Sitting on the panel were spyed and techgnotic from deviantART, BenWolstenholme, LiamSharp, and nunyerbidniss from Madefire, and davegibbons, perhaps best-known for his collaboration with Alan Moore on "Watchmen." The topic was an explanation of the recent partnership of Madefire and deviantART -- who met at Comic-Con just last year! -- and a quick run down of everything the free Motion Book Tool can offer the next generation of comic book artists. We wish you could have felt the energy in the room there. If the audience expected a cut-and-dry explanation of the power of this new tool, their minds were blown when panelists flung stress balls into the eager crowd and then wowed them with a film showing the true future of storytelling.
What the gentlemen talked about for the next hour was truly inspirational! Here are a few soundbites from the panel. It'll be like you were there with us!
"We realized quickly that these guys [deviantART] had built THE greatest creator community, it seemed like a natural fit, and here we are."
--Ben Wolstenholme (BenWolstenholme), on hoping to get Madefire to someday work with deviantART
"As somebody who's spent a lifetime doing comics, it occurred to me that digital was where we were headed. Tablets are the perfect device for comics. When I met Ben, my Spidey Senses started tingling, and I thought this was just what we were looking for. Other people tried. Some people put a horse on a skateboard and called it a motion book. These guys built an F-150 racing car."
"Comics are not the art of drawing or painting. They're the art of telling stories with words and pictures."
"Comics shouldn't be mistaken for a genre. It's a medium in and of itself. We're evolving the grammar for a new medium, and we're pushing the boundaries of what's possible."
--Liam Sharp (LiamSharp)
"On deviantART, you have old creators like me, you have people who are just starting to create, students, fans, critics, the means by which to get published. You've got the whole culture of a publishing universe in one place, and I don't think there's ever been anything like that before."
"Storytellers on deviantART are building an audience from moment one."
--Ron Martino (techgnotic)
"What we're trying to create is not a community of consumers, but patrons. We're all backing each other up."
--Liam Sharp (LiamSharp)
"The hallmark of deviantART is people are willing to share their secrets and reach out. Not to get too teary, but that's something I'm really happy to encourage. And you're not limited to the people in your own neighborhood on deviantART, like we were. When you get people from wildly different cultures collaborating, you can't even imagine the outcome. It's really exciting."
[An audience member asked what a writer should do if they are in search of an artist.]
"Post snippets of your chapters, interact with the artists, create a dialogue using our notes system, which is private. Start up a relationship with artists. This sort of thing is happening naturally on a large scale every single day." -- Angelo Sotira (spyed)
"It's Internet Dating for creatives." -- Dave Gibbons (davegibbons)
And now, how about some more amazing pictures from the day?
BenWolstenholme is not only Madefire's CEO, but an amazing artist himself!
Deviants love stopping by the booth to snap a shot in front of our backdrop. spyed had some fun walking the red carpet. Okay, it was black.
"I use deviantART to go through fan art for reference of my costumes! Often the artists are more revealing of the character's true character than the official artwork." --ArchonEquilibrium
Anyone who stops by the booth is treated to a button of their choice, some lanyards, stress balls, informational handouts on Madefire and Downloadable Content, plus a high-five from various staff members!
akimaro stopped by to sketch up an amazing Ariel. Or maybe she was just resting her -- what do you call them? Oh. Feet.
...amongst deviants and devious staff alike! (damphyr as Captain Jack Harkness and aunjuli as Pretty Pink Dalek!)
Finally, we thought it appropriate to end today's recap with spyed's final words from the panel earlier today.
"DeviantART was created to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us. In the spirit of that, there's nothing more inspiring than to be at the forefront of change. The world's changing, so come with us. It's gonna be great."
If you're at the convention, be sure to catch our next panel, "How-To: The Business of Fan Art," at noon in Room 2 upstairs.
And if you missed Wednesday's recap, you can read all about it here! Until then, a happy con to you all, friends!