Grek Pak Offers Unlettered ‘Vision Machine’ Graphic Novel for Free Remixing
By Andy Khouri
Being conscious of the Internet’s tendency to freely distribute and modify comic books (and numerous other intellectual properties besides), writer Greg Pak (World War Hulk, Astonishing X-Men) has taken steps not just to authorize these popular practices but actually encourage them with respect to Vision Machine, the great sci-fi satire he created with R.B. Silva (Jimmy Olsen). The 96-page graphic novel is available as a free PDF download and as a free comiXology title, making it readable on your computer and most mobile devices. Vision Machine is released under the increasingly popular Creative Commons license, which authorizes non-commercial distribution and adapted works. As such, Pak has also made all 96 pages of Vision Machine available without lettering, making it easier for anyone to remix the material as they see fit.
It’s appropriate that Vision Machine popped up on my radar precisely because of Pak’s progressive distribution/marketing model, and more appropriate still that the story is fully immersed in digital culture.
A sci-fi satire that imagines a future world without limits to sharing and social media, whether corporate intellectual property or a person’s own thoughts, Vision Machine hits closer to home than you might think at first glance. The story centers around the iEye, a new mobile device that gives users the ability to record and edit everything they see and hear in real time and broadcast it instantly to followers online. Some users become celebrities of this new kind of social media, which was devised under the leadership of an enchanting, visionary CEO.
Vision Machine strikes an exquisite balance between satire and commentary without ever becoming silly or didactic, and it’s a beautifully told comic book story to boot, filled with diverse characters and lots of provocative ideas. Nearly every page of Vision Machine finds Pak and Silva innovating some bit of storytelling cleverness that makes a comic book about the Internet seem just as visually entertaining as either of their impressive superhero tales for Marvel or DC.
This book’s cool digital strategy brought it to my attention, but I stayed for Vision Machine’s story. You can download the entire 96-page Vision Machine for free at Greg Pak’s website, where you can also find the “letterless” version for remixing.
Where do you find the most female superheroes created by women today? In advertising for Nike, it seems. Amanda Conner and Jan Duursema have been hired by the trainers brand to design a bunch of advertising materials for their new campaign Make Yourself: A Super Power, demonstrating the abilities of certain clothing from the Nike range for the Winter training season, in the manner of superhero costumes. Expect to see Amanda and Jan’s work in the most unusual of places. And hopefully in a comic book or two along the road, as well.
I am in love with all of these. And if you click through the link, there’s an awesome layout of sports bras by Amanda that made me giggle— at last, a comics artist who knows what a sports bra is!
Supergirl birthday tribute: “She always learned from her mistakes”
Today is Supergirl’s birthday and I’ve asked some of the character’s biggest fans to write about why they love her. The first post was by Michelle of Supergirl: Maid of Might. This post is by Anj of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary, a fun site with a fantastic collection of commissions including this one by Jamal Igle. His thoughts follows.
It’s a question I get asked all the time. Someone asks me ‘who is your favorite comic book character?’ And I answer ‘Supergirl’. This seems to stun the asker. They usually look at me with a quizzical eye, trying to size up my response. And then I hear it, almost incredulously …
And I guess it’s a legitimate question. Why would a middle aged man list a (usually) teenage girl as his favorite character? Why not Batman or Green Lantern or Wolverine like so many of my peers? Why pick a character which lives on the fringes of the comic universe, usually belittled or forgotten?
I wish I could answer it with one sentence. But to understand why, you have to understand Supergirl and what she represents.
THIS…is fucking awesome.
Happy Birthday, Mike Mignola. You’ve ruined me for comics, and I’m thankful for that.
The birthday was yesterday but idgaf, I love this mini-comic.
mignola: literally always great
He’s a guest at the convention I’m art tabling at! I’m really nervous and excited to finally meet him… Hopefully if I can battle the lengthy line he’ll definitely get.
I don’t have any exact criteria of what “reasonable armor” is. That’s on purpose. There’s obviously a lot of silly and eye-rolly stuff out there but it’s important to question your dealbreakers; because we’re talking about imagination, we’re looking at things that are meant to be fun, and cathartic, fantastical and engaging. These things should be on a spectrum of appreciation.
What am I saying here? I dunno, something like, “don’t be cynical, try to like things, then when you’re discerning it’s so much richer.” Does that make sense?