Thursday, January 7, 2010

For the Love of Comics #07: Dan Goldman's Red Light Properties


Photobucket





Words and Pictures: Seth Kushner



Dan Goldman has been on the forefront of publishing comics on the internet. He was a founding member of the webcomics collective, ACT-I-VATE.com, where he published his strip, Kelly. He then serialized his web-to-print Eisner-nominated collaboration with writer Anthony Lappe,Shooting War on SMITHmag.net. Dan followed that with the book, 08: A Graphic Diary Of The Campaign Trail(with Michael Crowley). His new work, Red Light Properties just started appearing on Tor.com.
Dan has spoken at many conferences about online comics and digital distribution, including SXSW, The Miami Book Fair and at M.I.T.

Dan, a recent New Yorker, by way of Miami, just moved with his wife, jewelry design Liliam Higa, to her native Brazil. I recently spoke with Dan over e-mail, me from my cramped Brooklyn apartment, with snow covering my windowsill, and he from Sao Paulo, where it's late Spring/early Summer, and "hot and muggy as a bastard."

Seth Kushner: I know that Red Light Properties is an idea you've had for a long time; were does it come from?

Dan Goldman: I've always been fascinated with the idea of ghosts, of places holding onto echoes of their inhabitants; when I was a kid in Florida, I spent a summer riding my bike to the library everyday and reading every book on ghost photography I could get my hands on... It probably had to do with me losing one of my grandfathers early on and seeing him hanging around our house for a few years afterwards. But when you cross that obsession and sensitivity with a love of history and culture, all of a sudden those echoes contain music, permes, context... and there's a certain romance to that, of old times that have passed on but still remain.

Fast forward to 2001, and I'd had this idea about a realty office that specializes in exorcizing and listing previously-haunted houses; the first draft of the story actually took place in New York, which (no disrespect) is practically the default setting for every American comic story and unless you're Will Eisner or David Mazzuchelli, about as original as buttered toast. I'd visited my mom in South Florida later that year, having been away for a long time, and driving slowly down Collins Ave looking at the architecture, my imagination started fizzling... and I couldn't imagine the story taking place anywhere but Miami. I've spent the last eight years writing and sculpting this story.


SK: You employed a style of illustrated photo-realism for Shooting War and Kelly, and then went for a stark Black and White, graphic design-y approach of 08, how are you approaching Red Light Properties stylistically?

DG: The style I'm using for Red Light Properties is closest to Kelly in my opinion, though it's an evolution from it.

What was most difficult for me previously, with both Kelly and Shooting War, was taking that digital collage approach and bending that 2D reality to serve my storytelling. I've spend a good deal of time this year learning the 3D modeling program Maya and working with an architectural rendering engine to create virtual sets. Instead of recreating the sense of reality from scratch every time the point of view is changed (which is a complete pain in the ass to me), the environment can be created just once, and then be rotated, shot, relit, redecorated, and rendered with a few clicks while remaining as perfect as the first time I created it. It's a new technique for me and it's allowed a lot more fluidity to my storytelling than I've had before, and though I'm still finding my legs with it, it's definitely letting me "sell" Miami as a setting on a level I wasn't able to before. Beyond that, I really enjoy drawing characters by hand in Illustrator; I obsess over their performances as they deliver their lines, their silent expressions and gestures. They're what carries the story for me, and everything around them serves the spirit of what they're doing.




SK: Looking at just the first installment, I was struck by how different the format is from other webcomics, even your previous ones.  Panels are laid out in dynamic shapes, and the "next" button reveals further panels and word balloons on each page, giving the reader a distinctive and unique interactive experience. Were these features a product of you embracing the potential of a digital platform, and how was Tor.com involved in the process?

DG: Yes, it's part of a continuing exploration of ways to make comics work better on screens in ways you couldn't on paper, while still keeping them comics.

Everything done with that "reveal mechanic" is just an added pacing-toy for the online reader; when the page is fully-revealed, that's how it'll look on the printed page... so you make the screen-reading experience special in its own way.

That mechanic is something I've been playing with for much of last year; it started when I received a "have you seen this yet?" email from Vin Deighan (aka Frank Quitely) with a link to Balak01'a DeviantArt page. Seeing Balak01's idea pushed the edges out for me with where I wanted to push both ACT-I-VATE and Shooting War but lacked the support; my panelist crew on my SXSW Interactive "Comics on Handhelds" panel all had seen it already and we talked about it over Texas-Thai food.

Around that time, I'd been commissioned by AMC Digital to create an original webcomic serial to build out their reboot of The Prisoner using new characters; I wrote one of the weirdest thing yet, and incorporated some of these panel-swipe ideas into my 4-page proof-of-concept for them. In the end, it turned out that they wanted was motion comics.Which turned out to be a blessing for me, because I'd created this new thing and was free to use it in something dear and personal to me, RLP. When Pablo and I started hammering out the details for how we were going to present the series, I showed him my work on The Prisoner and he started talking about their revamped comics-viewer they were working on and how he wanted to incorporate this idea into it.

So we had a few months of ping-pong getting the interface right and testing things... but I had no idea it was going to be used on Tor.com comics going forward.That makes me very proud.I've also been playing a lot with more dynamic layouts since working on "08" and this short piece I had in Popgun Vol. 2, studying lots of seinen manga and Russian futurist design from the '20s and '30s. Recently, when I first saw JH Williams' layouts on his "Batwoman" serial at DC, adding these passions of mine to visual storytelling, it was he'd lodged an Alka-Seltzer in my brain and everything started fizzing.

JH's work is killing me right now; I feel like I'm learning things page after page, and it makes me feel lazy every time a new issue comes out, despite whatever I'm doing in my work.








SK: Your comics work is considered "non-traditional" in that you use modern technology like a tablet and cintiq rather than paper and pencil. How did you come to this new 21st century way of working, and what would you say to your critics? 

DG: I remember seeing Bill Sienkiewicz's Elektra: Assassin around the age of ten, a living thing on fire with fearless innovation and crackling with energy, and it completely blew my gourd. All other comics flattened and dulled to my eyes forever. I could never go back and still can't. Years later, with digital tools like tablets and Photoshop and Maya, I'm able to play in my own ways with comics, so the idea of mimicking older comic styles for the hoary old sake of "maintaining the craft" seems very small-minded when the possibilities are so very infinite.


SK: One can say that you're on the forefront of a the digital comics movement. Where do you see webcomics going in the future, for the industry and for Dan Goldman?

DG: I'm no Che Guevara, but I get around some; mostly I like to talk about the parallel evolution of comics into digital spaces alongside film/music/etc to places where those other media are being discussed and have our medium's evolution stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the others. I've learned a huge amount about where comics can/will go talking about digital distribution of films at SXSW Interactive a few years back; the parallels are so clear. The publishing world is scrambling to reconfigure itself, but I firmly believe comics will weather this storm with flying colors; it's a visual communication medium just happens to look pretty on both small and large screens.

This past year was when it became an inevitable part of our industry's conversation, but these ideas are hardly new. The business of digital music delivery that crumbled the record industry owes to Scott McCloud's micropayment ideas from, what, ten years ago, and proven subscription models from Netflix and iTunes are being incorporated into delivery systems like Longbox and others. I think the answer to where comics are going is: everywhere. They're going to be on all manner of devices for entertainment and instructional purposes.

And it's wonderful, coming from a place ten years ago when we were concerned if comics would even be around in 2010 to see them exploding from every screen, monitor, cinema, game console and even bookshelves. If that's scary to a cartoonist, they need therapy; we're finally going to get our due as storytellers of the highest order, if we're smart enough to captain ourselves accordingly. For me, all I want to do is continue using comics to talk about what I think about the world, telling stories that I know people will appreciate and connect to, and along the way figuring out new ways to make my work faster and prettier. Faster output means more story faster, which means more time outside and less time indoors at the desk. Don't get me wrong, I need to tell stories like I need to drink water, but there's more to me and more to life than just that.





SK:
Having recently moved from Brooklyn to Brazil, how do you feel your new environment and lifestyle is affecting your work?

DG: It's only been a month since I arrived in São Paulo, but I'm healthier and much more relaxed, thanks. I'm feeling incredibly inspired here, from the architecture to the food, the music, the warmth of the people, the convenience of metropolitan life at a fraction of the cost. The city is a complete chaos of people and traffic constantly streaming through the streets, but the difference is it's hopeful. The whole nation works together to preserve what they have and make it the best they can, like the soul of Brasil exists in a future they're all working towards together. I can get behind that, you know? I feel like I've moved from the twentieth century to the twenty-first... and the fruits here are very, very sweet.

Dan Goldman's webcomic, Red Light Properties launched on Tor.com on January 5th. Check back every Tuesday for further installments.

84 comments:

  1. Always nice to know how expert's would work.
    Thanks for share.
    website design nyc

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rent to Buy knomn as rental purchase . He is a legally documented rental perchase . Such as room, houses,and many more things etc. this is very useful and helpful blog .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome blog post nice quality .Best VPN A good VPN provider will offer servers in a large range of different countries.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sage 300 ERP. What is Sage 300. Formally known as Sage Accpac, Sage Accpac Toronto ERP Support the entire lifeblood of your business with its financials, inventory,Setting up new accounting and business management software is no easy task. The process can be quite overwhelming to someone who has little or no experience with the software and how to implement it.This Is Very Useful And Helpful Blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think mimicking popular posts on other blogs is one of the best ways to get a good idea which will be popular.Such a lovely blog you have shared here with us. Really nice . Greenstein-designagentur - Wir bieten Ihnen viele frische Ideen aus den Bereichen Werbung. Web design Hildesheim Werbeagentur Hildesheim, Internetseite Hildesheim, Webseite Hildesheim.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Absolute drinks Coffee Machines provides a range ofcommercial coffee machines both automatic and manual, suitable for hotels, restaurants, cafes and large offices.This Blog Is very Nice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! I am mainly surprised by the way you unique out almost every single little detail. It can be genuinely heading to aid me a great offer. Thanks for sharing your suggestions so certainly.

    Paint para mac

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stunning! I am for the most part amazed by the way you special out practically each and every little detail. It can be truly making a beeline for help me an awesome offer. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing your recommendations so certainly.Excellent post. Observe on our fair surveys on paper assistance from various destinations to get dependable examination of scholastic sites.

    Paint tool sai mac

    ReplyDelete
  9. A raised wooden platform used formerly for the public execution of criminals.Metro Scaffolding Service Ltd, serving the Greater Toronto Area, specializes in providing high quality Scaffold erection, dismantling and rental services for industrial, commercial and residential customers. this blog is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice article. Think so new form of features have included in your article. Waiting for your next article.

    Limousine airport zürich

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very efficiently written information. It will be valuable to everyone who uses it, including myself. Thanks a lot
    Material Handling India

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am truly saying that a true lover absolutely like this awesome post by you,this one is another great post by you to read and to feel the love,.
    Godaddy Coupon India

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cucumber Delite - This healthy Pickled cucumber snacks snack is my new .Dill Pickle Recipe, Heathy Snacks, Cucumber Recipes, Baked Cucumber Chips, Fresh Pickled Cucumbers make a cool, crunchy snack for a hot summer day. To show you are a savvy cook. this blog is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing helpful information, I really like your all post. I will bookmark your blog for future updates.

    ______________________
    Algarve property for sale

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is very interesting to read such an amazing articles. Whole blog was really an awesome site which I have never found anywhere. Garden Design North Shore Noble Fox is a bespoke inside configuration and scene design consultancy concentrating on making snazzy . work like Landscape Design, Architects,Garden Design in North Shore Auckland.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you so much for taking the time for you personally to share such a nice info. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share.
    -----------------
    Brand Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice to read that such training centres are the place to be, because in reality, most students do not fit the format of education. Especially now in the digital era, schools need fresh approaches for education. Thanks for the article. Symptom tracker Quickly track improve your health with the help of proper nutrition, herbs, supplements, vitamins and minerals. Browse Stacks (regimens) for chronic health conditions or health goals and create your own to quantify your journey for a happier, healthier life.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for the valuable feedback. I think that strategy is sound and can be easily replicable.
    ____________

    Fairfax Dog Training

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice article. Think so new form of features have included in your article. Waiting for your next article. Plumber LosAngeles Whether you have leaky faucet in your kitchen or bathroom or your sump pump needs to be serviced, let our professional plumbing technicians provide you with an individualized and cost-effective professional plumbing solution.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.
    -----------

    Dog daycares

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely nice blog i like it Definitely this blog have this quality big cost, special effects, thank for sharing nice post.
    -----------
    Property buyers

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would like to read more posts on this blog.
    Tidebuy coupon

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is a remarkable data and truly enduring post. Because of offer this.Very noteworthy data share.Its enthralling Information share,Your article I took in a great measure of things,I am all that tremendously enthused about looking at articles. This site was truly an amazing site page which I had never discovered it wherever. superior papers plagiarism

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi to every single one, it’s truly a good for me to visit this web page, it includes helpful Information.ESL Winnipeg

    ReplyDelete
  25. Miro Slav Retoucher High End Photo Retouching exists to provide high-end level retouching suitable for print or online website.


    _________________________________
    Professional photo editing services

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi colleagues, its great piece of writing concerning teachingand entirely defined, keep it up all the time.
    Geocoin

    ReplyDelete
  27. Remarkable video, actually a pleasant quality, this YouTube video touched me a lot in terms of features.

    Storage heater replacement

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hahahahahahaha, this politics related YouTube video is in fact so comic, I loved it. Thanks designed for sharing this.
    TV Mounting Service

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wha! This is great full blog i like this type blog. Deferentially this blog have this quality big cost, special effects, thank for sharing this blog.

    _________________________
    Window graphics new orleans

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think you are precisely right. I was satisfied recently when I caught one of our understudies say, "I like it here in light of the fact that your not a pack of eggheads." We certainly enlist coaches who can add to a positive affinity with the student.Nice to peruse that such preparing focuses are the spot to be, on the grounds that as a general rule, most understudies don't fit the configuration of training. Particularly now in the computerized time, schools require new ways to deal with training. A debt of gratitude is in order for the article.
    plastic letter signs new orleans

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi, i read your site at times and i claim a comparable one and i was simply thinking about whether you get a great deal of spam comments? In the event that so how would you stop it, any module or anything you can prompt? I get so much recently it's making me crazy so any help is particularly welcomed.

    Best essay service review

    ReplyDelete
  32. You offered me some help with thankfulness UK article making through your online diaries in a way I will never forget. In a split second I can no ifs as well as buts teach my made work and build making class with sureness. This is the one field that I was exceptionally questionable about. Appreciative to you.The vital of these affiliations is the recognition organization official leasing on your before with all people who are to be solidified into the internment organization. For instance, the religious figure, office remembrance administration home and the cemetery.
    Zzp boekhouder

    ReplyDelete
  33. This web journal is differ fascinating Very proficiently composed data. It will be significant to everybody who utilizes it, including myself. Much obliged Hi!This is exceptionally helpful post for everybody. Much obliged to you so much this post.Just about everything looks great showed
    E cigarettes NZ

    ReplyDelete
  34. I ‘d mention that most of us visitors are really endowed to exist in a fabulous place with very many wonderful individuals with very helpful things.
    zhen-gongfu

    ReplyDelete
  35. It's the most obvious appear, so everybody's watching. It's verging on like being dependent on break. The more reruns they demonstrate, the more individuals watch. My mother can't quit watching. I think she has an issue.
    Excellent academic writing

    ReplyDelete
  36. A specialist instructive croping and altering help will help a creator accomplish the most ideal affirmation inside the cardstock in front of it's introduced proposed for assessment/distribution.
    Communion banners wedding banners

    ReplyDelete
  37. I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.
    Weight loss surgery in Dubai

    ReplyDelete
  38. It feels awesome to read such informative and unique articles on your websites Austin strippers

    ReplyDelete
  39. Awesome!!! the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing Colorado Strippers

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks sharing. Definitely a great piece of work Thanks for your work. Denver Strippers

    ReplyDelete
  41. Remarkable YouTube movies posted at this site, I am going to subscribe for on a regular basis updates, as I don’t want to miss this series.

    Erotic novel

    ReplyDelete
  42. You have to waste less time to explore your necessary matter on net, because nowadays the searching strategies of search engines are nice. That’s why I fount this article at this time. maxidus

    ReplyDelete
  43. These all YouTube gaming video tutorials are actually in pleasant quality, I watched out all these along through my colleagues. Broken pump

    ReplyDelete
  44. Please upload more movies related to cooking if you have, for the reason that I would like to learn more and more about all recipes of cooking. Compras en el exterior

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hurrah, what a quality it is! Since mostly YouTube video tutorials have no pleasant feature, but this is in fact a fastidious quality video. Scuba diving

    ReplyDelete
  46. Very quickly this website will be famous among all blogging people, due to it’s fastidious articles or reviews. Children’s book awards

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your method of explaining the whole thing in this post is in fact pleasant, every one be capable of effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot. Casillero virtual

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks to all the articles that you serve. I must recommend your website to friends. Good Luck
    Obat Herbal Syaraf Kejepit

    ReplyDelete
  49. I really like and appreciate your blog post, thanks again. Want some more stuff.
    Room on rent

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hello
    Recantaly I read Your Blog About Your Topic Very Good Post You Share With Us Your Post Very Useful Informative For me and also Other readers, Thanks For Sharing.


    Devayani Kaor
    Minni Sharma
    Roshni Khanna in Gurgaon
    Roshni Khanna in Delhi
    Yami Sharma

    ReplyDelete
  51. I really like and appreciate your blog post, thanks again. Want some more stuff.
    My Room Rent

    ReplyDelete
  52. article that you serve is very good and interesting. obat herbal penyumbatan pembuluh darah jantung obat tradisional gondok I am very glad to be one of the readers of this article you create. obat radang empedu obat herbal kanker hatiThank you for sharing and I hope this website you manage to be the best

    ReplyDelete
  53. article that you serve is very good and interesting. obat patah tulang I am very glad to be one of the readers of this article you create. obat ginjal bengkak hank you for sharing and I hope this website you manage to be the best

    ReplyDelete
  54. Incredible focuses. I can simply depend on discovering provocative articles here. I think SME writers are a percentage of the best about reacting to remarks on their articles. Keep up the colossal work! I anticipate more!
    Books publishing

    ReplyDelete
  55. I was very impressed with you. website you create highly qualified and highly original contents. obat radang amandel tradisional It's very very cool I like. obat tradisional tbc Keep the spirit.

    ReplyDelete
  56. website you manage very neat and not boring obat penghilang varises. I was really amazed by you. cara menghilangkan benjolan di vagina The contents of the article is very original. thanks for the work, obat keloid may be a inpirasi for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Your website is very interesting, obat herbal bronkitis paling ampuh it is very meaningful and inspirational. obat tradisional sembelit I think your website deserves to be the number one. cara menyembuhkan eksim hopefully it could be real. Thank you in advance for own variety. obat penghancur batu ginjal I wish all of you is given a long life in order to continue working

    ReplyDelete
  58. obat psoriasis Your website is very interesting, obat asam lambung tinggi it is not boring and full of inspiration that you devote obat ginjal bengkak. Your website deserve to be the best obat penurun mata minus

    ReplyDelete
  59. thank you've made an excellent website and this interestingcara menghilangkan keloid. I am so inspired by your website. Its contents are highly qualified cara menyembuhkan infeksi saluran kencing. continued success in the waiting yes cara menyembuhkan hepatitis b the newest update cara menyembuhkan psoriasis vulgaris

    ReplyDelete
  60. Your website is very interesting and nice, obat patah tulang I was very impressed with you. obat pengapuran tulang sendi The website that you manage a lot of visitors. obat herbal tumor jinak di payudara Your health may give always.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I cherished the hugeness of keeping human/thoughtful touch with the understudies and people in this season of modernized literacy.Its entrancing Information share.That is marvelous and staggering. The developments happening in our world are entering every corner - as this preparation case shows up. An obligation of appreciation is all together to share this Heidi. I can simply imagine what you're bewildering superb specialist tyke will do with this extra spurring power.
    Best kids books

    ReplyDelete
  62. Although staying up late does not contribute to the formation of acne directly, but the factors responsible for the formation of acne produced. penyembuhan jerawat kronis So it can be concluded Often Begadang Create Spotty Face? Fact or Myth? The answer can be called FACTS sering begadang bikin wajah jerawatan. Therefore, it is advisable to stop the habit of staying up now so your face does not spotty.

    ReplyDelete
  63. thank u admin on your information and sorry permission share Obat wasir herbal

    ReplyDelete
  64. thank u admin on your information and sorry permission share :) Obat herbal penebalan dinding rahim

    ReplyDelete
  65. I was very impressed with you. website you create highly qualified and highly original contents
    obat sakit pinggang
    obat pembesaran prostat

    ReplyDelete
  66. thank you've made an excellent website and this interesting obat herbal kista ovarium

    ReplyDelete
  67. thank u admin on your information and sorry permission share Obat untuk mengatasi herpes

    ReplyDelete
  68. thank u so much admin on your information and sorry permission share obat ambeien untuk ibu hamil

    ReplyDelete
  69. you make a good article and very interesting for see obat miom

    ReplyDelete
  70. article helps me, thank you very much for the information admin. Sorry permission to share articles pengobatan alternatif lambung perih

    ReplyDelete
  71. articles that you provide a very high quality and very useful for me, thank you very much admin. Sorry permission to share articles obat tradisional kaki kebas

    ReplyDelete
  72. thank u very much admin on your information and sorry permission share obat keloid menahun herbal

    ReplyDelete
  73. thanks a lot admin on your information and sorry permission share obat usus yang luka :)

    ReplyDelete
  74. thank u admin on your information and sorry permission share obat herbal mata lelah

    ReplyDelete