Tube Surfing: 21 November 2008

King Features Syndicate, the world’s premier distributor of comics (including Hagar the Horrible, Popeye and more), columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to newspapers worldwide, is launching Comics Kingdom, a first-of-its-kind digital platform it says provides a revenue-driving business service to help local news web site publishers foster user engagement and attract marketers.

• Meanwhile, rival US didgital comics distributor UClick Digital Entertainment, considered America’s top provider of comics on mobile phones recently launched Jeff Smith’s Bone, the first of many graphic novels planned for release on the iPhone. Uclick say they have tailored series like Bone and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles specifically for the iPhone, taking full advantage of the full-color LCD screen and Multi-touch display. Fans can move back and forth through stories with a simple swipe of their finger. To learn more Bone and other iPhone releases from Uclick, visit their store on iTunes

• Not all is good in the world of digital comics. Website Fleen notes the news from Comic Book Resources that Platinum Studios, owmers of the Druk Duck webcomics site, have entered into a deal to produce a Hero By Night TV show. If you you haven’t heard of Hero By Night, it’s a very successful web comic on the Drunk Duck service created by a guy named DJ Coffman… who, as of this writing, hasn’t actually been contacted by Platinum regarding said deal. Needless to say, it’s made Coffman even nore upset about Platinum’s antics than before, and that must have been really hard…

• Comics artist Rufus Dayglo has posted a report and pictures from the Opening Night of the Mutate Britain exhibition we plugged earlier this month. “You’ve got to go and check it out, he urges, enthusing about the exhibtion which is spread over four floors.”It’s on for a month, and is incredible.” Mutate Button: Behind the Shutters takes place at Cordy House 87-95 Curtain Rd London EC2A 3BS More information about the Mutate Britain Exhibition on MySpace

• WallaceAndGromit.com Gets Baking! To celebrate the impending release of A Matter of Loaf and Death this Christmas, the official Wallace & Gromit website has had a design “bake-over”. Packed with information about the new film, brand new downloads and cracking recipes, make sure you visit the site at: www.wallaceandgromit.com

Warren Ellis has taken time out of comics writing to deny, utterly and completely, rumours that he has been asked to write for the Heroes TV series. “I don’t know where this has sprung from, but for the last week I’ve been fielding emails and MySpace messages asking me if it’s true that I’ve been asked to work on the American tv series Heroes as a writer,” he says. “Even stranger to me is that when I dismiss it with ‘I don’t even watch the show’ or similar, that’s somehow taken (three times now) as cryptic assent.
“So listen. No, I haven’t been approached to write an episode of Heroes. In no way shape or form has there been any kind of contact from the Heroes production. I doubt anyone working there has even heard of me…”

• The next UK Comic Expo Bristol will be 9th – 10th May 2009. With the credit crunch biting and potential sponsorship on the wane, organiser Mike Allwood has announced the event will only take place in the Ramada Hotel.
The time it takes to organise the event is also causing probelms. “My spare time in the foreseeable future is going to limited owing to my real job,” Mike told Terry Hooper, “and the Expo takes forever to put together. Rather than the show being less than the sum of its parts owing to my commitments we are taking a step back for 2009 and are co-producing with Fantasy Events for this one.” For more information visit www.fantasyevents.org

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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