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Showing posts with label amazon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amazon. Show all posts

Wolf's Head Issue 17 on Kindle

Teaser image for Wolf's Head Issue 17 in digital format

I’ve very pleased to announce that WOLF’S HEAD 17 is now available worldwide on Amazon’s Kindle platform. As I’ve noted before, there’s a great deal of changes going on with ComiXology/Kindle and it’s difficult to note how everything will play out. For now, though, I’m very pleased to have the latest issue published. As always, you can find the full series on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49. Oh, and a handy tip: if you are shopping from somewhere other than the United States, simply replace the amazon.com part of that link with your preferred domain. For example, in Canada the "dot com" becomes "dot ca" — therefore, the series can be found at https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MTGCS49. Easy!

It’s a bit of a milestone for the series, too. While 17 issues probably doesn’t seem all that special, creating 17 issues of a full-colour independent series really is. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy; getting reviews for my work has never been easy, but it’s become much harder over the past few years. I’m not sure why this is (and there are notable exceptions, of course), but it’s a struggle. One of the things I’ve long-loved about comics was that both creators and the media that covered them had a punk/do-it-yourself kinda mentality. I think this partially stemmed from the fanzine roots of comics media combined with how disparaged (at least in the West) comics as a medium often were. Here I’m thinking of Fredric Wertham, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings on comics books in 1954, and the subsequent creation of the Comics Code Authority. I personally find this history pretty repugnant; the idea that comics books could have a potential impact on juvenile delinquency has always struck me as extremely narrow-minded view and, more importantly, certainly not a fact-based view. However, this mentality remained pretty dominant right into the 1990s (one only has to look at Mike Diana’s legal troubles for one concrete example), though fortunately seems to have faded since then. One advantage of all this, though, is that I’d argue many comics creators as well as journalists had (broadly speaking) a sense of solidarity. My feeling, and it’s only just that, is that this solidarity has dissipated over the past few decades.

That’s not to say that there can’t be “good” corporate comics; obviously there can be and certainly are. However, it is to say that the space for independent work seems to have shrunk. Or rather, the space to review and celebrate independent work seems to have shrunk. At the same time, the coverage of corporate comics is all-encompassing and difficult to penetrate.

What can you do? Here are some ideas:

  1. If you like my work, then certainly buying it is a good first step.

  2. More broadly, reviewing it and telling people about it is, in some ways, even more important. If you like it, tell your friends and family about it!

  3. And lastly, if you have a favourite comic book site or even a favourite journalist, drop them a line and tell them about WOLF’S HEAD. Despite my best efforts, many people don’t know the series exists. You can help change that!

Share the love… because without that, the series will eventually die. Sad, but true.

Panel examples from Wolf's Head 17

WOLF'S HEAD on Kindle with Guided View

As many of you probably know, ComiXology announced their recent decision to discontinue their ComiXology Submit program. As of September 15th, 2021, publishers are no longer allowed to publish their titles through ComiXology Submit. As I write this, titles published prior to September 15th are still available, but my understanding is that the ability to purchase any of these titles will eventually be “turned off” sometime during the fall. Exactly when that will occur is anyone’s guess.

For me, this was an unfortunate but not unexpected turn of events. One of the problems with ComiXology Submit is that titles available on that platform are not “discoverable” on Amazon. In other words, readers already keen on comics and already using ComiXology were fine. Other readers— perhaps not diehard comic book fans but those who still read comics — would not be able to easily find digital comics. In a sense, ComiXology was a “closed ecosystem,” appealing to current fans but not proactively cultivating new readers. Maybe.

There was always a bit of a weird schism between fans of digital reading in general (often using Amazon’s various Kindle devices and/or using Amazon’s Kindle app) and fans of digital reading through ComiXology. In my experience (and it’s just that: my experience), digital readers struggled to find comics on Amazon’s main website. Using my own digital comics as an example, if you searched for “Von Allan” or “Von Allan Studio” on Amazon prior to 2020, you would only find my print comics and graphic novels. None of my digital comics would be found at all. Based on that — as well as some conversations with my wife — I made the decision in late 2019 to begin jointly publishing my digital comics on Kindle as well as ComiXology, via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

At the time, I was using Amazon’s KDP software “Kindle Comic Creator” to create the Kindle versions of my comics. This was inferior to ComiXology’s versions, mainly because the KDP software required a lower maximum resolution. And, of course, with comics the art does matter. It was frustrating, but at the time I wasn’t aware of any workarounds.

Fast-forwarding to today and given ComiXology’s decision to end their Submit program, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reformatting all of my digital comics using the newer KDP software “Kindle Create.” This new software matches ComiXology — at least the files I had submitted to ComiXology —  and are also set up for Guided View. In other words, the Kindle versions of my work look just as sharp as those on ComiXology, something I’ve wanted for quite some time.

Since ComiXology Submit will eventually disappear, the Kindle versions of my work will be the only digital versions available through Amazon. As ComiXology themselves noted, “In the coming months, the Kindle Store will replace www.comixology.com as the primary avenue for fans to purchase new comic content.” Not knowing exactly when this will occur is frustrating and was a big part of why I decided to go ahead and make the changes now. I suspect other publishers are doing the same thing.

So, if you’re a fan of independent digital comics (“indy digital”? “indydigy”?!), Kindle is a great way to go. And with that in mind, here are links to all of the current issues of WOLF’S HEAD on Kindle. I’m thrilled with how great they look and the Guided View works extremely well.

Give them a shot, won’t you?

Wolf's Head Issue 1 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 2 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 3 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 4 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head Issue 5 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 6 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 7 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 8 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head Issue 9 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 10 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 11 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 12 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head Issue 13 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 14 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 15 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 16 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head out on Amazon's Kindle!

Hot on the heel's of yesterday's announcement that WIZARDS FOR HIRE - CHEAP! is now available on Amazon's Kindle ebook reader, comes the big news! Hey, how 'bout we let the series star share the news?

A six panel tease featuring Lauren from Wolf's Head to announce the digital release of the series on Amazon's Kindle
Yes, that's right! The first ten issues of WOLF'S HEAD are now available on Kindle! A lot of work went into ensuring the series works on that device and I think the results are pretty terrific. Like WIZARDS FOR HIRE - CHEAP!, the series can be read on larger devices like tablets, but I've also worked hard to make sure that the series fully supports a "panel to panel" view. Looks pretty sharp if I do say so myself.

And don't forget that you can learn more, a lot more, about WOLF'S HEAD by visiting the series' dedicated mini-site over at https://wolfs-head.vonallan.com/.

Wolf's Head Issue 1 on Kindle

Teaser image for Wolf's Head issue 1 on Kindle

I’m so pleased to announce this! WOLF’S HEAD is a new ongoing comic book series by yours truly (ahem, that Von Allan guy from the Great White North) and is now available on all Kindle devices as well as ComiXology. This, for me, is a pretty big deal and I’m so happy to be able to share this series with you.

Let’s get that pesky Elevator Pitch out of the way. Here goes: “Lauren Greene is a young woman who has quit her job as a police officer in Metro Detroit after becoming frustrated with growing police violence. She is slowly becoming more aware of the injustices around her; the divide between rich and poor, racism, lack of opportunity for many people, health and illness bankrupting and destroying people, and more. At the same time, and unbeknownst to Lauren, a secretive corporation has created an artificial intelligence (AI) designed for war. An AI that might actually change the world… but not for the better. Struggling to find work in a tough economy and unsure of what to do with her life, Lauren suddenly has a new problem: her mom, Patty, has found and connected with the newly born AI. And, partially due to that connection, the AI has become empathic and humane, much to the frustration of the corporate executives and scientists who created it. After Patty helps the young AI escape under the cover of a huge research factory fire, she turns to her daughter for help keeping it safe. Giddy with excitement, Patty doesn’t recognize the danger she has put herself in… but Lauren does and she is terrified. Her fear is realized when the two women are confronted by corporate forces who want to stifle knowledge of the AI and keep it for themselves.”

One of the things I love about writing and illustrating a series like this is that it takes place in our real world and also uses real time. Let’s talk about the real world first. One of my favourite quotes about this is by Frank Houston in a piece he wrote on Salon.com back in 1999. Discussing Stan Lee and the rise of Marvel Comics, he noted, “New York City was where the superheroes lived. It was one of those childhood truths, a Big Apple bustling with vibrantly costumed superhumans. Spider-Man lived in Queens, the Fantastic Four in Midtown and Doctor Strange down on Bleecker Street. It was important that Lee’s heroes lived in the real world, and not in Gotham City or Metropolis, because they were real people.” (my emphasis added). That’s it. One of the conceits of WOLF’S HEAD is that Lauren’s adventures and situations are taking place in our oh-so-real world. That’s part of the fun!

Real time is just as easy. The dates that events occur matter. Lauren’s adventures don’t take place in some form of stasis. Far from it! Her stories take place in real time. As a result, time moves and characters age. This is an idea that I think was first seen in Frank King’s GASOLINE ALLEY, but is certainly not unique to it. It is rare in other comics, but certainly not unusual. Frankly, I love using real time because I believe it immediately grounds the stories in change. And change, I’d argue, is what it’s all about.

Lauren is going to change during the course of the series. And not just Lauren, either. The characters around her, too. All of ‘em! Is it challenging to do this? Sure. I think, though, that it really helps cement that notion of realism that I’m looking for. Change happens in our real lives and it will happen to the characters in WOLF’S HEAD. Some of that change may be hard at times, but that’s a part of change, too.

What about this whole artificial intelligence “thing,” anyway? Why use a fairly common trope? Well, the answer to this is a bit tricky to explain. I’m sick and tired of reading story after story about an evil AI that becomes self-aware and then proceeds — damn the consequences! — to murder every single human being on the planet. While these types of stories can be fun (hell, I’m a big fan of THE TERMINATOR and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY), they’ve become quite repetitive. I wanted to invert the trope and, by doing that, play with it. And remember what I just said about stories set in our real world and featuring real time? That also implies real change. In other words, how the AI changes and grows is a big part of the plot of WOLF’S HEAD. I’m hoping you’ll find this as delightful as I do.

Lastly, why is it called “WOLF’S HEAD” anyway? Some of this will be revealed in time, but here’s a sneaky little hint from Wikipedia: “Caput lupinum. The term literally means ‘wolf’s head’ or ‘wolfish head’ and refers to a person considered to be an outlaw, as in, e.g., the phrase caput gerat lupinum (‘may he wear a wolfish head’ / ‘may his be a wolf’s head’).”

I hope you give the series a shot. As the series proceeds, I’m hoping to collect them into lovely hardcover editions (update: that’s happened!). There’s a great deal of fun, adventure, drama, and action to come! It’s going to be a great ride. Join me, won’t you?

Here are all of the key links:

And don’t forget that the series page can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49; and you can just change the “dot com” part of the url with your specific top-level domain. In Spain, changing the “dot com” to “dot es” means that the series can be found at https://www.amazon.es/dp/B08MTGCS49. See? Easy!
Teaser image featuring Lauren Greene from Wolf's Head announcing the release of the series
A fun little teaser announcing the next issue of WOLF'S HEAD

Wolf's Head Launches Today on Kindle

Teaser image featuring Lauren Greene, her mom Patty Greene, and their dog Sanko from Wolf's HeadI'm very pleased to announced that the digital comic book version of WOLF’S HEAD has now launched on Kindle. The link to the first issue is at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089V1DVY7

I should add that Kindle has received and approved issues 2 through 10, so I expect that subsequent issues will be released regularly. The link to the series is at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49

What's it about? WOLF’S HEAD is the story of Lauren Greene, a young woman who quits her job as a police officer in Detroit and consequently struggles to pick up the pieces and find her place in society. After her mom makes an astounding discovery at a research facility, Lauren must fight for their lives against forces that will stop at nothing to stop them. I think the series is a great deal of fun and also contains the best writing and comic book art I've ever created.

The print editions of WOLF’S HEAD have been making their way to bookstores and comic book shops (both online and off) for awhile now, but this is the first time that WOLF’S HEAD will be available in a digital version. For those who don't know, each volume of the print version contains two issues (making each volume approximately 60 pages in length). The digital version is a single issue and that means the page count for each digital issue is approximately 25 to 30 pages in length.

There's a dedicated website for the series at https://wolfs-head.vonallan.com/. This site includes previews, frequently asked questions, a complete media kit, links to the print editions, and more! https://wolfs-head.vonallan.com/ will also be updated in the near future with Kindle links to each issue, too.

I think that covers it! I'm very pleased to have WOLF’S HEAD out in this format. It's going to be a great deal of fun to have the series roll out on Kindle. Come with me, won't you?

Wolf's Head by Von Allan

Link to Von Allan's Wolf's Head comic book series

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