We’ll soon pass the day when there will be more comics available in a digital format than any human could ever read in a normal lifespan. (It’s certainly the case already with all media.) Maybe the time for materialism has passed. Maybe we should focus less on worrying about what our books are worth and focus more on what our time is worth. I doubt it’ll happen, but then again, I spend too much of my time escaping into my media to care.

Really digging Mr. Heflich’s writing as of late. Don’t miss his Daytripper article.

Personally, the second I read a comic on my iPad was the second I stopped caring about the materialism of print comics books. Aside from the previous prospect of buying books when we were younger thinking they’d be worth something, why bother take up space in my office with boxes and boxes of comics that are a pain in the ass to dig up?

Sure, they smell good, but that’s not enough for me anymore.

I can see parallels to movies as well. My friends and I grew up working on a video store watching movies all day. We’d snatch up the newest releases and run home to watch. I remember skipping class one day with my friend Dave to watch the X-Men DVD on a small TV in my room. Eventually, I stopped collecting movies because I felt that streaming would be the future of that medium and didn’t see the point of adding cases and cases of DVDs.

"You mean I have to get up and into the closet and put a DVD in? No, thanks."

I get that people still love the feel of a printed floppy in their hands, but I get much more enjoyment from reading a great story in a much more accessible format than packing up the book into a box never to read again.

Dark Horse has finally revealed a beta version of their iPad app that will allow users to download and read whenever they choose. Their service will also allow users to read across multiple operating systems such as Android and also the browser of your choosing. For now, they only showed their iOS app.

Previously, Dark Horse delayed their app because of changes to the App Store. The abridged version is that Apple will no longer allow apps to make purchases outside of the app and transfer that purchase into the app itself without also having an in-app option. If you’ve ever used Kindle for iOS, you know that this is exactly the kind of thing Apple will not be allowing towards the end of the summer.

Dark Horse had made statements alluding to similarities between the Kindle app and their own. You’d be able to make purchases in mobile Safari, and the comics would then start to download inside the app. The main benefits to this were that Apple would not have the option to say no to certain questionable comics, and that Dark Horse could offer prices outside of the 99c area, such as their previously announced $1.49. However, since Apple says this is no longer allowed, it seems that Dark Horse has abandoned those plans and will go along with whatever Apple deems necessary.

I’m glad that Dark Horse is making the appropriate changes, but as of yet they have not mentioned their “bundles" idea.

Under their original plan, individual issues would have cost $1.49, and a grouping of a particular arc could be purchased between $2.99 and $5.99. Since the reveal of their beta app at C2E2, there has been no mention of these “bundle” offerings.

While I’m glad Dark Horse has made the changes to possibly get into the App Store, I just hope they won’t come at the cost of a feature that none of the other digital comics apps have.

Dark Horse Digital Will Not Have Bundles on iPad.

CBR:

The iPad app and online store operate somewhat differently, but prices are the same on both platforms: $1.99 for most comics, with a few first issues offered for free or for 99 cents, and a few comics, featuring more content, available at higher price points. The online store also allows readers to buy bundles of comics — a six-issue story arc of “B.P.R.D.,” for example — at a discounted rate over the price of the individual issues. Parkinson told CBR News that at this point, the feature is not available on the iPad app because the iTunes store has no way to bundle purchases.

I don’t understand this. Why can’t they add a separate iTunes Connect item for a “digital trade” that combines the issues into one file? That would solve the problem. Users could buy the singles in-app, or you could buy the digital trade in-app. I wonder if this was dropped so they could get the app out on time. Or rather, several months late.

Is the Kindle Fire Any Good For Comics?

Right now, the cheapest iPad costs $499. If you wanted to go the route that I had and get the 32GB iPad, you’ll be spending $599 to complete your digital comic dreams.

I use my iPad for comics about 90% of the time. That 10% I refresh my Twitter app looking for things to troll @JonesyLovesBeer about.

If you’re anything like me, you want to have access to your comic collection in the palm of your hand(s). I want to be able to carry around thousands of comics with me at all times thanks to the glory of the cloud - ready to download on my tablet. I don’t care how you shake it: being able to download comics whenever you want is an amazing thing. The first time I downloaded The Walking Dead at 1am while still laying in bed blew my mind.

This is something that will make comics accessible for folks that don’t have access to a local shop. Unfortunately, paying nearly $600 for a device that will complete your tablet comic buying dreams ain’t so hot.

The Kindle Fire has the potential to find new comic fans more than the iPad has, or will.

I don’t speak in hyperbole much, outside of my Bagley Scale of Bad Comics Art™ but I’m being srrous.

Anyone that says they’d love to get into digital comics, but doesn’t like to read on their laptop or phone, and doesn’t want to buy an iPad - take a look at the Kindle Fire. Just do it.

$199 gets you access to the entire comiXology library of comic books - which is over 16000 comics at this point, bro. I’ve read a few comics on the Kindle Fire myself and for whatever reason, it feels like colors are more vibrant than on iPad. Personally, I still prefer my own iPad 2 for reading.

For someone waiting to jump onto the digital ship, though, you’d be a fool not to throw down $200 bucks on the Kindle Fire. Reading aficionados will adore this thing.

What about that 8GB HDD? Surely you can’t hold many comics on that, right?

You can hold plenty, but guess what? Who cares if you can’t store them all? Embrace the future. Adore the cloud. You now have the ability to have “longbox in the cloud” with comiXology. Store what you need on the device, and put the rest back in the longbox for download in the future.

These days I generally only store my favorites on my iPad, and download new stuff for reading that week or next. Planetary, FELL, and Logan are my usual mainstays on there. Luther Strode, Batman, Invincible, The Walking Dead, and others are on there any given day, but then go go back into cloud storage.

The Kindle Fire could be comic’s secret weapon to find new readers.

And that ain’t not bad in my book.

This is the part where I mention that I work for @comiXology. You can also find more Kindle Fire photos over here.

How to Do a Skype Podcast And Not Have it Sound Like Shit.

For many years, I’ve held off doing a Skype podcast because I felt it wasn’t worth the effort.

The audio-quality usually is junk. If you have more than two hosts it can be very difficult with timing and knowing when to speak. There are so many Skype podcasts out there that just sound absurdly bad. You probably already listen to them. Like, two dudes use their iPhone earbuds, plug them into their Mac, record in Garageband and then post it to iTunes. Who wants that? On what planet is that acceptable? Get out of here with that.

With Paperkeg taking a break due to scheduling being nigh impossible, we wanted to goof around a bit in our off time. I’d be moving to another state, there would be more kids in our families, and we’d have no time to shedule a locally recorded show.

Turns out you don’t need to be Dan Benjamin to do a high quality Skype podcast.

With the return of Paperkeg, episode #076 was recorded entirely remotely. Oh, #73.1 was recorded remotely, too. The whole thing.

How can this be done you say? Well, I’ll tell you. I won’t go into ways where you can make it sound moderately better, I’ll tell you how to do it if you want it to sound like The Flap and Paperkeg. There may be easier ways of doing things, but this is the way we do things.

It will cost you between $50-$120 to get into the game. Fair warning. And yes, I know there are USB microphones out there around the same price as what I’m going to describe for you. I just didn’t go that route. This route allows you to also do a local show if you need to down the line.

First of all, I don’t use Skype. Skype is dogshit. We use Google Hangout.

Every host has his own mixer at his place, a microphone, headphones, and his Mac. There you go, that’s pretty much it for one person. Total cost if you already have headphones and a computer, around $75-120.

I mentioned that we use Google Hangout to chat, but we do NOT record that audio. I repeat, we do NOT record Google Hangout audio. We record the audio that we get locally on our own mixers sitting next to us.

My XLR microphone goes into my Behringer mixer. My mixer’s Main Output is a Behringer USB Sound Card which is plugged into my Mac’s USB port. I record that audio using Garageband which is set to record the USB input. I turn on Monitoring in Garageband so I can hear myself. Google Hangout’s Audio In is set to my USB Sound Card. And finally, my headphones are just plugged into my Macbook as usual.

Here is the clipped version, Mixer > USB > Mac > Garageband, Google Hangout. If you were only planning on needing a mixer for your Mic only, this one is $35.

If you sound confused about that or think what I’ve described is too hard, maybe you shouldn’t be podcasting.

Dale’s set-up is just like what I’ve described. Everyone records their own audio at their own computer. Once we’re done, we upload other’s Garageband-exported audio. We jiggle them around in a Garageband project and make sure everyone is sync’d up. Snip out the beginning and end, and we have a show.

Now, it can be very difficult to get the hang of NOT talking over each other. Google Hangout is beneficial for this as you can see each other if you have a web-cam. (Most Macs have this installed.)

I had one goal in writing this: less shitty sounding podcasts. It’s very easy to just sit in front of your Mac, using your external microphone, record you and your buddy yapping about something and call it a day. But why not put some effort into it? Why not WANT to have the show sound like it was recorded locally on good equipment?

I’m really proud of Paperkeg and feel slighted when others put out an inferior product and don’t bother to try to make it something more.

Be arrogant in thinking you can do it better, bro.

– with love, @slim.

For more info, click to read my other podcast tips.

Anonymous asked:

Thanks for the write-up on how to do a pretty good sounding podcast. I wish podcasts went that route. or even cared! lol Cant wait for Astro City. One of my alltime faves.

Thanks for the kind words!

It’s very easy to create your own podcast. And it’s also very simple to make it sounds pretty smooth as well. We take great pride in what we put out and get stoked when folks feel the same enthusiasm we do.

Don’t be anonymous next time. Let’s be friends.