If you are a one man army then this article is not for you… (But I still suggest you check it out, you may learn about some tools that might make your life a little easier, and “knowing is half the battle”… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZysLhEla4A&feature=related
There is a lot involved in creating a comic. Concept, story, editing, scripting, story layout, pencil work, ink, color, cover art, lettering, graphics, promotion, marketing, advertising, PR, social networking, online exposure….and on and on and on. Yes this can be done, more or less, by yourself but it doesn’t have to be. I am sorry to break it to you but it is very unlikely that you are Amazing in all areas of comic development, if you are Congratulations! If you think you are…well good luck! Sometimes it’s best to reach out and find other comic creators to help you with your mission. There are a lot of really good people willing to work for free or for modest fees that can help you get your comic project to a new level. Where can you find these people you ask??? Well www.workincomics.com is a start but there are other good places out there like www.comicspace.com , www.devieantart.com , and www.comicvine.com
But this article is not going to be so much about where to find collaborators or how to collaborate, I will be saving those topics for future posts. In this article we will be discussing several online platforms to use to facilitate wicked cool collaborations.
An online communication and collaboration platform that I can’t wait for is Google Wave. You’ve probably been hearing about Google Wave for a while now and a lot of people really think that this will make collaboration online a whole lot more efficient and effective. But what the heck is Google Wave and how will it affect comic collaboration? Well, simply put, Google Wave is designed as the next generation of Internet communication. Welcome “Back to the Future”. It’s like if someone melted email, instant messaging and social networking into a pot, the ooze that you would get would be Google Wave. I realize that isn’t the best explanation so here is a video that will visually and quickly break down Google Wave using cartoons…what more could you ask for. Check it out:
Here is another good video explanation from the people who designed Google Wave (check out the very cool language translation feature @ about 7 minutes in)
Want more? Here is “The Complete Guide to Google Wave”
Some of the reasons Google Wave might work out very well for comic creation and collaboration are because of the visual aspects of it, the ability to exchange multiple large files, the ability to involve several parties, real-time communication and collaboration, everything can be done through your Gmail account and best of all it will be Free. The only problem with Google wave at the moment is that it isn’t available. As far as I know from the rumours online it should be out later this year. If you still have questions about Google Wave check out this post on Lifehacker.com http://lifehacker.com/5288931/google-wave-questions-and-answers for a pretty concise list of answers.
Yeah, I know it sucks that we are going to have to wait a while but in the meantime here are a few other good collaboration platforms to fill the Google Wave hunger gap.
www.zoho.com Zoho.com is a comprehensive suite of award-winning on-line business applications. Customers use Zoho to run their business processes, manage their information and be more productive while at the office or on the go, without having to worry about expensive or outdated hardware or software. To date, Zoho.com has launched 19 different applications — from CRM to Mail, Reports, and Wikis. Zoho has received numerous awards, including an InfoWorld 2009 “Product of the Year” award, a 2008 PC World “25 Most Innovative Products Award” and a 2007 TechCrunch “Best Enterprise Start-up.” Free for personal use.
www.tgethr.com Easy group collaboration over email for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and families. Email is still the most prominent form of communication we have. Do you really need that fancy collaboration tool or do you just need to get together? Free plan available.
www.box.net Box.net was founded on a simple, powerful idea: it should be easy for people to access, work with, and share all their content, wherever they are.
Since 2005, co-founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith along with our fast-growing team have established Box.net as one of the most popular and trusted web-based services for accessing and sharing content from anywhere. Today, more than 2 million individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 1000 companies around the world use Box to easily connect with the content and people that matter most. Free plan available.
www.drop.io Drop.io is an easy to use, online collaboration and file sharing service that provides users with a simple, real-time and private way to chat and share images, video, audio, documents and other digital content through unique, user-created and controlled sharing points called ‘drops.’ watch our how to video once you have the hang of the basics, check out what it means to do it all in real-time for seamless collaboration. Free plan available.
www.mediafire.com MediaFire is the simplest file hosting service built for businesses, professionals, musicians, artists, students, or anyone in between.
Share your files through just one site without ever having to worry about disk space, hosting, or bandwidth again. MediaFire was specifically designed to be extremely simple to upload files and instantly manage and share them from any computer. Free plan available.
The collaboration platforms above are all actually pretty decent and they all have free plans available. If you know of other collaboration platforms or techniques that have worked for you let us know about them in the comments. Also let us know what you think about Google Wave as a possible new tool to help people create comics together.
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