As interactive books and comics get more and more sophisticated the boundaries between them are getting even closer. One title which is hoping to blur the lines even more is Bottom of the Ninth by animator Ryan Woodward. Hailing it as the world’s first animated graphic novel (as far as he knows), it combines Ryan’s love of comics, animation and baseball and looks set to be one of the true ground-breaking titles for the iPad in 2012.  I got in touch with Ryan as he finished off the final finesses  ahead of it’s Summer release and did my best to get to the the bottom of Bottom of the Ninth.

Back in March we spoke to George Lentino, publisher of Moonshot Digital Comics, who was setting out his plan to revolutionise the world of digital comics with “innovative, experimental and down-right fun to read comics”. Well the first title,  from that stable, Deluge, is about to be released with the team of film-maker turned writer J.D. Oliva and artist Richard Clark at the helm. After hearing about all the great things that George had planned for his new line of digital comics, I got in touch with J.D. to ask him about his inspiration for Deluge and just what exactly the Moonshot Digital experience entailed.

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?

The great thing about digital comics is that there isn’t one way to publish your story. Whether you’re distributing through a major company and keeping to a strict monthly schedule or you’re self-publishing online and releasing it whenever you feel is right, there’s no hard and fast rule about how best to release your work to the public.One prime example of doing things differently is the brilliant Cow Boy from Chris Eliopoulos and Nate Cosby. We spoke to Chris back in August when Cow Boy was still in it’s infancy and so it’s great to see it finally appearing online, and it really has been worth the wait. Chris and Nate have taken the bold step of offering pages from Cow Boy free on their site cowboycomic.net while also offering dedicated readers the option to pre-order a hard cover print edition which will be published by Archaia Press.

The brilliant Jill Thompson is a woman of many talents. Not only is she the writer and artist of the fantastically successful Scary Godmother and Beasts of Burden series from Dark Horse; she’s also the designer of ring outfits and T-shirts for WWE superstars like current WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan; And she’s the creator of her own iPad app JilliJill – which distributes her weird and wonderful comic stories to a new generation of tablet savvy fans. Curious how she manages to find time in the day, we caught up with Jill and asked her just what the future holds for comic creators like herself in this new digital world…

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


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.

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. 

The brilliant Liam Sharp may have made his name in the UK comics scene back in the early 1990s drawing Judge Dredd for 2000ad and then the awesome Death’s Head for Marvel UK, but these days he has become a champion of self-publishing via his Mam Tor publishing company. Now he is set to burst forth into the world of digital comics with the Madefire project alongside long time friend and collaborator Ben Wolstenholme. The first installment of Madefire is set to include work from Sharp and Wolstenholme alongside Treatment the latest creator owned property from legendary Watchmen artsist Dave Gibbons. With this exciting new launch just a few weeks away I got in touch with Liam and found out just what Madefire is all about.