1. Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!)
Hi I’m Emma Vieceli. I’m currently the writer for the Life is Strange comic series from Titan, but I’m probably better known as an artist on titles like Olivia Twist, Back to the Future, Supergirl and Vampire Academy. I also co-write and do comicking duties on BREAKS; my indie series.
2. What drew you to digital comics?
As a creator, I often make pages, send them to the publisher and then don’t see them much until they’re coloured, lettered and printed. My baby is then out in the world. Working on an indie title is very different, especially one like BREAKS where, after Malin (Ryden) has converted our story to script form, the rest of the process is all me…so the digital platform took on a vital role as my editor, of sorts. It gives me a weekly deadline, motivation…and picks up the odd mistake before we go to print 😉
It also means I get to engage with our readership, which is really special.
3. Webcomics or digital comics?
As in what would I call them? Hmmm…I use webcomic for BREAKS. It’s being read on the web. If I was offering it as a downloadable PDF for offline reading, I guess it would be a digital comic. 🙂
4. What do you think works with digital comics?
Format wise webcomic models are really suited to short, sharp, punctuated comics…which BREAKS isn’t 😉 If anything, the BREAKS story isn’t massively suited to the one-page-a-week model as it’s a longform, slow-burn mystery…but, then again, it’s meant we’ve had readers with us for five years now, having the time each week to really think and talk about their theories, which is nice. I’mseeing a lot of cool challenges to this thinking, with longform comics taking on scrollable formats so that they feel less like one page each week. Exciting things are happening!
5. Can digital comics replace print comics?
Single issues? Yes. Collected volumes? No. I think a digital model for single issues makes a lot of sense. But the option of a tangible page-laden book for collected stories will likely never lose its appeal for me.
6. How can print comics work with digital comics?
Using digital as a method of distributing story as we go, and then using print for the collectable, strokeable book seems a good move to me. If print-on-demand prices drop, that could also be a better way forward. Put the choice in the readers’ hands.
7. What don’t you like about digital comics?
I like books. I don’t know…they just feel ‘real’. Cozy. I associate screens with work and it’s hard to separate that out. But, as a creator, I prefer digital as I can reach my readers so much more easily 🙂
8. What digital comics/webcomics do you read?
Firelight Isle by Paul Duffield, Wilde life by Pascall Lepas, Buuza! by Shazleen Khan, Pocketful of clouds by Morag Lewis. Cafe Suada by Jade Sarson, Widdershins by Kate Ashwin…there are so many good comics out there it’s hard to pick a few, tbh!
9. Where do you see digital comics going from here?
I see bookshops and comic shops dedicating more space to books and less to forward-facing single issues; instead having a wall made of screens displaying various digital comics that can be scrolled through there in-store, with a ‘order the printed collection’ button right there. I see less money having to be spent on upkeeping a single issue market, allowing more money to be paid to creators for full GN deals which can be released digitally as they go…allowing more diverse and exciting content, more interaction and community, less broken artists, and stories being allowed to be told in their own pace and not following a strict 20-page-issue rule. It’s a dream, maybe…
10. Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?
The new formats creators are coming up with to really push the medium. I’m seeing some really cool stuff with the new, scrollable content ideas. Firelight Isle by Paul Duffield is a great example! We should also look out for more publishers appearing, willing to front the cost of creating a GN instead of paying the costs to print and distribute single issues.