- Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!)
I am GABO. I am working on Albert The Alien with Trevor Mueller for THRILLBENT, and The LIFE AFTER with Josh Fialkov for Oni Press.
- What drew you to digital comics?
I’ve been doing digital comics since the early 2000’s through a website I created called EnterVOID.com. It’s a comic battle website where artists create a character and then pit that character against other artists’ creations in 3 to 10+ page comic battles, which after a few weeks time are voted on by the general public.
- Webcomics or digital comics?
COMICS. PAPER OR PIXEL, they’re all great! But honestly if someone came up to me and told me they do digital comics, then I would instantly assume they put together full issues for comics apps like Comixology. Whereas if they said they do webcomics, then I would think they do an ongoing comic that updates on a specific site once or twice a week. Either way, they make comics and I love their faces.
- What do you think works with digital comics?
FREE GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION. If you’re a kid living in Kuala Lumpur, and you have a computer, cell phone or tablet with internet YOU CAN READ DIGITAL COMICS. Hell even if you don’t have internet, as long as you have a buddy who can load these comics onto your machine via USB flash drive- YOU HAVE DIGITAL COMICS. ITS NUTS! THE FUTURE IS NOW.
- Can digital comics replace print comics?
YES. And NO. At some point in the future we’re going to take a new leap in technology, and printing paper products is going to become uneconomical. It sounds impossible, but it’ll happen. And when that happens, print comics will become more of “special edition” I feel. They will print collectors editions, limited quantities etc. The evidence of this is already apparent, when you’ve got digital only books showing up on the best sellers lists across the world. It is a sad idea that some day we wont see print, but I’ve got a feeling the trees are looking forward to it :).
- How can print comics work with digital comics?
Supplemental stories. The idea that you can be reading a print comic, and then you see a qr code in the bottom corner that you scan and it takes you to a digital mini comic where the main character goes off on a sub adventure– that is powerful. Codes for digital copies of the book you just bought! Some people love bagging and boarding their comics the second they get them, and maybe even buy an extra copy that they can read, while they other sits in a box to gain value– the blu-ray industry offers digital copies of the movies they sell WHY NOT COMICS? Marvel seems to have jumped on this boat for a few titles, BUT I WANT MORE.
- What don’t you like about digital comics?
Most web comics are not fitted for computer screens. Computer screens are widescreen format, we all know this- which means that reading webcomics is like a scrolling game. There are some people who have taken advantage of this and made comics that are super tall, so you just keep scrolling down, and those work great- but for the most part we’re stuck reading standard format vertical comics on widescreen monitors! Thrillbent.com has widescreen format that fits on ipad beautifully, and adds a new element to story telling, clicking to move to the next panel (much like Comixology does).
- What digital comics/webcomics do you read?
I don’t get to read much, but one of my favs is Galacticat.net by Kasey Williams and Gene Goldstein. A trash talking, fowl mouthed space cab driving cat? SIGN ME UP! Another comic by the same writer is Planet-Panic.com, it’s sort of a motion comic, but not the way you’d imagine- Gene adds the slightes of animation that just pushes the comic to a new level. All of his pages could stand alone on print and work beautifully, but the edition of these slight animations just blows my mind. Aside from that I occasionally frequent the halls of EnterVOID.com, where a lot of artists of different skill levels from amateur to professional duke it out in comic battles every week. Some pretty amazing artists have grown up on that site including the likes of James Stokoe, Sheldon Vella, Corey Lewis, Aluísio Cervelle Santos, Kenneth Rocafort and many more. It’s a breeding ground for awesome comics people.
- Where do you see digital comics going from here?
It’s pretty easy to see that digital comics are blowing up. They’re sucking in new readers by the truck load, thanks to tv shows like the Walking Dead and the countless amazing Marvel movies. People want to know more about these characters we watch, and when you can read the first issue of a comic for free on a mobile device, well that just makes it easier. The digitalization of comics is making it hipper for people to get into now. That stigma of “ewww comics are gross” is quickly starting to fade away, and the evidence is there every time I attend a convention. I find people new to comics all weekend long. It’s pretty thrilling.
10. Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?
First and foremost I have to plug AlbertTheAlien.com, an all ages title I work on with Trevor Mueller. You can Albert and a whole mess of other amazing tittles at Thrillbent.com, where the comic takes on a pretty radically different approach to how comics are read.
Check out Elephentmen on HipFlask.com also! There are several free issues you can read on that website, and all issues can be found on the Comixology app.
For you growing artists out there, I highly recommend checking out EnterVOID.com, its an amazing community of artists that help each other out on the journey of making comics, you wont be disappointed!