Welcome to Demon
by Jason Shiga | 2014-02-13 17:39:06
Being the first Asian guy selected to judge the Ignatz Awards since Frank Cho 14 years ago, I felt a particular pressure not to screw it up. I didn’t want to just nominate all my friends and call it a day. My goal was to honestly evaluate every comic on its own merits and that meant reading every panel of every page of comics that was sent to me. It took about 10-20 hours a week for several months but I was able to keep up… until they sent me submissions for best webcomic and my brain exploded.
It felt like being hit by a tidal wave of comics and subsequently drowning to death. To read every page of every webcomic that was sent to me would literally be a life’s work. It was a truly humbling experience to learn that what I thought of as comics was in fact just a small crumb in the vast expanse of the comics universe. I hadn’t really felt that way about the comics medium since walking into a shojo manga store in Japan 10 years ago. This is going to sound terrible and I apologize in advance to anyone who submitted a webcomic for the Ignatz in 2013 but I had to limit myself to reading a minimum of 1-2 pages of each webcomic and even then it took me about 2 months to get through the list. There were so many amazing comics, it was extremely difficult just narrowing it down to 3 nominees. I want to talk about some of my favorites but that’s a post for another day.
Anyway, I bring all of this up because people have been asking me why I chose to release Demon as a webcomic. What can I say? The experience of looking over the vast expanse of the terrain was something of an eye opener for me. Seeing so much creativity, imagination, sprawled out before me was truly inspiring and it’s a large part of why I wanted to head off into the terrain myself and set up my little homestead here (that and Demon is completely deranged to the point of being unpublishable). I know a lot of people have been speculating about the future of webcomics. But for me it’s the present that is still utterly mystifying and ineffable. How many are there? What are the best ones? Is there a Maus of webcomics? Is there a Comics Journal for webcomics? Can someone explain Penny Arcade to me? The world may never know the answer to these questions. But I’m hoping the search for these answers will be a journey we can take together!
March 6, 2014
Albany Middle School | Berkeley, CA
If you’re a student of Albany Middle School, ask your teacher about the comics workshop I will be holding March 6. I will be leading a workshop on making interactive comics as well as talking about some of the interactive comics I’ve made over the years. Talk to your teacher for more details.
April 11-14, 2014
Fumetto International Comics Festival | Luzern, Switzerland
Exciting news for my European fans! This year, I will be attending the Fumetto International Comics Festival in Luzern. If you’re in the area, stop by my table for a dedicase or come and watch the panel I will be presenting at.
Saturday, April 12 | Motion Comics
October 4-5, 2014
Alternative Press Expo | San Francisco, CA
If you’re in the Bay Area, please feel free to come by and say hello to me at the Alternative Press Expo. I don’t have too many details yet. But I will be tabling, signing books and giving out comics to whomever can solve my impossible brainteasers. See you there!