British artist Frazer Irving has worked his distinctive magic on such diverse books as classic 2000AD to Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated. If you’ve seen his digital artwork on his blog or Tumblr, then you will know he is a man who loves the world of digital comics, so I dropped him a line and asked him his thoughts on creating art on the iPad and the success of the DC relaunch.

This month the brilliant Freak Angels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield published it’s final episode online. A brilliant steam punk story of Whitechapel based telepaths known as Freakangels who are born with special powers at the same time and swear and shag their way around a post flood London. Although not the first online web comic, it was one of the best in terms of great artwork and fantastic story telling. It’s brilliantly detailed, Manga inspired artwork was created by the super talented Paul Duffield (aka Spoonbard) and I dropped him a line to ask him about the legacy of Freakangels and just how difficult it was to produce his super detailed artwork on a weekly basis.

When I was growing up my favourite book was a hardback called Marvel’s Fifty Fabulous Years.  It was a complete history of Marvel comics (up to that point) and I must have read it cover to cover a dozen times. One of my favourite sections was about the process a page takes from pencils to inks to colours to print. The page itself was from an issue of Ghost Rider drawn by Mark Texeira, but the panel I was most interested in was the colouring, which was done by a mulleted maestro named Gregory Wright.  This was in the pre-digital world where Greg was painting with a brush and ink before picking and annotating the colour separations by hand for the printing process. Over the years, I noticed the name Greg Wright appearing on several of my favourite comic books, most notably on the Erik Larsen run of Amazing Spider-man (my favourite ever comic run) and the early issues of Savage Dragon at Image. So when I saw him appear on Twitter last week I thought I would say ‘Hi!’. Greg was very gracious and actually replied to me as he was getting used to Twitter and so I took the chance to ask him some questions about what he had been up to and how he felt about the world of colouring in this new digital age.

In 2008 I wrote an article for MacFormat magazine about artists who have started painting on the iPad and iPhone using apps like Brushes and SketchBook Pro. I met some fascinating folk like Corliss Blakely, Jonathan Garuel and Susan Murtaugh who were creating amazing pieces of artwork with just an iPad or iPhone. I also interviewed comic artist Dean Trippe (www.deantrippe.com) but unfortunately his answers didn’t make to me in time to make the article (due to them getting waylaid in spam filters and the cyber-netherworlds!), so I thought this might be a great chance to finally have his words see the light of day as he has some really interesting stuff to say about creating artwork on his iPhone and iPad.

When it comes to the best digital comics app on the iPad, there really is only one top dog – ComiXology’s Comics. The iTunes of comics apps, ComiXology are the pioneers of digital comics on the iPhone and iPad and the powerhouse behind Marvel, DC and Images own apps. As I explored the world of comics on the iPad, it got me wondering just how the titles are published and how would I go about getting my work published if I were an indie comics publisher. And who better to ask than the folk at ComiXology themselves. So if you’ve ever wondered what the secret is, here’s the answers, courtesy of ComiXology’s David Steinberger their founder and CEO !

When it came to designing the logo for this site, as a designer by trade I knew it had to be a good one! So rather than just use a slightly ropey freeware comics font, or worse Brushstroke or Comics San, I decided to invest in a couple of fonts from the brilliant Comic Book Fonts website run by Comicraft’s Richard Starkings. It was while looking around on his site, that I realised that Richard and the guys at Comicraft are way more than just comic book letterers. They are publishers, artists and digital pioneers, so who better than to ask about their opinion on the wonderful world of digital comics.

When you do a search on iTunes for ‘comics’ you get the familiar array of apps from the big publishers like Marvel, DC, Image and ComiXology. But hidden in among these monster apps is a little icon with a angry pygmy on it called PG Comics. If you’re an iOS gamer you might recognise the name Pocket God as the hit iPhone game, but in this incarnation it’s a self published comic from the guys at Ape Entertainment. It’s a real gem written by the very talented Jason M Burns with awesome art from Uruguayan artist Rolando Mallada. I wanted to find out more about how this little title could outsell the big boys, so I got in touch with Ape’s publisher Dave Hedgecock and asked him what it’s like to carve your own niche in the brave new world of digital publishing!

One of the real success stories of comics on the iPad is IDW Publishing. Not only do they have a strong presence on ComiXology but they also have a series of their own apps  based on hit series like Transformers, True Blood and Dr Who. With smaller independents flourishing in this new market place, I got the chance to ask IDW’ Publishing’s Jeff Webber, their director of e-publishing, about some of the success stories at IDW and just how he sees the future for smaller comics publishers like IDW.

While researching this article I tried to get in touch with all my favourite artists and writers in the faint hope that they might be able to spare some time from their busy schedules to answer my questions. After sending out emails to everyone of note in my comics collection, one of the first people to get back in touch with me was the fantastic Kurt Busiek of Astro City and Marvels fame. Growing up I was a massive fan of Kurt’s work on Marvels and I was so excited to hear what he had to say, and here it is…