The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

Posts tagged with comics

Remembering Stan Lee

You might have heard by now that Stan Lee passed away (which, sadly, is another celebrity death that I care about).

The only time I saw him was at FanExpo Vancouver 2013. Here he is, signing my friend’s Spidey book. “Thank you very much for all the stories” my friend said. “Oh, you’re very welcome” Stan said.

Stan, the grampa

A bit later, all the Marvel cosplayers gathered for Stan, and for a minute he kinda looked like a nerdy version of Hugh Hefner.

Stan with the cosplayers

Farewell, Stan!


It's a Good Time to be a Geek

News of movie or TV adaptations come and go all the time but today my io9 RSS feed brought me a trio of titles that are directly related to my tastes:

Not only are those 3 opportunities for me to say things like “_I liked it before it was cool_” and “_the original material is better_”, but it’s also 3 things that will bring some additional cash (hopefully) to the original authors whose work I enjoyed.

These days, adaptations can often bring, at best, a lot of geek backlash, but I find that even if I don’t like the adaptation, I’m happy that it’s bringing attention to the original material, and money to the original authors. It’s almost always good news in my book, except for the uncommon case where those original authors get fucked for some reason.


Fanexpo Vancouver 2015

This week-end in Vancouver was FanExpo, with the shopping frenzy, celebrity line-ups, cosplay contests, and friendly comic-book sketching that you’ve come to expect from such conventions, albeit at a smaller scale for our relatively young Vancouver edition.

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Here’s my artist-commission-focused loot this year:

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Nadia (from Kukuburi) by Ramon Perez, Conan by Cary Nord, and Iron Fist by Kaare Andrews. And a nice Thundercats t-shirt because I always need a new t-shirt.

After the jump you can see some cosplay pictures I took, although you can probably see better ones elsewhere on the internet.

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DRM-free backup on Comixology

Me, a few months ago after the “scandal” of Comixology removing the ability to buy comics directly from inside their iOS app:

I would hope ComiXology manages to revert the change, but frankly I’d rather put my hopes in more DRM-free comics available directly from the creators and publishers instead.

Well my hopes have been answered in a way: Comixology announced last week that you would be able to download DRM-free versions of your Comixology books for publishers who are OK with that:

The first wave of participating publishers making their books available as DRM-free backups include Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. In addition, creators and publishers that are self-publishing through comiXology Submit are now able to choose to make their books available with a DRM-free backup.

No surprises here about the publishers who are indeed “OK with that”, since they’re the ones who were already offering DRM-free comics on their own website… but those are excellent news. I can’t stress enough how huge this is.

I’m not sure whose idea it was – whether publishers like Image pressured Comixology to do this, or whether Comixology came to this logical conclusion on their own – but I’m very happy either way. As I said before, I had completely stopped buying Image comics from Comixology, preferring instead their own DRM-free website… but that website was slow as hell and barely usable. Ideally I’d rather give 100% of my money to Image, instead of – probably – 70% through Comixology, but the usability is night and day between the two, and uploading independently acquired files to an iPad is still a huge pain in the ass1.

“For those out there who have not joined the comic reading community because of DRM – you have no excuse now,” said co-founder and Director of ComiXology Submit John D. Roberts

Indeed.

The only problem I’ve found so far is that those backups are extremely bare: just a ZIP file with the pages as JPEG images. They’re the “retina” hi-res versions, so that’s good, but the archive is missing any kind of metadata. The only way to know what it is, short of having a human open it and read the cover, is to parse the file name.


  1. Something I’m hopping will be greatly improved in iOS8. 


ComiXology Scandal

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have missed the news that ComiXology released a new version of their mobile app that drastically changes how comics are purchased. It was reported on technology, gadget, Apple-related, and of course comicbook-related websites. It was even discussed heavily on RPG forums.

A summary of the situation is that:

  • The iPad/iPhone app doesn’t have in-app purchases anymore – you’re forced to buy directly from the web by switching to Safari.
  • The Android app still has in-app purchases, but as I understand it they don’t go through Google Play anymore and, instead, directly hit ComiXology’s servers.

Of course, the internet being what it is, a lot of people are pissed off and are voicing their rage on social networks. I’m not happy with the change either but I’m going to try and articulate my more moderate opinion in a few points here.

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