10 Questions With…Kevin Quinn of Tabella Publishing

1. Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!)

Kevin Quinn, publisher at Tabella Publishing. At the moment I’m promoting ‘Darkness outside the night’ and ‘Devil Cat vs God Dog’, our most recent digital releases. I’m also currently in contract negotiations regarding a very exciting digital project, but I can’t say anything about that at the moment, and I’ve been working for a few months with a new comics artist, on her first book (it’ll be a print edition initially), but again I can’t talk about that at the moment. Oh, and moving house soon!

2. What drew you to digital comics?

I only read digital material these days (books, newspapers, etc on my iPad/iPod touch), so digital comics is the norm for me. I’m always on the internet (as most of us are these days), so I find web comics via twitter, on tumblr, etc. As for our stuff, I’m a bit of a techie, really, and loved the challenge of developing app and ebook versions of our material. As a publisher, of course, the great thing about digital versions is there’s no initial outlay (as there is with print books), and so you can get the material out there really quickly, and and can then perhaps go to print later.

3. Webcomics or digital comics?

I read both, though probably more of the former due to never having enough time to read longer works much at all. I find lots of web comics via twitter. Only the other day I discovered Eleanor Davis (via a Julia Scheele tweet). Absolutely awesome, profound, moving stuff.

4. What do you think works with digital comics?

For webcomics, what works is the fact that people can find and follow creators very easily, and can share them with others by simply passing on the link. It’s very immediate, and far reaching. Someone can create a comic (perhaps even just a single panel), and have it out across the net in no time. That just wouldn’t be possible if they were relying on print.
As for graphic novels and the like, what works for them is the same as what works for all digital media. Convenience of access, no need to carry lots of books around, and they look flipping amazing on tablets.

5. Can digital comics replace print comics?


6. How can print comics work with digital comics?

I’m not really sure I understand the question. I see printing comics/books, putting them on the web, and/or releasing them via apps or as ebooks as all part of the same spectrum. There’s a market/readership for all of those versions, and some work better, and perhaps are more suitable, in some formats than others.

7. What don’t you like about digital comics?

I don’t like the guided viewing technology in some digital comics, it detracts from the experience for me. Web comics … what’s not to like? The only other negative thing is the transience, and lack of real ownership (okay, that’s two things). They’re not treasured possessions, to be shown or loaned to friends. Like everything else these days (music, film, etc), everything in the publishing world is digital. Although I’ve embraced the technology, part of of me still misses the physical object (I still keep a record – proper vinyl – collection!).

8. What digital comics/webcomics do you read?

Digital comics not so much (though I do have the Sandman and some Batman on my iPad). There’s just isn’t time for ‘proper’ reading. Lots of web comics (too many to mention, though): XKCD, Eleanor Davis, Octopus Pie, Julia Scheele, Jennie Gyllblad, Warren Ellis’ Freak Angels, Archive.org has a collection of really old US comics (Unusual Tales is quite funny) …

9. Where do you see digital comics going from here?

Hmmm … All publishers are going digital these days, so e-reading books/comics/apps, etc will become the mainstream. People will find new ways of adding features/interactivity/audio/animation/3D, and whatever to comics – both within comics/books on tablets/in apps, and as web comics – the new html5/css3 technology coming to the web means more animation/audio, etc on web pages generally, and therefore for web comics, too … perhaps …

10. Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?

Ah … who knows … have I mentioned Eleanor Davis?

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