089 – Mercy Sparx

I don’t know anything about this character, but it was a request from a former friend, so I was more than happy to oblige. Once again, I am faced with my limitations on drawing female characters, and this is something I need to work on, particularly to try not to make them all super-busty vixens. Luckily Mercy Sparx is a super-busty vixen, so yay me.

In my reference search for this drawing, I wound up downloading the free sampler issue of Mercy Sparx on Comixology for my phone. I gotta say that I do not enjoy reading comics on my phone, but I can see the general appeal for digital comics.

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    • Jim Purcell on May 1, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I want to love digital comics (that is to say comics presented in a pay format for eReaders and other mobile devices like iPhone. Browser based webcomics are great, but are starting to get a little dated in their formatting) and I do read some comics though the ComiXology app on my iPod Touch. But I have a couple of problems with the technology and how publishers are half-assing it. I don’t think viewing resolutions are quite up to print yet, they’re getting there, but pixilation and softness on zooms continue to be a noticeable problem on the tech front. I think this will be easily solved in the next few years.
    But what really really REALLY is bugging the shit out of me is the complete lack of support for digital comics. “Oh but Marvel and DC are putting out hundreds of new comics a month Jim!”, you say. “Yes, but they are ALL REPRINTS OF EXISTING MATERIAL!”, I scream back like a loon.
    As of right now, there are no, or very very few, original new comics available on ComiXology. Everything Marvel/DC/Image/Everyone else puts out is a comic that already appears in print for traditional comic book format. Nothing is taking ADVANTAGE of the digital format. Panels don’t fit the dimensions of the iPhone screens, black bars and constant twirling of the device are necessary to see anything in legible size. ‘unnecessary’ chunks of panels are routinely chopped out to better fit the panels, art is lost. Everything is formatted for the 6 ?” x 10 ¼” comic book page. Nothing is formatted for the 3.5-inch diagonal size of the iPhone screen. Well, I say nothing, there is ComiXology’s own Box 13 series. Which is nice and free to read. It is formatted with the iPhone screen in mind, and it is a DREAM to read. With all panels fitting the screen to the corners, no art lost and never having to rotate to see ‘tall’ images. Why aren’t more comics destined for digital designed for this format?
    The biggest mistake this new medium is making is trying to replicate print comic books of right now. Not to mention everything put out has a print equivalent. Marvel and DC should be producing exclusive, digital only content, formatted for the device its being viewed on. Only then can the new medium of mobile device comics really take off, repackaging everything that already exists in print is incredibly pointless.
    I wont even go into how I feel how the MONTHLY format itself might be dated and pointless on a digital medium. and that maybe 10 page weekly comic series might be the future over the monthly 22 pager. Nobody is trying anything different in terms of format! Its driving me bonkers.
    Okay, rant over. Nice pic btw.

    • Eric on May 1, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I think I’ve downloaded maybe 4 comics for my Droid, & other than Mercy Sparx, they’re all books I’ve got physical copies of (Savage Dragon # 0, Gotham Central # 1, & Super Dinosaur # 1). I mostly just wanted to try the format, and I did not enjoy bouncing around from panel to panel, and balloon to balloon. Plus the tetchy touch screen doesn’t always work like you hope.
    Formatting is a huge issue, like you brought up. Back when my friend and I invented webcomics (I’m only partially joking. We also invented podcasting, but it was typed) we formatted the comics to fit the common, lo-res monitors of the time, and I tried desperately to eliminate scrolling as much as possible. At first it was stifling, but sticking to that format helped up learn a lot about storytelling and made for better work when we would do print stuff.
    I think the iPad and any other type of Pad-formatting is where the future of digital comics is going to lie, but that’s still down the line until the prices become more reasonable.
    Original content would help a bit, but my biggest problem is pricing. Most of the books I see on Comixology are 1.99. I’m definitely not paying that much for something I can’t physically own and that’s as much a pain in the ass to read.
    I did however gladly plunk down 99 cents for the Double Feature Action book that Mike Norton & Tim Seeley put out. I think they designed it soley for the iPad, but a PDF for my desktop is good enough. The art was great, the stories were fun, and yeah, I’d prefer a printed book, but for original concepts by artists I enjoy & respect, for that low a price, and I know it’s going to them and supporting them, I’d gladly do that every month.
    But your biggest complaint about how no one is trying anything different, I’ve gotta blame the majority of comic fans on that one. Your dyed-in-the-wool hardcore comic fans don’t like change, don’t like anything that’s not superheroes, don’t like anything that’s not Marvel & DC, and completely don’t want to support digital books at all. Anything that Marvel & DC would try would most likely just scare people away.
    I dunno. It’s 2:30am. I’m rambling and not making any sense or any good points.

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