Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tyrese Invented The Digital Comic Book

From CNN:

"There was an experience that I felt was pretty limiting as far as the comic book experience itself on paper," says Gibson, who stresses that he did not grow up reading comic books and is not a comic book veteran. "[So] I set up this technology with my team and this is the first-ever digital comic book [on iTunes] in the history of comic books."

Should we expect more people outside of comics with no/little familiarity with comics to pass over the paper format mostly/completely in favor for digital? Possibly.


  1. Should we expect more people outside of comics with no/little familiarity with comics to come in and say they invented a medium, technique or style that they didn't? Jeez, i hope not...

    Or is there something to his claim? Whether or not his digital comic is the first-ever on iTunes is fairly easy to prove/disprove, but is this, as he claims, the first-ever digital comic book in the history of comic books? Really?

  2. I think the way he phrased things made it sound like he was frustrated with the paper format and put together this team of geniuses to create The Digital Comic. But to be fair, his comic might be the first iTunes digital comic -- does anybody know?

  3. If you are a celebrity who is not very familiar with comics, and want a company to produce a comic for you, I'll bet the first thing you say is: "can we get this on mobile phones?"

    Because the comic they are having built is at least partially an advertising tool for them. It advertises themselves & the potential property they might want to sell into a movie.

    And advertisers in general are becoming more and more primarily focused on digital, not print.

    Same for advertisers looking to produce custom comics. If I'm Coca-Cola, and I'm looking to produce a custom comic – am I looking for a physical paper comic or something that can be embedded into blogs and read on the iPhone?

    So to me, the merits of the Tyrese comic -- or whether he invented the digital comic -- is irrelevant. What is relevant is the huge spotlight he put on digital comics in that interview. It's a shift.

  4. And that is an excellent point; I didn't mean to overlook it while I snarked on something else entirely.

    But I think outsiders looking in to this industry will see opportunities that insiders haven't, or are struggling to engage. It seems like years now that there's been talk about digital comics with little tangible progress on that front. Until the iPhone and iTunes and the new template for media distribution they've set forth, that is, and it looks like we may have some serious players now entering this realm. I think the more Tyrese and others like him (meaning outsiders with little to no attachment to print) that we see doing comics, the more we'll see comics in formats other than just print, and most certainly, digital.

    The question is will this be just limited to celebrity boutique projects or will Marvel, DC, or even Image, Boom! and IDW join in? I guess that will depend on how folks respond to these comics, and if it will be a positive enough experience for publishers to take notice and do something.

    I predict that it will remain a slow transition overall to digital comics. Celebrity comics remain relatively few and far between, and unless Oprah produced a comic, I don't see non-comics readers flocking to them in enough numbers for the publishers to take notice.


  5. iverse media was already producing digital comics. It's possibly the first exclusively digital comic in the iTunes store (keywords - exclusively, and iTunes store), but to say he invented it is simply not true.

  6. Glad to see Tyrese finally taking credit for the creation of the Digital Comic. What few people don't know is that he also created the Internet as a means of conveying the digital comic. :)

    Comics have been sold through the App Store since I got my iPhone late last year, so I imagine they have been around longer than that. And since these comics are A) Digital and B) sold through the App Store section of iTunes, I think Tyrese's claim of even being the first digital comic on iTunes is not accurate.

    Mayhem might be the first comic to not be relegated to the app store, so he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

  7. Anonymous6:29 PM

    That entire interview was the most gigantic circlejerk that I've ever read since the studio response to the writer's strike.

    "I went to Comic-Con and realized that people like comic books. So I made one."

  8. Tyrese is a shameless self-promoter, something that our medium needs. he overstates a lot, and i don't see anything wrong with that.

    our medium is full of people who seem averse to actually promoting. it goes all the way up to the top (have YOU ever seen any serious marketing of comics outside of previews? yeah, me neither)

    good post sister...

  9. pretty succinctly squashes Tyreese's imaginary innovation.

  10. It's kinda like Al Gore saying he invented the internet. People just kinda roll their eyes and move on.

  11. That's great! I'm glad Tyrese is doing this. Tyrese's entry into digital comics than makes up for Steve Rude's exit from print comics in favor of his fine art/gallery work. Great exchange for us. Now comics have arrived.

  12. Wow. That was bitter, wasn't it. Poor Tyrese. He deserves better than to serve as a target for my bile today.

  13. Is this one of those long emails or smear campaigns.

    Cause, if it is, then I'm sure Tyrese will be disappointed.

  14. Anonymous2:01 PM

    So I read the Mayhem pages from 4thletter's interview.


    "My knives are silent. They never see them coming."

  15. Tyrese Gibson = Stan Lee of the digital age?

    Funky Flashman of the Fast & The Furious set? YOU DECIDE!

  16. Mr Mintyfresh.7:17 AM

    I now feel perfectly safe in claiming I was the first ever white rap superstar.

  17. "My knives are silent. They never see them coming."

    See, that's what makes me a failed assassin. My knives are all "HEY HEY HEY I'M A KNIFE AND I'M COMIN' ATCHA AND GONNA STAB YA YEEEEEEAH HEY WHYDIDJA MOVE OUUTA THE WAY...".

    Also, I guess maybe you were expecting for the person interviewing Tyrese to check out his claims before it went to the internet? That would be ridiculous!

  18. "My knives are invisible. They never hear them coming."