A discussion panel about creating digital comics from C2E2 with studiomate @reilly_brown , along with @markwaid , @johnnystormo , @jamesthefourth and @petergkrause , TalkingPower Play, Comixology, Thrillbent, and new ways of making comic books!
@johnnystorm0 @JamesTheFourth and Peter Krause
For those who weren’t there, here’s the audio of the panel I was on at C2E2 with @MarkWaid @johnnystorm0 @JamesTheFourth and Peter Krause talking about utilizing the digital medium to advance the medium and make the best comics we can.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and to hear what digital comics you’ve been liking, and what more you’d like to see.
Keep the conversation going!
SUPPORT CREATOR OWNED DAY with DIGITAL COMICS!
Power Play is an original digital comic book series created by Kurt Christenson and Marvel artist Reilly Brown that takes full advantage of being an electronic format which means they can create a unique experience that reads like a comic but has all manner of new storytelling tricks and techniques that really enhance the reading experience. If you’ve been on the fence with digital comics, give this a read and let us convince you!
POWER PLAY follows Mac Washington, slacker NYU college student who’d rather sit around reading comics and eating pizza than study or get a job. But when he gets struck by lightning outside Union Square he gains the superpower to become ANYTHING HE TOUCHES! In the first issue this includes sidewalk, gold, and BEER! (no, seriously). In order to make a fast buck he enrolls in the Power Play league and competes against other superpowers from across the five boroughs. Will these underground street games lead Mac to the purpose and direction he’s been looking for?
So check out the first issue of the digital comic series that even Joe Quesada & Mark Waid had to call out as one of the innovators of this new medium.
Hello. My name is Kurt, I live in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I’m a Virgo and love sandwiches.
I’m also the co-creator and writer of Power Play, a new creator-owned digital comic series available via Comixology. If you have an iPad, Kindle Fire, tablet, iPhone, or one of the other various smarttech devices that accesses an APP store, you can download an app called Comics by Comixology which will allow you access to a TON of awesome FREE comic books.
If you are without said device, worry not, just drop by Comixology’s website and read it at work, I mean, on your home PC or laptop.
Most of these are print comics that have been scanned in and meticulously “directed” by the fine folks at Comixology who are now part of the storytelling process. One of the best examples of what is capable with this new medium, is the comic I created with Marvel artist Reilly Brown: POWER PLAY.
We formatted this comic to be digital first, thinking of what was possible when you applied the technology to sequential art, but made it in a way that the fades and pans and zooms could add to the story, not merely be a function. Once we started thinking along those lines we quickly developed a whole new toolbox of tricks and effects that could enhance the action, add beats and effectively create a sense of surprise!
With our approach the readers’ vision is limited to a panel at a time, giving more a cinematic sense, a widescreen action to it. This allows us to put the reader where we want and move them around, even though they still control the pace which, at its heart, is the essence of reading comics. But now we can build up moments with more depth to the scene. Trust me when I say that talking head panels are much more effective when faded through with subtle character expression changes.
That’s the dry, techie side of POWER PLAY, but what’s the story? What’s it all about? What’s up with the squid guy?
Power Play is a comic about New Yorkers with superpowers. All across the five Boroughs random folk find themselves with the ability to create ice, control flame, turn into beer…no, seriously, read the first issue. When these Tweens all meet up they hold underground competitions spun out of their YouTube channel and social media network. If you’re one of the few who’s got a gift, or even if you’re a weirdo with an obsession and drive, then you can try out for the Power Play League, fight for your neighborhood, and bring home the Unlimited Bar Tab Trophy!
Enter our hero, Mac Washington, a listless slacker NYU student with no purpose or direction. He sucks at sports, hasn’t settled on a major yet with only a few semesters to go, and can’t hold down a job. He makes a few bucks volunteering for medical experiments, clinical trials and psyche studies, but usually blows that on comics and pints at Crocodile Lounge (free pizza = dinner). Luckily he has his gang of friends who help him along, when they’re not messing with him.
That all changes when one day, while avoiding kids with clipboards asking if he has time to save the Earth, he’s struck by lightning running down a loose wire from the construction at Union Square. Suddenly he finds he’s able to become whatever substance he touches. Now, he can literally be anything he wants! When he enters the competition he’s gotta figure out what that is, from his superpower to his life.
Power Play is shot on location in New York City and Brooklyn. All the panels displaying a scene in either location is drawn from reference of that actual location. So when you see the Queensboro Bridge you’re seeing it as it is, only with people firing lasers and flying low across the East River. Each contestant is a send-up of the various neighborhoods and the characters that live there, and even the storyline itself is an homage to New York history, the Battle of Brooklyn.
It’s comedy, sports, superpowers (minus the superheroes), it’s college students throwing illegal parties in warehouses, and the monsters of the city coming out to do battle with one another. It’s the dawn of a new era of comic books and this is our love letter to the greatest city in the world.
The free preview is now available, as are the first full three issues.
I hope that you read and enjoy. If you love comics, NYC, technology, or just good old fashioned fun with some of the most kinetic and styled artwork, Reilly Brown on top of his game, then give it a read and let us know what you thought!
@Reilly_Brown slaving over sketches at #nycc (Taken with Instagram at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center)
Hey guys, I’ve got a busy weekend of meeting friends, partying and drinking coming up, plus there’s also a comic convention going on! Here’s my schedule for New York Comic Con this weekend—
Thursday 2:45-3:45 I’ll be at the Comixology panel in room 1A01
Friday from 1:00-2:00 I’ll be signing at the Marvel booth
Friday from 2:30-3:30 I’ll be signing and doing sketches at the Hero’s Initiative booth
All the rest of the time I’ll be in Artist’s Alley at table K11, selling my con sketchbook Sketches, selling prints, and taking commissions. Stop by the table and say hi!
CYCLOPS & DEADPOOL gif animations by Reilly Brown
Here’s the line work from one of my favorite panels from AvX Infinite #3. I’ve wanted to draw these two fighting since I was 11 years old!
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can download the comic directly to your home computer and/or iPhone/pod/pad or Kindle or Android device.
How’s that for instant gratification?
The story is written by Mark Waid and Yves Bigerel, with art by me and Marte Gracia.
This comic is done in a way made specifically for reading comics digitally, and it’s cool to be able to experiment with a bunch of new storytelling techniques that aren’t even possible in print. Check it out and let me know what you think!
If you like it, I do a similar thing in my creator-owned series Power Play, which is also on Comixology.
Here’s a sneak peek of the cover for issue #2!
And if you’re hitting up San Diego Comicon the next few days, why not catch Reilly Brown at the Comixology panel from 2-3 in room 11AB, and then swing by to grab a sketchbook or print from his table in Artist’s Alley at EE-06!
PA: You’ve done a plethora of work for Marvel including the Marvel Holiday Special in 2005, Marvel Apes: The Amazing Spider-Monkey #1, Hercules: Fall of an Avenger, just tons of [work]. What’s your personal favorite book to work on?
RB: My two favorite things I’ve worked on were the Cable and Deadpool stuff and the Incredible Hercules story. Particularly the Thorcules story where [Hercules] dresses up as Thor to woo an Asgardian Elf Princess, giving Thor a bad name in the process. Thor catches wind of this, isn’t happy, dresses up like Hercules and then they fight it out as each other. It was just a fun, goofy story. Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak did an awesome job on that.