The Last Mechanical Monster thumbnailAs part of our build up to this year’s Eisner Award for Best Digital / WebComic we talk to Brian Fies, create of The Last Mechanical Monster. Fies is no stranger to the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic, having won the inaugural prize back in 2005 for his emotive series ‘Mom’s Cancer’. This year he is nominated for the very different work, The Last Mechanical Monster is the tale of a mad scientist from a 1930s Max Fleischer Superman cartoon who is released from prison in the present day only to go in search of his last remaining fire-breathing flying robot. It’s brilliant mix of post-modernism with a generous dose of nostalgia so we contacted Brian to find out more about how this project came about.

1. BMAO_press-release_121313_v2If you thought there were going to be no more blockbuster digital comics announcements in 2013 then think again as we reveal a huge team up between DC Entertainment and Madefire to create a whole new genre of digital comic. Batman: Arkham Origins, is an interactive digital graphic novel that combines Madefire‘s motion book technology with DC’s ground breaking multi-level story-telling known as DC2 Multiverse to create a truly unique form of digital comics entertainment. More of that below, plus, they’ve also announced an all new Injustice Gods Among Us motion book is available via the Madefire app and via DeviantArt! Holy motion books Batman!

If you’re a fan of DC Comics digital first titles like Adventures of Superman and Legends of the Dark Knight then you’re in for a treat as both are about to change creative teams and LOTDK is set to move to Tuesdays so make a note in your diaries!

Joe MartinoJoe Martino’s The Mighty Titan is a Kickstarter funded superhero spectacular that uses the emotive issue of cancer to make his tales of heroes and villains resonate with a real emotional core.  Fresh from the success of issue 1 which we reviewed back in May, issue 2 was successfully funded in just 30 hours and is set to hit the newsstands in August. Keen to find out the secret to crowd sourced comics we got in touch with Joe to ask him all about it and also to give us his own take on the fascinating and very personal journey that brought us The Mighty Titan

Freddie Williams cover to DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing ComicsIn the brave new world of digital comics, it is still as important to learn the right way to draw as it was in the days of Kirby and co. One man who has taken on the role of digital comics’ Obi Wan Kenobi is Freddie E. Williams II, who not only dispenses his wisdom on his own website and his own YouTube channel but is also the author of  The DC  Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics. With such an expert in all things digital out there and willing to share his knowledge with the world, we wanted to find out the secret to drawing great digital comics and who better to ask?!

Although not strictly in our remit here at Pipedream Comics, we were very excited this week by arrival of a copy of the DC Comics 75th Anniversary poster book from Quirk Books. Admittedly the book has been around since last summer and so doesn’t include the post-52 universe, but it’s still a fantastic read. Written by Robert Schnakenberg it covers the complete history of DC’s comics , dating back to 1935 and the debut issue of Fun magazine – the first comic published by eventual DC founder Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Each cover features a glorious full page poster with a breakdown of the books significance on the back including information about the story, characters, writers and artists. There’s everything in here from the first issue of Detective and Action Comics to the debuts of Batman, Superman and Green Lantern. One of the real highlights though is the pre-Comics Code books of the 1950s with obscure titles such as Mister District Attorney and Strange Adventures – a book which had a strange obsession with stories about scientifically altered gorillas!

It’s a brilliant visual history of DC‘s back catalogue serving as both an education for those who aren’t big fans or a walk down memory lane for those who are. With the breakdown of different titles on the back it’s a great way to remind fans that there is no such thing as a new idea and the notion of common images, themes and stories in comic books is not something new and is a key reason why companies have to keep re-inventing themselves.

As gorgeous as this is in print though, we always think forward to digital and we would love to see this become an app. Just imagine the full screen glossy covers on a retina iPad with the ability to zoom in to every tiny detail. Now that, really is the future of digital publishing completely embracing the past.

DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book is published by Quirk Books and can be be purchased here from Amazon.