Pat Mills new comic project, Spacewarp, is coming out digitally at the end of this month, and I have had the chance to ask him 10 questions about digital comics.
Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!)
I’m Pat Mills writer and editor of Spacewarp, a digital comic. It’s now ready for a digital release but there’s still the marketing. And then we have to prepare the paper edition for the Autumn.
What drew you to digital comics?
Freedom. Self-publishing sets us all free. We have the digital rights to Requiem Vampire Knight and we’re impressed by its sales, particularly in the USA, so we knew digital comics had a future and decided to do Spacewarp
Webcomics or digital comics?
I should know more about them, but I only have a very limited understanding and experience of web comics. So, for me, digital comics is more than enough right now.
What do you think works with digital comics?
Everything. Particularly zoom and guided view. There isn’t the smell and feel of paper and some readers, including a younger generation, will always prefer non-digital. But we all have storage problems and they are a great solution. As time goes on, I suspect they will have something more to offer. For example, a sound track or a way of customising and providing creators’ signatures. So it’s possible to have a digital signing.
They also solve distribution and production problems and costs
Can digital comics replace print comics?
No. Just as paperback didn’t replace hardback. But they’ll comfortably side by side
How can print comics work with digital comics?
Amazon print on demand works for us. It’s surprising how few creators use it AFAIK. Many still believe in a lazy fairy tale image of traditional publishers who will pay huge advances, spend loads on marketing and take care of any problems. That’s rarely been the case in the past and isn’t now. It’s time that myth was seriously debunked because publishers are not the benign people they sometimes pretend to be. That said, more fool creators who get taken in by this nonsense and I certainly know a few who still cling onto a mythical past.
Truth is – we gotta do it for ourselves.
What don’t you like about digital comics?
The tech side is formidable. If you’re not tech-orientated yourself, don’t forget it, find someone you can trust who will help you
What digital comics/webcomics do you read?
I rarely have a chance to read my own comics, never mind anyone elses.
Where do you see digital comics going from here?
Getting bigger. They’re already big in the States, I think Britain and even, eventually, and very reluctantly, France will follow.
I’m especially interested in reaching the youth market with Spacewarp. This is the audience we lost because ‘comics grew up’ and turned their back on kids. Digital could be the way to reach them. It’s something I’m hoping to look at this week
Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?
Anyone whose voice hasn’t been heard in conventional comics. I’d personally like to see real life stories told in comics – e.g. hunt sabs, prisoners, soldiers etc.
Eventually, I’m sure there will be templates that help creators do this, maybe using photographic art suitably converted to art. Or perhaps drawing on a library of images.