Comic creation goes digital with ComiXwriter software

comixOver the years, comic books transformed from a niche product marketed to a dorky demographic to a legitimate art form and important business. The release of critically-acclaimed crossover comics like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and Maus in the 1980s are big examples. Let’s not forget the massive mainstream success of comic-inspired movies like Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, and The Avengers either. As if comics couldn’t become more mainstream, it appears someone has gone and created a software program just for people who write comics.

The software is called ComiXwriter, and it’s essentially aiming to be for comic book writers what Final Draft is for screenwriters. It’s the product of Glenn Farrington, a screenwriter who has previously founded Digital Seas International, a business dedicated to ensuring that every major cruise line in the world has its own Internet cafe. It’s somewhat of a sideways shift, but at least it shows some entrepreneurial background.

According to the announcement of the software, Farrington realized the need for the product after a publisher greenlit a graphic novel project of his. Unlike his screenwriting experiences, Farrington noticed that “there’s no software that gives you the full ease of putting down structure and freeing you up for more important things like story.” ComiXwriter will do more than just help with format, however; the announcement promises that it will “allow outlining, annotation, saving to a pdf and most importantly, give it the functionality of being able to collaborate with other vital members of the team – The Artist, Colorist and Letterer.”

The software was created by Farrington with the help of his partner Steven Sashen, who has previously worked on the screenwriting software Scriptware. The duo used research data gathered from professional comic book writers about what is actually needed to create a comic book script. The press release includes quotations from writers including John Rogers, who’s written for DC and IDW Comics, Mike Carey, whose work includes Marvel Comics’ X-Men, and former Judge Dredd writer Alan Grant, so they’ve definitely reached out to some well-known names.

There is, of course, a catch: ComiXwriter doesn’t exist just yet, and it won’t be released unless a Kickstarter campaign that launches on June 25 is successful. “Kickstarter, with its crowd funding model, has not only proven to help projects like ours cross a finish line, but it also makes them winners by creating international awareness,” Farrington said. It’s likely that he’s counting on the comics community online to not only fund the release, but act as viral marketing to create an audience for it.

Whether it’s a tactic that will work is unclear. Although there are plenty of successful comic-related Kickstarter projects, the comic community has become increasingly cynical about the ideas being offered through the site. Comic creators have survived without ComiXwriter before now – will they be convinced about a genuine need for it now?

Emerging Tech

‘Bionic mushroom’ can generate electricity without using fossil fuels

Researchers have come up with a way to produce electricity without fossil fuels using mushrooms covered with bacteria. The mushroom provides a safe environment for special cyanobacteria that generate electricity when light is shone on them.
Computing

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.
Computing

Having enough RAM is important, but stick to these guidelines to save some money

Although not quite as exciting as processors and graphics cards, RAM is one of the most important parts of your PC. Not having enough can hurt performance. So, how much RAM do you need?
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Web

Be at your most productive with these Slack tips and tricks

Slack is an common means of communication in the workplace, but how do you use some of the app's lesser-known features to get the most out of your experience? Here's what you need to know to stay organized, efficient, and entertained.
Emerging Tech

Curiosity rover active and drilling again after computer issue

The Curiosity rover has succeeded in drilling a hole into the tough bedrock that previously defeated it, allowing imaging and collection of samples. The rover had been incapacitated for a few weeks due to problems with its computer.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover two rogue planets that do not orbit a star

Astronomers have identified two rogue planets in our galaxy which do not orbit around a star. Unlike the vast majority of discovered planets, these rogue planets drift through space alone with no sun to shine on them.
Emerging Tech

Pairs of supermassive black holes spotted in colliding galaxies

Astronomers have discovered several pairs of supermassive black holes in galaxies that are colliding with each other. These black holes will spiral closer and closer together and eventually merge into one supermassive black hole.
Emerging Tech

Quantum-based accelerometer can locate objects without GPS

Researchers have created a quantum "compass" that allows navigation without satellites. The instrument, technically called a standalone quantum accelerometer, is small enough to be transportable and has a very high level of accuracy.
Emerging Tech

Ancient continent discovered beneath the ice of Antarctica

Antarctica could be hiding the remains of a long-lost continent. Scientists created a 3D map of the crust beneath the Antarctic ice sheet which shows a similarity to the crust in Australia and India, suggesting they used to be joined.
Emerging Tech

Rocket Lab steps into spotlight with its first commercial rocket launch

Rocket Lab has deployed multiple small satellites into orbit in its first notable commercial launch. Its New Zealand-born boss said the success means "rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites."
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Emerging Tech

Watch this lab-grown heart tissue beat just like the real thing

A team of researchers in Germany have used stem cells to create a lab-grown human heart tissue which actually beats, as well as responding to drugs in the same way as the real thing.