YEAH THIS IS GONNA BE SO-- WHAT? HIM? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

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Scans Daily
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