Chester crab comics
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Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’




KICKSTARTER CRAB

Written on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 [permanent link]

Kickstarterlaunch

And to finish off the 10th anniversary year of Chester Comix: A PLEA FOR MONEY!

No, see, this really does make sense. Chester Comix LLC launched in 2003 with generous financial help from many friends and family members. And a few credit cards. The business has continued to grow with important and timely support from many sources. Revenues have climbed steadily, but the capital expenses are big — when you have to spend $12,000 to reprint just four of your 31 titles, the search for $$$$ is ongoing.

So it’s been obvious for several years that MOBILE is the answer. Selling stories that don’t require me to print on paper and ship books in boxes is a good way to smooth out the revenue stream and expand Chester’s audience. And tablets and smartphones are where many of today’s reluctant readers are actually reading (texts, social media). In 2010 I got three Chester stories into iTunes to be read on Apple’s iPhones and iTouches. In 2011 I got eight of Chester’s books into iBooks for Apple’s iPads.

But that’s not enough. I have more than ONE HUNDRED stories in my printed comix that I could turn into fun stories on smartphones. For the past two years I’ve been drawing new panels for those stories to add MORE jokes and MORE fun details that the textbooks miss. But as I gleefully drew, the technical requirements to get these stories onto the iPhone got thornier and thornier. It became like Gatsby’s green light or Ahab’s whale — the goal that remained stubbornly out of reach the closer I got to it. An Apple rep told me last summer what it would take to build on the existing Chester story apps. His solution requires more intense programming. And that requires more money.

So: KICKSTARTER. Kickstarter is for artists what venture capitalists are to Silicon Valley. It’s crowdsourcing — a way for me to raise small amounts of money from fans far and wide and add them into a big project. I love that part of the Kickstarter model is that I give the supporters unique rewards. Check out the link to the project to see some of the fun (everything from free copies of the stories we make to signed copies of full Chester pages to a drawing of yourself in one of the stories!).

The other big part of the Kickstarter model is that the projects have a limited time to raise the funds. We have 30 days. LET’S GET IT!

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Chester is an App!

Written on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 [permanent link]

Harriet Tubman iPhone

Different formats mean different stories. The Chester history adventures that I’ve published in book form for the past seven years were all designed to work as one-week-long episodes in a newspaper. (Look “newspaper” up on Wiki, kids.) I’m proud of how much action and information I packed into those episodes, but it’s time to update those stories and see how they sing in another format. Kids are reading lots of things outside the covers of a book.

Students, teachers, and parents can now put Chester in their pocket. The first three Chester story apps are available in the iTunes store for your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad! (Click the black app logo on the homepage to get to my links to the iTunes store.) It’s just 99 cents to get an expanded biography of Harriet Tubman or a more detailed story of the Battle of Antietam in the American Civil War or the Battle of Britain in World War II.

When I cut up the panels of the old newspaper stories I got about 40 panels per story. I’ve drawn new material to double that length for my first three smartphone stories. Without the space restrictions that print puts on me, I could add the kind of details that make the history of human beings so interesting. Now there’s a scene to Tubman’s story in which she helps free a man in the middle of a riot in New York! The Battle of Antietam story now does a better job of showing in pictures how the Sunken Lane went from a Confederate stronghold to a Confederate deathtrap. And The Battle of Britain has more of Winston Churchill’s inspiring speeches — and links to webpages where you can HEAR Churchill give the speeches during the heat of battle! So it’s good to have the Tubman biography in the Wonder Women book because there a young reader can get a quick overview of her life and compare her to other bold women of 19th Century America. But it’s good to have the app, too, because it’s got more action!

I hope to keep printing comic books about history — I’m finishing up the World War I book now and am in the thick of drawing a bio about George Washington for Mount Vernon — but I’m also excited to pick my most action-packed stories from the past 11 years and morph them into mobile apps. Next up: The TRUE Story of Pocahontas!

I’d love to get your feedback on these apps!

PS — There are discounts for educational institutions that buy multiple copies of the iTunes apps. Check out http://www.apple.com/education for more information!

PPS — Yes, I know the Droid is selling well. I hope to take the apps I make for iTunes and move them over to the Droid in the next few months.

PPPS — After I get 5 or 6 apps published, I’m going to circle back to add important educational bells and whistles to these — the first being sound. I hope to add an audio track in English and an audio track in Spanish so that struggling readers can get some help as they scan through the story visually. Look for that in 2011!

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Chester crab comics