What would you do if you felt the quality of comics on the iPad wasn’t up to scratch? Most people would just grumble and moan and keep buying inferior books, but publisher Russell Willis took matters into his own hands, created his own comics platform inventing the ‘deluxe digital graphic novel’. Taking existing books from some of his favourite writer/artists, Russell developed his own publishing platform along with his Panel Nine app development team in Tokyo, approaching the artists in question to record an in-depth audio commentary to give the books that extra layer of interactivity.  After the success of his first release, From Hell artist Eddie Campbell’s Dapper John , he has followed it up with hard boiled crime drama Kickback from V For Vendetta artist David Lloyd. We got in touch with Russell to ask him how he came up with the idea for the deluxe graphic novel and what he think s makes this format so great for the iPad.

We love stories of self publishing digital comics here at Pipedream Comics, and we also love seeing what brilliant artwork talented artists can produce on their iPads. What’s even better though is finding out about a comic that’s written, produced and published on an iPad – which brings us to Little Robots by Raheem Nelson. A weekly web series published online every Sunday it features the antics of a group of robots, led by main character Addo and features satirical digs at pop culture and the modern world. But what’s even better the artwork is all produced digitally on an iPad. You can see the latest adventures of Addo and co at Raheem’s site and check out more of his work here,  but in the meantime we got in touch with him to find just how he goes about creating his robotic adventures.

The growth of digital comics apps for the iPad has created an exciting new market place for independent comics publishers. With regular sales promoting titles from smaller publishers, ComiXology does a great job of getting it’s readers to check and out and sample new titles with the convenience of a digital download. One such title which I was tempted to check out for the the first time recently is The Sixth Gun from Oni Press. A supernatural western it combines all your favourite elements of the classic wild west with a brilliantly gothic under current that would make HP Lovecraft or Mike Mignola proud. The man behind the title is writer Cullen Bunn, who you might be more familiar with from his run on Marvel’s Fear Itself, so I got in touch with him to ask just what the effect of digital sales are having on books like The Sixth Gun. 

Leinil Yu burst onto the comics scene in the late 90s after winning a Wizard magazine drawing board competition, but he followed that up with awesome runs on some of Marvel’s biggest titles like Wolverine and Uncanny X-Men. His spiky, unconventional style is part anime, part abstract but always phenomenally detailed and totally unique. However it was his work with Brian Bendis on Secret Invasion and Mark Millar on Ultimate Avengers that really helped bring him to the attention of mainstream comics fans. That latter run in particular helped build his relationship with Millar and developed into the fantastic creator-owned title, Superior, which was released via Icon Comics last year and is coming to a [no doubt explosive] conclusion very soon. With another collaboration with Millar called Supercrooks, launching soon I got in touch with Leinil to ask him about what it was like to work with some of the comics industry’s best writers and what was next for the man from Manilla?

Hellboy convention sketch by Duncan FegredoIt’s always great to see the fantastic artwork people can create on the iPad using just their fingers and a generous dose of creative flair. But it’s even better to see what comic professionals can rustle up when not working on their latest masterpiece. Last month I found this brilliant iPad painting by Hellboy artist Duncan Fegredo on the WhatNot blog and was just blown away. I’ve been a huge fan of Duncan’s for as long as he has been drawing Hellboy for Dark Horse and so knew I had to get in touch with him to ask him more about his experience of painting on the iPad and also, his thoughts on drawing the devil’s son.

MoonShot Comics coming soon to your iPad, PC or tabletIt’s an exciting time for small publishers on the iPad and we’re always excited to hear about new upstart ventures. The latest is Moonshot Comics, started by former Nickelodeon executive (and long time comics fan) George Lentino. It’s much more than just a new publisher though, it’s a one stop shop of digital expertise and creative thinking that is hoping to offer writers, artists and readers a new way of looking at and experiencing the world of digital comics. This is could be another fantastic option for those looking for something different to the traditional work of the big comic publishers and so ahead of it’s official launch this summer we got in touch with George and asked him to tell us a bit more about the Moonshot Comics Mission Statement!

Pocket God iconThere’s nothing we love more in life than torturing a couple of pygmies. Whether it’s pushing them around their little tropical habitat or zapping them with lightning, we can be a vengeful god on a wet Monday afternoon! Before you think we have gone completely sociopathic though,  we probably should mention that we don’t actually hunt down indigenous rain forest dwellers in order to bestow physical harm on them, we just do it on our iPhones with the awesome Pocket God game from Bolt Creative. We spoke to the team behind the brilliant comic, Publisher Dave Hedgecock and artist Rollo Mallado, last year, but what about the game itself? With it’s 43rd episode recently released, we got in touch with co-creator Allan Dye to ask, just what is it about torturing pygmies that makes people so happy?!

We caught up with artist Paul Duffield (aka Spoonbard) back in August to talk to him about his work on the brilliant Freakangels with the legendary Warren Ellis. However with that weekly web series coming to an end last summer, Paul has not been one to rest on his laurels. He’s not only been drawing and writing his own series, The Firelight Isle, but also self-financing it via Indie Go-Go. For those who help finance there is the possibility of access to all sorts of behind the curtain exclusives, from blog posts and sketches to personalised prints! This kind of  independent spirited publishing is just the kind of thing we admire here at Pipedream Comics so we got in touch with him and asked him about how the experience of financing your own comic has gone and just what lessens he learnt from his time working on Freakangels.

Power Play comic coverWe’re huge fans of digital comic Power Play here at Pipedream Comics and it was one of our first nominations for the Pipedream Pull List back in October. With it’s mix of super heroes and X games style action this digital only title published exclusively on Comixology, it pushed the boundaries of what writers and artists were doing with the medium of digital comics (plus it was pretty darn funny too!) and we’ve been eagerly waiting a second issue ever since. So wondering just what was going on we got in touch with writer Kurt Christenson and artist Reilly Brown to out just when the Power Play crew would be leaping back on to our tablets!

In the macho world of super hero comics, it’s easy to forget that back in the Golden Age, romance stories were just as popular as the action adventure stuff. Even the greats like Jack Kirby cut their teeth doing romance books, but in the modern day they’ve become something of a rarefied breed. Thank goodness then for Love and Capes which combines the kind of modern superhero stories we know and love with a healthy measure of romance, and a generous dash of good old fashioned gags. Previously available online at LoveandCapes.com or in print from IDW, it is now released on ComiXology.

Love and Capes follows the adventures of Mark (aka super hero the Crusader), and his new girlfriend, book shop owner Abby. But unlike your trad superhero books, Mark reveals his secret identity to Abby in the first chapter, which allows writer/artist Thom Zahler to poke fun at  the traditional obliviousness of other superhero girlfriends. (There’s no Lois and Clark style stumbling around the fact our hero’s girlfriend can’t recognise him when he takes off his glasses here!) Taking a knowing (and loving) swipe at all manner of super hero cliches it focuses on the blossoming relationship between Abby and her new super-boyfriend, covering everything from super-powered ex’s to secret origins and weaknesses, making for a fantastic, hilarious read.

To find out more about Love in Capes and it’s new digital lease of life, I got in touch with Thom Zahler and asked him just how it felt to have a whole new audience about to get to know his characters via the iPad?