Friday, May 22, 2015

Volume 5, Number 3

Vol. 5                                                                                                                   No.3
_____________________________________________________________________

                                       E-DISPATCHES
                                           from the
                                    GREAT WHITE NORTH!
                                                   by
                                       Jonathan A. Gilbert
                                     Copyright-2015: All Rights Reserved.

                         Email: JonAllannGilbert@yahoo.ca
________________________________________________________________________

When discussing the problems with print comics being sold exclusively online last time out I mentioned that digital comics had their own set of problems.
      
The first and most obvious problem is that digital comics don't fit in with conventional comics collecting. While you can store them and pass them back and forth between friends just by their very nature of being digital they don't work a a possible collector's item. With print comics there is a finite number of copies and over time given the right conditions a $3, $4 or $5 comic can increase (or decrease) in value. With digital comics you pay say 99-cents for one today and they will be worth the same (or less) five or ten years down the road. Also, you can also make multiple copies of a digital comic which means in theory there are an infinite number on the market. Not much collectors value there.
     
The next problem with digital comics is their readability or rather lack thereof. There are a number of people-myself among them-who find it difficult to stare at a screen for an extended period of time. Some of the symptoms that result include headaches, blurring vision and a growing difficulty to concentrate. For people like me reading a digital comic simply isn't an option. In many cases there are print versions available but there are lots that aren't resulting in me and others like me missing out on a lot of potential reading pleasure.
     
Then there are the problems from the creator's standpoint. On the  plus side it is extremely easy to get your comics out into the digital world. So easy in fact that there are thousands of digital comics available with the majority  of the creators hoping upon hope that they will be discovered and become superstars.
     
It ain't gonna happen, folks. Not only are the majority of these digital comics mundane but many are also extremely derivative. And there is so much stuff out there that it is almost impossible to catch anyone's attention; no matter how much publicity you engage in.
     
Then there is the fact that most of these digital comics are free. For comics creators such as myself who actually try to make a living at this that makes it extremely difficult to earn an income. Even at 99-cents a copy for a comic by the time you divide that between the writer, penciler, inker, letterer and colourist even if you sell 1,000 copies you don't exactly earn something resembling a living wage.
     
Now to be fair digital comics do have their uses. As promotional material if done correctly they can be invaluable. But the minuses far outweigh the pluses. Maybe one day digital comics will be the way to go in the comics industry for professionals. Just not today.
_________________________________________________________________________

Jonathan A. Gilbert is a freelance writer, editor and occasional publisher who lives in London Ontario Canada. He can be reached by email at JonAllanGilbert@yahoo.ca.
_________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Volume 5, Number 2

____________________________________________________________________

                                          E-DISPATCHES
                                               from the
                                         GREAT WHITE NORTH!
                                                       by
                                           Jonathan A. Gilbert
                                             Copyright-2015
                                               All Rights Reserved.

                                 EMAIL; JonAllanGilbert@yahoo.caa
______________________________________________________________________


Since I returned to the comics ;industry in 2011 I have been working exclusively with small press publishers. While I have had a fair amount of work appear in print the sales have been poor. Basically the reason for this is that the comics have only been available online. 
      
The publishers' justification for only releasing the comics this way has been cost. According to them the price of shipping comics is too high for their limited budgets.Even when I have made the suggestion that they at least try to put the comics in comic shops in my hometown of London Ontario, adding that I'd be willing to get the stores to carry the books and do all the promotional  work the response has been the same. Such an endevour would be too expensive.
     
To say that I disagree would be an understatement. If the publishers even just sent a batch of the comics to me at bulk shipping prices it would enable me to increase their sales. And the length of time it would take for the comics to get to me shipping them this way wouldn't matter as these publishers don't publish on anything that resembles a normal schedule anyway. In the end they would have more sales; more than  they have online.
     
There are two main problems with selling comic exclusively online (I am referring to print comics here; digital comics have a whole different set of problems). First, comics were and remain a collectors' medium and while you can get almost anything you want online it still doesn't compare to lookig
 through the books in comic shops and talking with fellow fans and staff.Second, with so much available online a publisher's product gets lost amongst the other material. True, that's where promotion comes inn but when everyone else is promoting their stuff a small publisher usually gets lost or more often ignored.
     
Now I am not saying that publishers shouldn't sell online. Ir is a good additional market. But it shouldn't  be the only market. The small publishers need to get their work in comic shops as well otherwise they are always going to be just that; small publishers. And that doesn't benefit anyone.

_______________________________________________________________________
Jonathan A. Gilbert is a freelance writer and lives in London Ontario Canada. He can be reached by email at JonAllanGilbert@yahoo.ca
_______________________________________________________________________

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Volume Five, Number One

VOLUME FIVE                                                                  NUMBER ONE
_______________________________________________________________________

                                               E-DISPATCHES
                                                     from the
                                              GREAT WHITE NORTH!
                                                              by
                                                Jonathan A. Gilbert
                                        Copyright-Jonathan A. Gilbert: 2015
                                                         All Rights Reserved.

                                          EMAIL; edispatches@hotmail.com
_________________________________________________________________________


    After finally have gotten myself into some kind of routine since I moved back to London Ontario (Canada) on April 30th 2013 I decided at the beginning of this year to revive this column. I've always enjoyed writing E-Dispatches as, except for "Did you know about...?" which I wrote for the Middlesex Banner newspaper back in 2004-2006 I never had a publisher dictating to me what I should or should not write about. I've always found that to be a drag as a writer and often cramping my creative process.
     This time out (meaning volume 5) I plan to take a broader approach to the subjects I will be writing about. As well as discussing comics and pubulp history plus reviewing comics sent my way as I have in the past I also plan to discuss my decades as a published writer (since 1974) and occasional editor and publisher; not only in the comics industry but also in newspaper and magazines. Not only will I be mentioning all the weird and wonderful stuff that has happened to me during my career but I will some of the difficulties I have gone though. Oh yeah; and expressing my opinion on lotsa stuff.
     My hope is that this will end up being an enjoyable ride for everyone. I've never really taken the time to side down and reflect on my life as a writer and as I will be 59 this coming April I guess it is long overdue. Sure beats writing an autobiography. Those take forever to work on and I am too busy having  fun doing other stuff.
       So stick around folks. For the time being this column will only be a monthly but as time permits I will start increasing its frequency. Talk with ya next time.
_______________________________________________________________________
Jonathan A. Gilbert is a freelance writer and lives in London Ontario Canada. He can be contacted by email at edispatches@hotmail.com

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: She Is...Silkie

SeajayVentures is pleased to announce the release of its first graphic novel, SHE IS...SILKIE. Co-written by Jonathan A. Gilbert and Laurie Wright with cover and interior art by Seppo Makinen SHE IS...SILKIE is a post World War Two tale of mystery and intrigue on an island off the southwest coast of Great Britain where the lines between myth and reality are blurred.
     
Currently only available in digital format (with a print version slated for a July 2012 release) SHE IS...SILKIE is exclusively available at http://graphicly.com/publishers for $5 under the listing of our packager, CE Publishing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

E-Dispatches Summer Surprise!

Despite my long absence from this space I have not given up on writing "E-Dispatches from the Great White North!". Basically, these past few months I have been busy as heck with work. As well as trying to get Red Lion Publications up and running-a daunting task by any one's standards I'd like to believe-I have been developing and negotiating new endeavours for Red Lion's parent company SeajayVentures and working on some freelance writing assignments.
 
One assignment I have been working on is for my buddy Ryan Crouse's company, Starverse Comics. Titled "Techstorm: New Friends, Old Foes it is a two-issue story set in the Techstorm Universe that teams up my and Lloyd Smith's Destiny character from our Blue Moon Comics Group days and Techstorm plus introduces a character i developed some years back for Starverse named SwiftStar. The pencils are by David Johnson Jr. with the inks and letters by Ryan Crouse. We haven't get a release date set as yet but we done have some t-shirts and other accessories available online. They can be purchased either at www.zaggle.com or through the Starverse website at www.starverse.ca or through Ryan at star_verse@hotmail.com .
     
Another freelance assignment I have been working on is "Kendra: Dracula's Daughter" for Red Leaf Comics and is currently being sold at www.redleafcomics.com . Created and written by me with art and letters by Seppo Makinen the comic is set in 1967 during the "Summer of Love" and deals with the exploits of a young woman who was adopted by Dracula as a child and in later years turned against the Lord of the Undead. The online version of the comic sells for 99 cents and the print version for $1.99.
      
So as you can see I have been quite busy. My hope is that once things slow down a bit I will be able to return here on a more regular basis. 'Til then though I will try to periodically drop by and bring everyone up to date. Until next time, take care.
Jonathan "A" Gilbert.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Volume Four, Number Sixteen

Over the past couple of decades that I have been a comic book writer and editor I have worked with some very talented people including Susan Dorne, Lloyd Smith, Steve Skeates, Nathan Massengill, Seppo Makinen, Dick Ayers, Scott Chantler and Dan Parsons just to name a few. One artist though who especially stands out in my mind that I have had the pleasure of doing comics with is Dave Owens of London Ontario Canada.
     
Dave and I go back to around 1996 when I was making my first attempt at starting up a comics publishing company.(a story for another day) While that endevour didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to Dave and I kept contact  and over the years worked on a wide range of projects together including Team-Omega (for the disaster riddled Silver Griffin Comics), Mister Chameleon, Solomon Wyrd, Tales of This Magic Earth and a little thing called Id the Gorilla Ghost with Honcho the Head-Cheese Dog.
     
Dave also worked as my art director when I was editor at Silver Griffin Comics and Blue Moon Comics Group as well as my go to character designer and all around "bounce ideas off of guy". All in all Dave was and is a great talent. He and I also developed a real good friendship over the years and while we don't work together on comics projects these days-something I miss very much-we still keep in touch via snailmail, email and other methods of communication.
      
Dave also has done some great stuff outside of comics including some fantastic Christmas cards, pet portraits and all sorts of other neat stuff. His most recent project is a self published book called "The Art of Dave Owens" in which Dave showcases his work including a couple of characters he and I developed together.
     
This definately is a book worth picking up to give someone as a Christmas gift and for six bucks it can be yours either via email or snailmail orders. You can contact Dave directly by email at Nebstudio@netscape.net or write him at...
Dave Owens/Nebula Studio/1349 Glenora Drive/London, Ontario/N5X 1T6/Canada.
      
Like I said, this would make a great Christmas gift and also a great addition to your personal collection. So order today.And be sure to tell Dave I sent ya.
 
 
                                     --------------------------
       
Next time out; well, not sure yet what I will be writing about next time out. Guess you will have to come back and find out. See ya.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Volume Four, Number Fifteen

While I have settled into my new town pretty nicely, I've yet to get an internet connection at home. So while I won't be able to post on a daily basis until that happens, I will from time to time start putting up a few short pieces.

This time out I'm going to review a comic that I have had since I was living in Formosa, Ontario, many a moon ago. Enjoy...or maybe not. lol

----------------------------------------------------------------
GRAVE TALES #6 (VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2) 2009. Published by Cemetery Dance Publications. 40 pag. b&w horror anthology with full colour cover. Cover Price $3.95 U.S.


I really had high hopes for this comic. After all, Cemetery Dance Publications is one of the best horror publishers in the business so why WOULDN'T I expect their horror comics to be top notch.

But they aint' or at lest this issue sure as heck wasn't.

From cover to cover the contest are at best unreadable and at worst a total piece of garbage. Poor art, poor layout, blotchy use of shading, wordy, plodding dialogue and stories that were dull, dull, dull.

In short, it is a total piece of junk, folks, so don't buy it. The only horror here is the fact that they would actually charge money for this pathetic excuse for a comic; horror or otherwise. Cemetery Dance should know better. For shame.

As for the other stuff they publish that gets two thumbs up and you can check their website out at www.cemeterydance.com . But don't, and I really mean it, DON'T BUY THIS COMIC. It is so bad it will make you go blind.

-------------------------------------------------------


That's it for this short piece. I will be posting periodically-whatever the heck that really means-until I get hooked up at home and then I will be back online here at E-Dispatches daily like before. Take care; jag