The first issue of a US-comic styled, digital edition of the SF comic Crucible is now available for just 69p from Apple’s ‘Newsstand’ store.
Crucible, the co-creation of John Freeman and Smuzz, is a science fiction adventure set in world where the many workless are assigned ‘Tasks’ to earn money In the first story the Temple of Orlyth hires a rag tag gang – a thief, a mage and two mis-matched warriors – to retrieve a sacred artefact in an abandoned mine. But others are also after their prize and they soon confirm what the adventurers suspected – most Tasks are deadly!
Described as ” Science fiction – with dwarves!” by co-creator John Freeman and “Comparable to Tolkien at his most ironic. Matches Dune for obsessive world-building ” by artist Smuzz, Crucible is a project the pair have been working on as a concept for several years.
Currently published in print in Britain’s STRIP: The Adventure Comics Magazine, the co-creators decided to test the water for a full iPad edition of the comic using PressPad, which will also include background features and short text stories along with the strip.
John Freeman is a comics writer and editor who cut his teeth in the comics industry at Marvel UK editing titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Death’s Head II and Overkill. He has written strips for companies such as Marvel, Judge Dredd Megazine, STRIP (creating Black Ops Extreme with PJ Holden for that title). Currently Managing Editor for digital comics publisher ROK Comics, in what spare time he has he runs the British Comics news site www.downthetubes.net.
Perhaps best known by comic fans for his work for 2000AD on ABC Warriors, Marvel and Games Workshop, Smuzz is a critically-acclaimed illustrator whose award-winning art has featured in the SF magazine Interzone. In addition to co-creating and drawing Crucible, he recently launched his own children’s book, If I Had a Dog, as a delightful digital edition. You can find him online at www.smuzz.org.uk
In If I had a Dog, a little boy imagines all the exciting things he could do if only he had a dog. In the end, it’s not the dog, but his imagination that makes the magic…
“We’re hoping the availability of Crucible on iPad will raise awareness of the title outside the UK,” said John Freeman.
“There are several services offering the means to publish digitally to iPad and iPhone,” John continues, “but PressPad have only recently been offering comic creators the opportunity to create a NewsStand app, which enables you to offer your title on subscription. They’ve recently published this article offering some tips on what to focus your attention on while creating a PDF file which they then process at PressPad into a native iPad application, free of charge.
“This was something of an experiment: but I think the actual app looks good on the iPad, although of course I would recommend you format the pages for US comic book proportions rather than any other, as that ratio works best on the iPad screen, in my view.
“I’d also suggest that to avoid any of the ’embedded font’ issues cited in the PressPad article, you convert all your pages to .jpgs (which area smaller file size than .pngs).
“One issue I had with the service on first pass was an upload problem, which meant the first release of the comic suffered from a couple of dodgy looking pages. However, after a couple of chats with their support team, I discovered PressPad have an app for that – PressViewer – which I believe enables you to review your upload before publication on your iPad or iPhone.”
• Buy Crucible from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/crucible/id722198082?mt=8