Ron Perezza is … uh … relaunching digital comics

Some of you who follow this site may remember Ron Perezza, the former editor of Zuda Comics, DC’s ill-fated foray into the world of webcomics. Well, you can’t keep a good man down. The man’s back in the world of digital comics, reports Robot 6. He teams up with Daniel Govar, creator of the Zuda Comics Azure, which I once reviewed on this site.

Ron Perazza, former vice president of online for DC Entertainment and former vice president of comiXology, has teamed with artist Daniel Govar on a three-pronged foray into comics online: a website, a comics reader and a venue for works of that kind. Comic Book Think Tank will play host to all of this, working as one part incubator and one part firing range to test out new ideas and to showcase webcomics from the team. Their first offering is a science-fiction-themed series called Relaunch that’s available now on their website both for desktop and mobile devices.

Going with that, Perazza and Govar have facilitated the release of a shareware digital comics viewer called the Yanapax Viewer that’s compatible with all current browsers, including Safari for the iOS. Unlike some other viewers, the Yanapax system was designed specifically for digital comics.

According to Perazza, Comic Book Think Tank is a direction he’s been pushing from the time he’s worked at Marvel Interactive to DC Online and even Zuda Comics — “clean clean comic storytelling” that acknowledges where comics have come from while recognizing how they’re read today. “It’s a website dedicated to exploring digital comics created specifically for online and tablet reading while sharing the results and technology used in their creation.”

Will this news see a return of other Zuda colleagues to the forefront? One can only hope.

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on October 11, 2012, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The problem is Ron despises the very staple of comic books everywhere: Superhero comics. Now I know that there are other comics than Superhero (particularly in webcomics) but to actively campaign against them at all turns from behind the scenes makes for a strange environment.

    Advancements in the digital comic book arena can be made with superhero comics as well as non-superhero comics. I hope Ron is honest and up front about how he feels about superhero comics with his new venture

    • I wouldn’t say superhero comics are the staple of comic books. They’re more like famous old racehorses that the largest companies in the industry are so unwilling to put down, that they clone, revive, and tack on robotic limbs and organs to the point that they barely resemble the same horses anymore. They’re ridiculous cyber horses now and have passed through so many hands that they have no idea what is going on. They end up taking the trends they invented for granted and become exclusive and/or incredibly silly.

      Besides that, it’s rather presumptuous to say the superhero comics are the big thing and NEED to be included. Superhero comics are simply a genre, and webcomics encompass them and more. The man’s personal tastes obviously won’t affect that one bit.

      • Superheroes are dying and need a good reconstruction.

        Of course, I use “reconstruction” in the sense invented by the 90s writers who created the exact sort of thing I’m calling for, the counterarguments to works like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, so it may seem odd that I say we need stuff that already exists. But it’s true that we’ve scraped the bottom of the superhero barrel so much that we’ve scraped right through it, and look what’s out there.

        Superhero movies that aren’t based on established franchises have to pull off some sort of “twist” on the genre somehow, as though they don’t expect their audiences to take it seriously otherwise – just look at Unbreakable, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, or Hancock (and arguably even the Dark Knight trilogy) – and really the same could be said for any medium that isn’t comic books themselves – superhero webcomics are either parodies of superheroes in general (Wonderella), parodies on established properties (Spinnerette for Spider-Man, Wonderella again for Wonder Woman), or involve similar “twists” that often amount to deconstructions (Johnny Saturn) or otherwise involve a “superhero community” that often seems to leave out the people saved (PS238, and if I see one more “superhero school” story, whether or not it rips off the X-Men directly, I might just scream). Everyone’s taking their cues from Watchmen and DKR; almost no one is taking cues from Astro City, if anyone at all.

        The comics themselves, where everyone is mindwiping villains, punching reality, betraying old characterizations for badly-explained reasons, revealing secret identities left and right, embarking on idiotic year-long wastes of time that devolve into self-parody, selling marriages to the devil, passing torches that should have been passed long ago only to pass them right back despite how much everyone loves the new direction, letting superstar creators change entire corporate directions at a whim, holding events every year like it’s the 90s all over again, fundamentally changing core concepts, and rebooting it all into “younger” and “hipper” forms to appeal to a group that probably isn’t even paying attention while probably betraying the characters in the process, aren’t much better.

        Meanwhile, Marvel’s increasingly growing library of movie adaptations is turning into the next Star Wars and making money like it was Star Wars too. Clearly there are still a ton of people out there willing to take superheroes as seriously as they ever have, which means not taking them so seriously. Maybe it’s time for a new breed of creators to take everything we’ve learned about the dimensions of the superhero genre, which might be more than we know of almost any other genre, and get back to the heart of the superhero genre, use everything we’ve learned to get back to the point of all the exploration, that is, to tell good stories – not even in the sense of “exploratory” stories, but merely entertaining stories, stories that we, the fans and consumers of superhero works, like and want to read.

        • I just want to say I love Astro City and webcomics in that vein would be wonderful to see. I also hope we’ll see some up and comers inspired by Marvel’s movies do just that. :)

        • One of the missed opportunities with DC’s New 52, I think, was the possibility to start with a clean slate. When DC rebooted their characters in the Silver Age, they did a far better job reinventing everyone. Things were rooted in 60′s style science fiction instead of magic, the characters (especially in the case of The Flash and the Green Lantern) were for the most part completely redone, and — while the campy Batman gets badmouthed some — at least it was different. New 52 is more of the same. There’s nothing to the level of Flash in the Silver Age being a fan of Flash of the Golden Age, who turns out is just a comic book character. DC should’ve jettisoned a lot of characters that weren’t working and restarted everything with a smaller, easier to follow cast if they really wanted to attract new readers. Instead, they have this weird fixation on having 52 comics running at the same time.

          If they wanted to get into horror stories (Dial M, Animal Man) or war stories (Blackhawks, Men of War), why does it have to be tied into the DC Universe at large? Does everything have to be interconnected? And why so many at the same time? The guys who did the post-Crisis stuff at least had the sense to roll new origins and stories out at a more natural pace, driving excitement for each new character re-introduction. New 52, on the other hand, is sort of a jumbled mess.

      • Its presumptuous for you to say that they shouldn’t be and was presumptuous for Ron to generate rules that they wouldn’t be.

        I find it hilarious how hard you had to work at proving your logic in comparing Superhero comics to old race horses.

        • It’s not hard to create exaggerated analogies. You should try it, it’s fun.

          I never said that they shouldn’t be included. I’m saying that superhero comics are not/should not be considered a major staple of the comics medium, it’s just a genre which happens to be enforced by the major comic companies because it’s easily franchised. There are better stories out there that can be told and don’t rely on 60+ years of retcons and stretching the suspension of disbelief.

          The inclusion won’t depend on a single person’s tastes. Ron can’t change the stories that people want to write. Saying that Ron will somehow censor superhero comics from the entire interwebs is pretty presumptuous.

  2. I just tried the yanapax viewer on my iPad and it works great!

  3. I started checking the Beta viewer and… well… Cool to see how they used what the dude from Turbo Defying Kimecan has been experimenting with for like two years now, while claiming they ‘reinvented’ webcomics.
    Guess guys from professional comic areas are nowadays taught how to steal stuff on the job or being really good at stealing is a requirement to be hired in the domain, be it by tracing and not bothering to draw anything on their own, or taking some random kid’s experimentation and claiming they worked really really hard to come up with the idea.
    Well, I agree. Coming up with new methods to rip off IS really, really hard.

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