The guys overs at IDW Publishing have created a great niche for themselves in the digital comics world thanks to their awesome series of apps and titles featuring big names from G.I. Joe to True Blood. However it is with Transformers that they have had their most success, so much so that this week sees the launch of this digital exclusive series, Transformers Autocracy.

With gorgeous art from fan favourite artist Livio Ramondelli and a story by Warcraft writer Chris Metzen alongside seasoned Transformer author Flint Dillie, it focuses on the early days of Optimus Prime (here referred to as Orion Pax) on Cybertron, before the war. Working alongside familiar names like Bumblebee, Ironhide and Hound, as a kind of Cybertron Police Force, the story looks set to reveal how Prime came to be the great leader we all know and love – there is even the promise of appearances from Megatron and other Decepticons, but as allies rather than foes! Essentially, it’s a bit like X-Men First Class but with Autobots instead of mutants!

At a mere 8 pages, there isn’t much to get your teeth into, but it certainly whets your appetite for more, and with only two weeks until the next instalment (and a bargain price of 69p an issue) you won’t have long to wait. Plans are to have the story line run through into June and also to tie in with the continuity of new titles More Than Meets The Eye and Robots in Disguise so there should be enough to keep both hardened Autobot-fans and nostalgic geeks like myself happy well into the summer.

Transformers Autocracy is published by IDW Publishing and can be downloaded from either their own app or via ComiXology’s Comics


Is there a better team in comics today than Sean Philips and Ed Brubaker? Whether it’s the pot-boiled noir of Criminal or the post-modern super-villain antics of Incognito, they are truly masters of their craft. Now it’s time for them to turn their attention to the supernatural horror genre with brand new title Fatale. It features the traditional tight and complex Brubaker storyline blending time-travel, horror, whodunnit and classic noir. Flipping from the 1930s to the present day with seamless, mind-bending brilliance the story would be nothing without Philips stylish visuals. Tweaking his trademark stark, monochromatic style to a more pulpy 30s style it features much more of a dynamic feel than the tight close-ups of Criminal, however it is subtle touches of former Hellboy and BPRD colourist Dave Stewart that really helps give Fatale that gothic feel.

As with all Brubaker/Philips story it is difficult to get your head around this latest world in just 32 pages. Not because it is complex and unwieldy, but because the themes and subjects involved are so expertly weaved into the story. By the time you reach the final page you are only just getting started and are left wanting to read the next instalment as soon as you can. Fatale is the kind of book that will reward repeat reading as you pick up more and more with each reading as the story progresses from issue to issues, so make sure you get on the Fatale band wagon now as this will be on everyone’s ‘Best of 2012’ list by the end of the year and will be selling out in print before you know it.

Fatale #1 is published by Image Comics and is available on Comics or the Image Comics app for $3.50

Everyone loves zombies, and the only thing better than the undead is when an unlikely hero takes on the hordes of the undead for our enjoyment. We’ve had Egg from this Life in the Walking Dead, cabbage chucking pot plants in Plants vs. Zombies and and even Marvel Superheroes, but this week there’s a new corpse splutterer is about to take on the task – Mega City One’s finest lawman Judge Dredd.

Graphicly iconIn the world of digital comics you could be forgiven for assuming that there are the big two (ComiXology and iVerse) and that’s it. But shame on you for being so narrow-minded. Just as in the print world, there are some amazing apps outside the remit of the big two and one of my current favourites is the very cool Graphic.ly. Mixing a comics reader with an in built social network, it’s the closest thing you can get to the hanging out at the comic store and shooting the sh*t. It’s packed with awesome titles from a whole host of publishers including Marvel, Image and Boom! Studios and so features great titles such as Walking Dead, Savage Dragon and Mark Waid’s Irredeemable, many of which are available the same day as in print. I decided to get in touch with founders Micah Baldwin and Ron Richards and ask just how Graphic.ly came about and how they hope to compete with the big boys.

What’s the best way to take the story of two Victorian computer pioneers and turn it into an exciting iPad app? How about re-imagining their story as a comic book adventure and turn them into Victorian crime-fighters solving mysteries on behalf of the Queen? Well that’s what brilliant Canadian artist and writer Sydney Padua did and thanks to the guys at Agant it’s now a fantastic interactive app. Released to commemorate Ada Lovelace Day on October 7th (a day started to celebrate the role of women in technology) this brilliant app is a slice of steam punk style Victoriana, a bit like the League of Extraordinary Gentleman meets Dempsey and Makepeace, but also features interactive historical annotations along the way so you can really get a feeling of just how intricate and accurate the story-telling is. To find out more about this fantastic new crime-fighting duo and their historically accurate adventures, I got in touch with app developer Dave Addey and asked him where the inspiration for this great new app came from…

Power Play comic coverThis week’s must-have is the brilliant Powerplay by Kurt Christenson and Reilly Brown. A lot of comics claim to have embraced the world of digital, but they only go as far as same day print and digital. The boys on Powerplay have taken it one step further and have actually designed the comic to maximise the iPad’s interactivity. Rather than the standard left to right scrolling of panels, Powerplay takes the panel by panel approach of ComiXology and takes it to its logical conclusion by getting rid of individual pages all together and just letting you scroll through one panel at a time. Now this might not seem the best way to read a book, but it’s been designed so that in key places in the story panels begin blend together to give it a simple animated feel which is just awesome. Check out the scene where Mac turns to gold and Kris cuts off his hair between panels 28 and 37 to see what I mean.

Apple's NewssatdnThis week saw the release of Apple’s new iOS5 operating system for iPad and iPhone. You might have missed it as it got somewhat lost amongst the tragic news of Steve Jobs passing and the internet backlash against the iPhone 4S, but it is probably the most exciting thing that will happen to digital publishing this year.

Kyle Lambert Dr WhoIf you type the phrase ‘iPad comic art’ into Google, one of the first names you come across is Kyle Lambert. Now he may not be a household name like Jim Lee, but he must be doing something right as he is ranking higher than the erstwhile publisher of Batman, Superman et. al. Kyle’s digital paintings have caused a stir all over the Internet not just because they are incredibly detailed but because of the videos that accompanied them that let you into his world of digital artistry. Whether it’s his portraits of celebrities like Beyonce or Stephen Fry or the awesome pictures of Dr Who and the Hulk I was fascinated to find out just what inspired this finger painting phenom and just how he created such fantastic works of art with just an iPad.

Raptor Splash Page by Blair D SheddHere at Pipedream Comics we’re big fans of writers and artists who embrace the world of self-publishing.. One of our favourites at the moment is Blair D Shedd, aka @OneGemini, creator of his own Kickstarter funded series The Raptor (which should see the light of day sometime in November) as well as artist on Dr Who for the folks over at IDW. Keen to find out more about self-publishing The Raptor and drawing timelords we got in touch. 

You wouldn’t naturally link fashion and digital comics, but petit model Isobella Jade has linked these two disparate worlds to create the awesome Model Life, now available on iVerse’s Comics + app. Isobella took the trials and tribulations of her life as a model who is less than 5’4″ and turned them into a series of fantastic autobiographical books and graphic novels which she wrote in an Apple Store in New York and then published online her herself. Inspired by this can-do attitude I decided to ask her just what brings a petit model into the traditionally macho world of digital comics!