Zudacomics.com To Draw On DC And IBM

DC Comics, home to iconic Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, has partnered with IBM, which is looking to expand its profile in media services, to launch Zudacomics.com, a new Web comics imprint. The site, which goes live in October, will launch as a teaser with pre-registration capability for fans at the end of July to coincide with Comic-Con International in San Diego.

With the official tagline of "click here to continue," Zudacomics.com is being billed as a community-oriented, social networking site for the comic book community that will feature new online content from both amateurs and professionals.

IBM's ability to enable the site's robust social networking capabilities drove the partnership, the companies say. IBM Global Business Services is designing and building Zudacomics.com with Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging, commenting, rating and tagging to encourage maximum community participation and feedback on artists' submissions.

Open source technologies will also be used in the site's architecture, overseen by IBM's Media & Entertainment group. Comics will be specially made for the Web in 4:3 aspect ration screens, allowing for easy reading without the need to open additional browser windows.



Content will be chosen by the site's visitors, who will vote on their favorites in online competitions. Winners of the competitions will receive commissions to create a year's worth of their Web comics for the site, and will have their work published in print too. Comics will run for at least 52 installments beyond their initial debut.

"There is an explosion of creativity in Web comics," said Paul Levitz, DC Comics president and publisher. "We want to build a great stage for this new generation of creators to perform on--a solid system for their work to reach audiences online and in print and for the creators to share in the profits their creations can generate.

"In this time of rapid technological and cultural change, DC wants to be a good publisher for the evolving and growing community of online comic creators, so that we can be their partner for showcasing new kinds of works to entertain future generations."

The site's editorial functions will be overseen by DC Comics Director of Creative Services Ron Perazza and DC Comics Online Editor Kwanza Johnson, who will select submissions for the site's competitions; in addition, the editors can declare as many as six submissions as instant winners during the calendar year. All Zudacomics.com creators who are instant winners, competition winners and competition finalists will be paid by DC Comics.

Zudacomics.com will have several logos to accompany the "click here to continue" tagline.

"In designing the Zuda logo, it was important to echo back to the interactive nature of the Web, the creativity of our medium and the diversity of the comics community," said Richard Bruning, DC Comics senior vice president/creative director. "We soon realized that there shouldn't be just one logo. We wanted to reflect the different 'faces' of Web comics that we are looking to publish. It's all about the diversity of the readership and the medium."

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