Monday, 20 May 2013

And so it goes... POD, HC, and DF


Comixpress, one of the first comic-specific POD services, will shortly be closing it's doors.

Following a 9 year run, which garnered mixed reviews from users and readers alike, Comixpress' demise sees another POD service gone from an already fairly short list.

POD is a tough one. Cost tends to keep usability low - good for conventions and on-line owner-store use - and with quality of product pretty standard, it really tends to fall into user friendliness as to which service users choose.

For myself, and for those still active, I have tended to use Ka-Blam (cost is about the best, but the ad that they ask you to run to keep costs low has become so ubiquitous at shows, for me it diminishes from the individuality of the product) and RA Comics Direct (speed and customer service are unbeaten. Cost is a little more, but worth it).

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I do miss ICGeeks!

So is POD dying, or just a shrinking market? Has digital eaten into this apple harder than the DMarket, or are we seeing a shift back towards off-set printing, a shift to more bespoke comics?

We shall see.

Hero Code

Following from my last post, and from some nice comments from you guys, the issue of the issue numbering for Hero Code is pretty much resolved. We will be adopting a system similar to the Hell Boy and BPRD models - a master numbering, with story arcs having their own numbering. At the moment it will look something like this;

1 - Hero Code Special: Coming of the Occultist - art by Agustin Calcagno (master number 1 - art is half finished)
1-4 - Hero Code: Theatre of War - art by Gary Lister (master numbers 2-5 - issue one is half way finished)
1 - Hero Code "When the Time Comes" - art by David Brame (master number 6 - completed, originally released as issue 2)
1-5 - Hero Code: Menace of the Mannuquin - art by Jonathan Rector (master number 7-11 - issue one is finished, released as issue 1)

I'll release more info on the two arcs after this at a later date.


A while back, G. Brett Williams was talking about doing a project similar to Project Rooftops but for writers - a place to run pitches as practices.

It didn't pan out, but I did do a pitch for DC Comics Dr Fate - here's the document for those of you interested;

Quick Question, who is Dr Fateʼs arch-enemy? Another one, who currently wears the Helmet of Nabu?

For me, Dr Fate suffers from an over-converluted history and the most common crime of supernatural-powered super-heroes - he is a deus ex machina, muddily defined, and prone to facing unclear threats. In team books, he is the character who gets bound up by some unknown magic at the start, removing him from the roster as quickly as possible in order to make sure that he canʼt just fire some conjoured magic the way of the villain.

I propose a complete overhaul of the character, giving the Helmet and powers over to a new wearer, but adding a new layer to the use of their powers and their role in the new DC Universe.

Opening five years in the future, the current Dr Fate spear-heads the final push of the Lords of Order as they over-throw the Lords of Chaos. Magic has destroyed the most powerful of super-heroes, and those that are left can only watch on as these mystical, timeless forces battle it out. Fate wins in the name of his lords, destroying the last Magician of Chaos, and unbalancing the natural order of the universe.

In one final act, the Helmet of Nabu is sent back in time by John Constantine and Zatana, imbued with the balance of chaos and order, in the hope of finding someone to ensure that the imbalance is never created.

The helmet selects Louise Thompson, a teenage girl, who would then have to work in secret - aided by Kent Nelson and Batman - to learn how to use the magic she now wields and how to remain hidden whilst using it. These two would try to keep her hidden from the current Dr Fate, and hope that she can maintain the balance of the two battling Orders which provide her powers.

I would also work on building up a proper Rogues Gallery for the character. Wotan, Dr Fateʼs arch-enemy, is guilty of the same convoluted history as the current Dr Fate, and so I would avoid bringing that character into play. Besides, no one really cares about Wotan, right?

Using the conflict of hidden powers, a constant question mark over the source of those powers and the element of secrecy from the current super-hero community would help to fuel the story line, especially when coupled with the idea of a time-line to oblivion.

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