Last week, I attended an Off The Page event at the infamous Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. The event was presented by the Digital Comics Coalition and it was called: Off The Page – A Future of Comics Livecast. It took place in the NerdMelt Showroom inside Meltdown Comics. You can (and should) watch the panel in its entirety below.
The panel was moderated by Meltdown’s “Chief Experience Officer,” Adam Silverstein. Representing the Digital Comics Coalition were THE Mark Waid from Thrillbent, Michael Son of Tapastic, Felix Kiner of ComicsFix and Doug Lefler of Scrollon. These guys are pioneering the Wild West that is the Digital Comics world and it was a pleasure to hear them discuss the industry with transparency.
DCC’s hope is to get more content creators to join the digital comics movement. The goal of the panel was to share inside information with up and coming and brand new digital artists and also to discuss the present state of the digital comics world.
Gaston Dominguez-Letelier, owner of Meltdown Comics, began the panel by welcoming everyone. He confessed that he, himself, has some major apprehensions about digital comics since he runs a brick and mortar store. He admitted that he has a blind hatred for digital comics and had refused to look at them for 10 years. That is, until Mark Waid reached out! This Brick and Mortar Store vs Digital Comics was a fascinating discussion to listen to and, I will say that by the end of the panel, Gaston was ready to put tablets up in his store to display digital comics content. Convert achieved! Basically, we learned that Brick and Mortar stores and Digital Content Providers can happily coexist and actually benefit greatly from each other.
A good deal of the discussion was how to achieve good and evergreen audience engagement. The panel was diverse in their philosophies on how to do this and also diverse in what platforms they choose for their reader satisfaction. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually quite exciting because all were so unique. The digital world is vast and filled with endless creative opportunities.
This fact also brought up another subject. Technology is so diverse and changing so rapidly, how can anyone keep up with this ever changing beast. Mark Waid had a most wonderful and creative answer. He likened keeping up with technology to a scene in the movie Stand By Me. He noted the iconic part in the film when the kids are walking across a bridge with railroad tracks and they hear the whistle of a train and begin running. Waid says, he’s always running. Trying to stay one step ahead.
This answer lead me to ask the panel a question: If you’re always running to keep up with or stay ahead of technology, if you’re so wrapped up in trying to get an audience, how do you keep the love for what you do? How do you find time to create? The answers were inspiring. Mark Waid basically said that he’s been on that bridge for 30 years. And that when you are having trouble creating, you just have to push on until you find that one thing that gives you sheer joy and you hang on to that and trust that you will find it again. Listen to all the panelists answer that question at 01:36.07. Truly enlightening, inspiring and personal answers about the creative process.
It was a fascinating panel at a fascinating place and I urge you to give it a listen!
Also, a heads up. The Digital Comics Coalition WILL have a table at San Diego Comic Con this summer. Make sure you stop by and tell them Geek Girl Authority sent ya!
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