About Comic Rocket: (source: comicrocket.com)
“Once upon a time there was Serialist, a crowd-sourced bookmarking tool for webcomics created by Josh Triplett and Jamey Sharp. This tool allowed Jamey to keep track of the 800 or so webcomics he read much easier than RSS or browser bookmarks did. The two creators toiled quietly and enjoyed their comics.
Meanwhile, in 2011 Andy Grossberg and Tim Shields formed a business called Comic Rocket based around a Facebook app that would let people read online comics for free while interacting socially. They joined the Portland Seed Fund’s first class and received invaluable advice and a little scratch to pursue the vision. With their deep experience in the comics and games domains they lined up deals with major publishers and let the application loose on the world.
One day, Jamey happened upon a demo Comic Rocket was giving at the Portland State Business Accelerator. He was fascinated by the places they were taking comics and by that shiny thing colloquially known as “”graphics.”” Before long he was signed on to become Chief Technology Officer of Comic Rocket. Shortly after that, it was decided the business would pivot into the growing field of webcomics. Comic Rocket v2 came about when the guys merged their businesses and a new vision was born.
Jamey Sharp — Chief Technology Officer, Co-Founder — Jamey has been programming computers since he was a child. He’s literally a rocket scientist who spends some of his spare time with the Portland State Aerospace Society. Previous gigs include core programming for the Tova Company and leading groups of programmers for Portland State’s Capstone Project. Jamey has dominion over all things programmatic at Comic Rocket. He also reads more webcomics than most humans can imagine, now topping 900.
Andy Grossberg — Chief Creative Officer, Co-Founder–Andy has worked diverse jobs in the comics industry since 1994, doing everything from lettering, editing, and even publishing. He’s written comics that have sold hundreds of thousands of issues. Most recently, before co-founding Comic Rocket, Andy wrote and edited for the genre culture magazine Tripwire. Andy’s job is to predict the future of comics. He was also a media analyst for the web industry back in the bad ol’ 1.0 days.
A Few Question:
are you familiar with Ink Outbreak?
Can you explain a bit about how Comic Rocket is different than these other services?
what was your motivation/inspiration for Comic Rocket?
what benefits can a cartoonist expect to see from your service?
is this the future of reading webcomics?
will you ever be out of beta?
what webcomics do you read?
What plans – if any/that you can talk about – do you have for mobil? Often a sticky point with web cartoonists who get a portion of their revenue from their website ads/clicks.
As things stand right now, anything we do is always going to point to the creator’s site and send the traffic through to them. That’s what we do. We’re just the toolbar at the top of the frame. We want creators to get as much traffic as possible and all the revenue that comes with it. We don’t strip out ads so any mobile version should probably preserve that.
You guys seem to have such deep respect for the creators that I have to ask, have any of you created a comic before?
I wrote Spawn 19 & 20 back in the day and a few smaller things. I also letter manga working for my wife Susie who is our communications director. There’s a chance Tim or I will write something in the future I’m sure.
Official Note Taker: