Here are 10 questions with Ben Nunan – writer of Agent 42 fom Red 5 Comics
Always ready with a quip and a crazy guess, Agent 42 is the PI robot you hire when you want a case solved and don’t care if he tells you the solution. His newest case will test all of those abilities when a ring of female luchadores begins stealing fine art.
My name is Ben Nunan and I am the creator and writer for Agent 42, available over on Comixology. Currently I am working on the next story for Agent 42, deciding if it will be a digital comic or web comic series. I am starting a Kickstarter to release the first series of Agent 42 as a physical collected edition, as well as developing a graphic novel based upon the works of horror writer Nicholas Grabowsky.
2. What drew you to digital comics?
Digital comics are a fantastic way for newcomers to the comic industry, or those with am idea just needing to be out there, to release work which might have never seen publication. I’ve worked in the background and script devlopment sectors for close to a decade, so for me digitally releasing my series was perfect as it was down to me. I had very little start up funds so it was cheaper too which helps. I was lucky to be connected to Red 5 Comics to aid the release, allowing me to lean on an established publisher. For a new writer creating a new series, digital comics were the most sensible and logical step on the path to making this a career and living.
3. Webcomics or digital comics?
Web and digital comics offer two different sides to the creation process, so while I enjoy both on a daily basis, for me digital comics are the medium I prefer. For my work and what I want to do, I think the reach and appeal of digital comics is what sways it for me. Web comics are a great quick read, but investment for the story and characters can be tough. With guided viewing as well, I just don’t think you can beat digital comics for the all over immersion in the story itself.
The fact that you can get a digital comic anywhere, at any time, is what makes the digital comic platform an excellent source of material for readers old and new. With the continued expansion of the Marvel and DC film universes, more and more people want to see where these characters came from. It’s almost impossible to physically find those issues and series to expand your knowledge and that’s where I feel digital comics excel, offering access to the vast backlog of series and characters. With indie creators in the mix to offer their stories and series, there’s just no excuse why you can’t find something you’d fall in love with.
5. Can digital comics replace print comics?
I think for digital comics to work, they need to work in conjunction with print comics and not try to completely replace them. While personally I am fully digital, I know many people who prefer to have the feel of paper between their hands while they read, which I do understand is very satisfying. Digital comics offer the speed and access which fits better in today’s lifestyle, but there will always be a place of physical ownership. I’d like to see both thrive, as a creator I want the largest audience available to me, and as many people are unsure of either side of the argument it’s in my interests to appreciate both.
6. How can print comics work with digital comics?
Print comics have the advantage over digital in that they can offer limited edition covers that are coveted and can resell for hundreds, making them perfect for collectors. Digital can’t really offer the same, but with their access you can have stories told at a much faster pace. With this in mind, a way they could work in unison would be for a print series to have digital releases to ‘fill in the gaps’ so to speak, offering a wider look at the story or series, all while continuing the main story in print. Add limited edition covers and such, and people would happily go to both mediums to connect with the whole story. I know I would. Print could also lead people to digital for behind the comics pages and extras, things that can be offered easier in digital form.
7. What don’t you like about digital comics?
There is a sense of disconnect with digital comics because it isn’t a physical medium, you don’t have that feeling of ownership and therefore investment in do in paper. This can sometimes detract from the series itself, which for me is a huge problem. Apart from Comixology, there isn’t any well advertised sellers of digital comics, which makes selling them limited. My biggest issue with digital comics is their popularity, which is still limited. It is increasing, but sales are massively important, and when your device runs out of power or you can’t download them for one reason or another, you’re essentially depriving your audience of the series and your hard work.
8. What digital comics/webcomics do you read?
I currently read Nightwing, Titans and Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps over at DC, Mighty Thor and Unworthy Thor over at Marvel, Transformers over at IDW, Giant Days by John Allison, Atomic Robo by Clevinger and Wegener and honestly…whatever looks good! I’ll give most things a go.
9. Where do you see digital comics going from here?
Digital comics need to embrace themselves as a true medium for todays comic reader and promote as that. As the world becomes more digital, there is a bigger desire for material to be accessible at all times. I feel digital comics have to step up to the plate and attempt to be the platform for all your comic needs. Although they are working great in unison, it is time for digital to try and take the crown off of print, not an easy task but one I feel it can do. In the meantime, digital will offer an alternative to print and be a chance for creators to showcase their work and offer different themes and genres.
10. Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?
Well, the first person you should watch out for is me! I’m a huge fan of the writing of Brian Clevinger so I’d always keep an eye on what he is doing. John Allison is a major influence of mine and continues to release gold. Danielle Corsetto writes ‘Girls with Slingshots’ which should be in your web comic and digital read list daily. James Roberts work is fantastically hilarious and in depth so I’d suggest reading his work too. Honestly, the list is so great of amazing talent that in reality, digital comics are the only way you’ll find all of them.
Thanks to Ben, you can check out Agent 42 on comiXology here – All 4 issues are now available.
If you are a digital comics creator, please contact me!