Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 1, 2007

Zuda Launches; Usual Questions Raised

The DC Comics web initiative Zuda Comics launched I think late Tuesday, maybe not until Wednesday, but it's certainly up now. This article seems to me a nice, introductory summary of some of the issues the launch raises, including lingering doubts about the fairness of the contract which all the invocations of "please get a lawyer" won't make go away. That they're using Flash is the kind of thing I wouldn't catch on my own but the fact that they're using a way of presenting their cartoons that some people think thwarts easy loading and works against the viral nature of having word of these features spread around the Internet, that's the kind of big-launch news that seems to dog a lot of similar projects. The awkwardness is almost comforting.

I have to say, though: the fact that it took a while for me to load most of the cartoons available on Day One combined with the fact that most of what I read seemed on first glance 1980s indy-comic amateurish and 1990s Spirits of Independence boring and almost solely restricted to fantasy comics of various types with other elements sprinkled in? All that makes me not want to go back for a while. I'm totally not the intended audience, but my first impression is I have to imagine there are better works for that intended audience.

In other on-line comics site news, Dave Kellet, Kris Straub and Brad Guigar have left Blank Label Comics to form Half Pixel with well-established on-line comics creator Scott Kurtz. Actually, I think Half Pixel already existed, so maybe this should be seen as a reorientation of that project. I'm pulling most of my information from this interview, but frankly, it's pretty hype-driven and vague on a lot of concrete reasons and expectations about moving from one place to another. Kind of a "Those guys are still totally awesome; this new project could be that much more awesome. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!" vibe. This could be because the reasons for making such a move may actually be hype-driven and the reasons may be general rather than specific; I'm not quite certain, but those are all cartoonists worth tracking.
posted 3:06 am PST | Permalink

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