Archive for January, 2013

Thursday Weekly Update | Bughouse

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

New page of BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler now available.

BUGHOUSE Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.

Wednesday Weekly Update | Heaven And The Dead City

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

New page of Heaven and the Dead City
by Raine Szramski, now available.

HEAVEN And The DEAD CITY Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!

Tuesday Weekly Update | Tales Of ISHMAR: SOFT STUFF

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

New page of
SOFT STUFF
by Don Lomax is now available.

SOFT STUFF Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!

Read Your Favorite Flash Based CO2 Comics on an iPad or iPhone!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

One of my biggest criticisms of Apple’s iPad (and the iPhone for that matter) was its inability to read Flash. This was particularly irksome to me since the CO2 Comics site depends on a Flash viewer to display all of the great comics that we have to offer. We use Flash primarily for its stability and it makes our viewer particularly compatible with motion comics like Bernie Mireault’s  The Jam Urban Adventure.

I was not in a hurry to get a tablet, especially one that could not read Flash. I knew that when I eventually bought one it most likely would be the iPad since I swear by my iMac, tote around an iPhone, and would want all to interact seemlessly on the old iCloud. But to me an iPad was just a big iPhone and I am completely happy sitting in front of my computer in my studio, surfing the net and reading webcomics on my 17″ monitor.

I’m not excited about the idea of buying a comic app to read on a device. I’d rather have the comic book whenever possible and there is so much free comic content on the web, I could read comics forever without spending a dime.

So tablets did not impress me. They are just another tekkie device attempting to flip over the consumer and shake every last shekel out of our already thinly worn pockets.

But hey, I’m an old fart. What do I know?

When an iPad mini migrated into our home to be used primarily by my wife and daughter (my son’s Macbook Pro is tattooed to him as is his iPhone) I squeamishly explored its browser capabilities, sadly confirming its inability to read Flash. This became an even bigger issue, however,  when my wife discovered she could not play Farmville, her favorite Flash based Facebook game.

Oh! The horrors!!

So I sat in front of my trusty iMac and explored. I quicky discovered a number of apps claiming to enable the iPad to be able to view Flash, all with varied reviews. iSwifter caught my attention. It was a cloud based server designed for games, that quicky translated your interaction back to your device. It was FREE! It could play Farmville! Surely it could handle the CO2 Comics viewer.

Well, the app was free…for fifteen minutes each day for a week after which it was $9.99 for unlimited usage.  After I got knocked off when my first fifteen minutes expired it was worth the ten bucks to me not to have to wait twenty-four hours to take another stab at experimenting with it. (Sucker!)

Sure enough, it worked as promised. It was fast. The images were clear. Farmville worked great. I could read all the comics on CO2 Comics with some minor snafus. It needs Wi-Fi and does not work at all on the iPhone. The CO2 Comics Flash viewer worked fine and it jumped nicely from page to page but the browser was locked into a horizontal view and I could not significantly change the size of the image. This forced me to have to center the comic viewer on the screen and scroll up and down. I could not control the scrolling action at all by touching the comic page in the viewer. I could only use the tiny available border visible on each side of the image. If I happened to accidentally touch a link, I was off to a different site. With a little practice I was navigating CO2 Comics like a pro and I was satisfied despite the quirks.

Screw Farmville! I can read CO2 Comics on an iPad!

I was happy until I sat down to write this post. I did some more research on the subject and came across this list of Alternative Browsers for the iPad compiled by Craig Nansen that appeared on a 2011 post on Wired Educator:

Diigo Browser (free) – Chrome-like, with annotation and offline reading (formerly iChromy)

iSWiFTER (Free)

Atomic Web Browser ($0.99) – Browse FullScreen w/ Download Manager & Dropbox

Cloud Browse ($2.99)

iCab Mobile (Web Browser) ($1.99)

Grazing Web Browser ($1.99)

Skyfire Web Browser ($4.99) and $2.99 for the iPhone.

Puffin Web Browser ($0.99)

Opera Mini Web browser (free)

After reading the reviews and the comments, the Puffin Web Browser, which was actually FREE, stood out as a viable option. I couldn’t argue with free so I downloaded the app to check it out.

Boy am I glad I did!

The comic reading experience in the Puffin Web Browser was great! So much better than iSwifter. I can’t believe I almost settled for something so mediocre. The thing I like most about Puffin is the ability to zoom in and out with no discretion. The images slide across the screen with a sweep of the finger. There are some artifacts in the images. They are more noticeable on black and white images and become more apparent, naturally, when the image is larger but they are not that big of a distraction from the reading experience, at least no more than the funky printing on the old newsprint comics.

One other plus about Puffin is that it does work without Wi-Fi enabled. It is slower on Verizon’s 3G network but it gets the job done if you have the patience to wait 5-10 seconds to turn a page.

Puffin is also available for the iPhone! So, being the curious goat that I am, I quickly downloaded the app to my iPhone. Sure enough, I can now read CO2 Comics on my cell as well, though my suspicions were confirmed. I just can’t seem to enjoy reading comics on a little cell phone screen. If I wanted to read comics that small I’d go buy some penny gum and read the comic adventures of Bazooka Joe. Unfortunately they no longer include those tiny printed gems with those crusty little pink and chewy bricks of gum. What’s next? Hostess cupcakes? ( I know. I know. Sad isn’t it?)

Reading CO2 Comics on the iPhone using Puffin Web Browser was pretty much just like reading them on the iPad except everything was smaller and it did move a bit slower. Buttons and links were harder to navigate because of their shrunken size and though I could zoom in and out just as easily, I needed to do it so much more often that it became a bore. I at least know now that if I ever need a comic fix all I have to do is pull out my iPhone but I’d much rather read comics on a tablet, laptop, or desktop if no printed comic book is available.

So there you have it. A resounding, YES! You can read and enjoy Flash based comics on the iPad and the iPhone! Next time you have the urge to drop 99¢ on a comics app in Comixology to read one comic on your tablet remember that there are over a thousand pages of great comics right here on CO2 Comics that are just one FREE app away.

And don’t worry, if you would really much rather have a printed book, we have them too! Just click on that cool ad blinking at the bottom of this page!

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

Monday Weekly Update | Eaten By Planet 29

Monday, January 28th, 2013

New page of Eaten By Planet 29
by Kevin Atkinson, now available.

EATEN BY PLANET 29 Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!

Saturday Weekly Update | Dog Boy

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

New page of DOG BOY by Steve Lafler now available.

DOG BOY Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.

Thursday Weekly Update | Bughouse

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

New page of BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler now available.

BUGHOUSE Update

Click Here to read this comic NOW!

Read the 3 Part STEVE LAFLER INTERVIEW
posted on The Comics Journal


NOW AVAILABLE,

Purchase a copy of the EL VOCHO

graphic novel, now on sale

At LULU Here.

Wednesday Weekly Update | Heaven And The Dead City

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

New page of Heaven and the Dead City
by Raine Szramski, now available.

HEAVEN And The DEAD CITY Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!

Tuesday Weekly Update | Tales Of ISHMAR: LIGHTER THAN ARIES

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

New page of
LIGHTER THAN ARIES
by Don Lomax is now available.

LIGHTER THAN ARIES Update

Click here to read this comic NOW!

The Big Bang Theory: Is the Joke on Us?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

There has been a lot of rumblings among comic fans about the stereotyping of Geek Culture in the hit television show The Big Bang Theory. This seems to have really come to a head after the episode The Bakersfield Expedition” where the female characters went to the local comic shop advertised as “where no woman has gone before.” The conclusion being that all involved with the production of the show must hate comic book fans because of what was interpreted as negative stereotyping of comic shops, comic books, and comic fans.

This reaction surprises me because I assume, and I’m sure this is a stereotype itself, that comic fans have a keen sense of popular culture, and would recognize that, as an outrageously popular sitcom, The Big Bang Theory most likely would employ all the usual conventions of the typically successful sitcoms which generally include, stereotyping and low brow humor. Since comics and cartoons have a long tradition of capitalizing on stereotypes through characterization literally and visually, I expect that comic fans would at least be accustomed to its use.

Is the pot calling the kettle black?

Humor is generally rooted in something painful. Our ability to laugh is a primal reaction that is soothing to the anxiety of dealing with what hurts or causes fear. We fear things that we do not know or understand as much as we fear things that we are sure will hurt us. Stereotypes are a false but identifiable veneer that keeps us focused on the superficial, preventing our awareness of the distinct particulars that define the true structure of the subject. The stereotypes used in sitcoms preserve their humorous impact by maintaining the mask that prevents a more complete understanding of the subject.

Occasionally, through sitcoms, our laughter accomplishes its primal goal and soothes cultural fears.

Vice President, Joe Biden received a lot of attention when he credited the sitcom Will & Grace for its impact on social mores regarding gay lifestyles during his appearance on Meet the Press. “When things really began to change is when the social culture changes,” He told host David Gregory. “I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anybody’s ever done so far. People fear that which is different. Now they’re beginning to understand.”

No character could have fit the gay stereotype more than Jack, played by Sean Hayes yet the show was beloved by viewers throughout its eight-year run.

Last week Charlie Sheen walked on the stage of The View to a rousing ovation. He was credited by Barbara Walters as being “loved by America.” His character on the insanely popular sitcom Two and a Half Men, produced by Chuck Lorre who also produces The Big Bang Theory, was an often drunken, drug induced louse of a playboy whose sexploitations of women were the focus of the show, representing the ultimate cliche of the male chauvinist pig.

Sheen’s character was a frightening mirror of his actual life which exploded into public view during the antics of his tirade when he was fired from the show in 2011. Yet, he was welcomed into the open arms of Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Sherri Shepherd, the five co-hosts The View who are powerful morning voices of women all over America.  Joy Behar even flashed him her reportedly perfect tootsies in response to his foot fetish. I suspect he is loved because somehow people feel they can relate to him now because of their familiarity with his character on Two and a Half Men.

Because of this phenomenon of cultural acceptance induced by sitcoms, I think it would do Geek Culture some good to be able to laugh at itself and simply accept The Big Bang Theory for what it is, a successful sitcom that is, not intentionally, paving a road of acceptance for a subculture that is not fully understood.

I am personally watching this phenomenon play out in my own house. My twenty-year-old daughter, Jenna,  whose eclectic interests  have never included anything remotely influenced by science fiction or superheroes ( with the notable exception of Captain Underpants when she was in third grade) is a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory. Her bedroom wall, which was once plastered with posters of the Jonas Brothers, now displays images of her currrent favorites: Junior Middleweight boxer, King Gabriel Rosado, rap star, Lil Wayne, movie star John Travolta, iconic beauty, Audrey Hepburn, and Big Bang’s character Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) barking “Bazinga!”

She named her cat Dr. Sheldon Cooper and her horse Leonard Hofstadter as homage to the show. Though she never read comics,  she now proudly proclaims her favorite superhero to be Green Lantern and has a shirt with his logo, and a plush version of his character. She has actually ventured into comic shops unaccompanied by me or my son presumeably to shop for us. And though my own comic book swag was once a source of overwhelming embarrassment to her, this year, beneath the Christmas tree, was a Justice League belt, a Captain America wallet and a DVD of the animated Ultimate Avengers. All were gifts from her to me.

I can only imagine that her affinity for The Big Bang Theory has softened her attitude towards a culture she had formerly vocally denounced as “dorky.” She has more than accepted the characters, she has embraced them and opened a place in her life that is willing to accept a subculture that before was alien to her.

My final suggestion to comic fans is, though it is fine to be critical and analytical of The Big BangTheory, look around at everyone laughing.  We know that the stereotypes are not a true representation of the sub culture but they represent what the general public sees on the surface. Laugh with them and invite them beyond the veneer where they can be actually laughing with you than at you. If we can’t laugh at ourselves we can’t expect others to take us seriously.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco


© 2009-2017 CO2 COMICS All Rights Reserved. All other material © their respective creators & companies