Discovering Boom Di Ada

Thanks to Will Pate, my Friday starts with charm.

FREAKANGELS are Here and I am in Love

FREAKANGELS is a free, weekly ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Paul Duffield. As the interview with Warren Ellis via CBR states:

FreakAngels” takes place in an imaginative future world in which something has gone horribly wrong. In this case, the “something” is the fault of the FreakAngels themselves, a group Ellis described in a “Bad Signal” email blast as “a clan of unrelated young people with purple hair and purple eyes.” The trouble, Ellis goes on to say, comes when “a girl called Alice from Manchester turns up with a shotgun and a grievance, having met the lost, prodigal last Freakangel, who had very different ideas about what they should do with themselves and this flooded future England.”

Aside from the more than consistant, lovely storytelling by Ellis and the wonderful character designs and artwork by Duffield, FREAKANGELS has something else worth noting. It’s a completely free comic done by comic professionals. It’s out there on the web for all to see and enjoy. Also, the professionals in question are getting paid for their work. The comic is free and the creators are being paid. Avatar Press has gone and made me a happy 21st Century Man.

For readers, the benefits of a free web comic from a top-name creator are obvious. But from a publishing standpoint, there are still many questions surrounding web content—particularly free, open access content—that still do not have straight, easy answers. What is the best way to present material online? How will free access affect sales of a printed edition? How does one measure whether the endeavor has been successful?

There are genius webcomics out there in Internetland. Yet I have not run across a site yet that features fully established creators putting their work on something that is not a clunky flash reader. Each page is a jpg without any browser enabled image blocking. In theory, a savvy user could download each page and have the entire collection living on their harddrives. What they do with it after that is anyone’s guess.

I’m sure Avatar Press will release a printed collection as soon as the content allows. But they’re taking a lot on faith. They’re hoping that people would rather have nicely organized stack of dead trees, than digital shadows lurking about random external drives. In my case, they’re half right. I appreciate the convenience of the webcomic yet I’d rather re-experience the story away from the burden of technology.

Nothing compares to a quiet night, a book at the ready, and your iPod whispering sweetness in your ears.

I hope this experiment is the beginning of something new. I’d like the think that Marvel or DC or even smaller publishers can take full advantage of the internets in a similar fashion and not feel threatened by all the inherit dangers within.

I also hope that Paul Duffield doesn’t mind me using his works to make a widescreen wallpaper. If there is a problem, just follow the link on the above picture and leave a comment on my Flickr.

Below are links to the first two episodes of FREAKANGELS with a link to Avatar’s official FREAKANGEL wallpaper set.