When I first posted about the original Mobiüs Pro stylus by v23next in December 2013 I praised it’s balance and craftsmanship as well as the all day comfort. While I did have a few complaints like the fact that the sleek design caused it to roll away when sat on a smooth or angled surface overall it was light years ahead of most of the other rubber tipped stylus pens on the market. In the final showdown I said it was the best rubber tipped stylus you could buy. Since then the stylus market has grown and changed seeing heavy hitters like Wacom get serious about the iPad and start-up emerging from the woodwork to bring a variety of new concepts to scene.
I recently had the opportunity to test drive a prototype of the new Mobiüs Pro Dragonfly stylus by v23next. I used it to pencil, ink, and paint an illustration that debuted at the Mint Condition gallery show during Emerald City Comic Con. I found the Dragonfly built on the strengths of the original Mobiüs Pro and addressed the few shortcomings of the original. This is a very well thought out art tool and when I learned that v23next were going to launch a Kickstarter campaign to offer the Dragonfly directly to backers I reached out to Andrew Pischke from v23next to ask a few questions about this new and improved stylus.
Q: There are many stylus pens on the market to choose from, can you explain what makes the Mobiüs Pro Dragonfly stand out from the crowd?
A: The mobius pro [dragonfly] originated from our own craving for a more substantial feeling stylus. We wanted to design a stylus which felt and reacted in a way closer to the pen and paper feel, which we believe we have accomplished. The mobius pro [dragonfly] has many great and innovative features that make using it a joy. I think the fact that it is made from solid aircraft grade aluminum and it’s contoured, ergonomic shape make for a stylus unlike any other on the market. The fact that we have added two interchangeable tips in both 5 and 6 millimeter with replacement rubber tips only adds to its uniqueness.
I believe these features make the mobius pro [dragonfly] so great!
Made of solid aircraft grade aluminum – This gives the stylus a nice weight and balance unlike any other stylus on the market.
The contoured ergonomic shape – It makes the stylus comfortable for long periods of use and naturally makes the user hold it in a way that makes it less likely to touch to the screen with the palm of the hand. The curved shape also avoids obscuring the screen which is great for doing line work and other fine details.
Interchangeable and replaceable tips – The tried and true 6 millimeter tip and the all new 5 millimeter tip makes using this stylus great for both general use, where a fine tip isn’t necessary, and also for fine line drawing with our new 5 millimeter tip.
Tip storage in the stylus – The stylus has a hollow section to hold extra tips for when the rubber tip eventually wears out. This allows the user to quickly and easily replace the rubber tip without searching it.
The mobius pro [dragonfly] is available on the kickstarter project in 5 amazing colors allowing everyone to pick their favorite color, and if we reach our stretch goal we will be producing it in titanium with an upgrade options for earlier backers. (Who doesn’t want a titanium stylus?)
Q: In a sea of boring beige and black the variety of colors is such a unique feature. I pledged the designer green Dragonfly and I’m wondering if one color is proving most popular among backers?
A: With kickstarter in progress currently the cyan mobius pro [dragonfly] early bird special sold out fastest but we currently have more “designer” greens chosen overall with combo deals included. We pretty much expected this, but we expected the magenta to be more popular than it has been. There are still currently some magenta mobius pro [dragonfly] stylus early bird specials left so if you know anyone that likes magenta / pink, now is the time to get one at a discounted price.
Q: I see a straight edge product also listed on the Kickstarter campaign page. Where did the inspiration for this come from and how does it work with the Mobiüs Pro
A: We love drawing on iPads and use a lot of drawing apps. One of the features that we believe is lacking in most drawing apps is a quick way to draw a straight line. A few apps have it, but we don’t believe the apps implement it in a quick and easily useable way. The edgē (pronounced ed-gee) straight edge allows you to see the whole drawing through it, so it is easy to draw the line where you want it. The edgē works the same way as a ruler or other straight edge tool used with a pen and paper but it is designed to work with touchscreen tablets. We think the edgē makes drawing on an ipad a better experience by creating a more pen and paper feel.
Q: The price for the Mobiüs Pro Dragonfly stylus starts at only $30 which seems like a bargain for a product of this quality. What do backers get for their money and what options can they add on?
A: We actually are charging $25 for the mobius pro [dragonfly], but the way kickstarter works shipping can’t be a separate fee so we included 5 dollars for shipping into the price. The mobius pro [dragonfly] comes with two different sized tips and an extra of each by default. We have upgrade options to either get a metal carry case or an edge with the stylus. We also offer a combo of two styluses including a clear (silver) and any other color. This allows you to mix tops and bottoms (the colored and silver is pretty cool together as is black and silver). For people who like handmade things and really want to support our project we have a combo including a stylus and a spin-top, the spin-tops are all individually handmade by me, as a token of our appreciation.
Q: What’s next for v23next?
A: Once the kickstarter is funded we will be busy fulfilling it. We really like the way kickstarter works and have a few more ideas in the works. We designed the mobius pro [dragonfly] in a way that we could easily make add ons or new interchangeable parts so we may have some in store at a later date. (So keep an eye out!) Through making our original mobius pro stylus we have realized that a stylus is not only used by artist. The mobius pro [dragonfly] may have been designed with the artist in mind but every feature makes use easier whatever the use. Whether you’re an artist, a designer, a writer, a doctor, just doodling, or just a general tablet user browsing the internet, the mobius pro [dragonfly] is the stylus for you!
Thank you Andrew, I already thought the Mobiüs Pro Dragonfly was a great stylus and after learning more about the design and craftmaship behind it I’m more excited than ever. I backed the Designer Green stylus on Kickstarter and can’t wait for it to arrive. If you are interested in the Mobiüs Pro Dragonfly and edgé from v23next take a look at their Kickstarter campaign and choose your favorite color.
Mobiüs Pro Dragonfly on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/998843186/mobius-pro-dragonfly-stylus
When I started this campaign my dream was to share everything I know about coloring comic books with you. Thanks to everyone who backed this dream on Kickstarter Hi-Fi Color for Comics will be back in print before the end of 2014.
Expect to see a new post each month between now and the time the Hi-Fi Color for Comics ships. I’ll keep you up to date with elements like the final cover design, progress on updating tutorials, and Hi-Fi Academy status updates. I’ll be sure to share special moments with you like when the updated and revised Hi-Fi Color for Comics is 100% completed, when the books arrives from the printers, and of course when they start shipping. Hi-Fi Color for Comics is the best art-instruction resource for comic coloring and I know you will be as thrilled as I am to see the book back in print.
Special thanks to Eric White who is serving as project coordinator and working behind the scenes to make so much of what you are seeing happen. Thanks to my co-author Kristy Miller and editor Amy Jeynes, and much appreciation and thanks to ALL the amazingly talented creators who contributed artwork to the book including:
- Terry Moore – Strangers in Paradise
- Craig Rousseau – The Perhapanauts
- Katie Cook – Gronk
- Mike Worley – Image’s Big Bang Comics
- Joe Quesada & Dani Miki – Spider-Man
- Mike Norton – Battlepug
- Dan Jurgens – Tommi Trek
- Mat Wagner – Grendel & Mage
- Casey Malone & Dustin Yee – The Enigmas
- Scott Wegener – Atomic Robo
- Joe Corroney – Star Wars and Star Trek
- Shawn Pryor & Martheus Wade – Young Star
- Humberto Ramos – Fantastic Four
- J. Scott Campbell – various Superhero art
- Frank Quitely & Tim Townsend – New X-Men
- John Byrne – Tommi Trek
- Phil Hester – Sick Time
- David Bryant – Aviatrix
- Melinda Timpone – White Noise
- Paige Braddock – Jane’s World
- Tom Mandrake – Devil’s Gate
- Val Hochberg – Mystery Babylon with Kick Girl
- Tom Nguyen – various Superhero art
- Steve Lightle – Tommi Trek
- Chad Hardin & James Taylor – Fist of Justice
- Sapphire Tricket – Solar VII
And a great big thank you to all the Kickstarter backers of Hi-Fi Color for Comics and sharing my dream of a more colorful world.
Thank to all our backers, the Comics On-Screen Stretch Goal is UNLOCKED!
We are down to the final 48 hours of the campaign and there is still time to unlock more Stretch Goals. The next Stretch Goal is another DOUBLE Stretch Goal. Beyond Black and White and Old School Cool will both unlock when the Kickstarter campaign reaches $30,000. With your help we can unlock this DOUBLE Stretch Goal before the campaign ends.
Hi-Fi Color for Comics received some great press today on the CCN network. You can read all about it and share this story with others:
CCN interview with Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller about Kickstarting and art-education revolution — http://comicscreatornews.com/?p=488
Thank you for backing and sharing Hi-Fi Color for Comics. During these final 35 hours please share the campaign with everyone you can and help unlock more stretch goals.
Learn how to color comic books with Hi-Fi Color for Comics —http://kck.st/1eOUfhk
Hi-Fi Color for Comics is 100% funded but we can make it faster, stronger, better by unlocking these Stretch Goals!
The first stretch goal is SPIRAL BOUND and will unlock when the campaign reaches $19,900.
- Spiral binding of Hi-Fi Color for Comics allowing you to lay the book open completely flat when working on the tutorials.
- Front and back covers of Hi-Fi Color for Comics will received a brand new design treatment from the masters of lettering and design at Comicraft and will be printed on upgraded cover stock.
- Quick reference card featuring Adobe Photoshop keyboard shortcuts on one side and a cheat sheet for the Hi-Fi Creative Coloring Process on the reverse. You can place the quick referece card near your computer while coloring and use it as a bookmark as you work through the tutorials.
- The Folding bookstand holds your book upright so you can quickly glance from the tutorials to your computer screen.
- Everyone who pledges a reward level with a PRINT EDITION receives this reward when the campaign reaches $19,900.
Below you will find additional stretch goals and art packs, plus there are still more artists contributing to Hi-Fi Color for Comics yet to be revealed! Want to see these trench goals unlocked? First start by sharing the Hi-Fi Color for Comics Kickstarter campaign with all of your friends and followers. Organize a #KickstartHFC4C day at your local comic book shop, art store, or campus. You can share using this link:
Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter — http://kck.st/1eOUfhk
Another way you can see all these stretch goals unlocked is consider upping your pledge amount by adding on whatever you think is fair for all the additional tutorials and bonus features. Right now Hi-Fi Color for Comics is fully funded at 170+ pages of content. If all the stretch goals are unlocked the book will swell to over 300 pages packed with the best comic book coloring tutorials available.
Thank you for backing Hi-Fi Color for Comics, working together we can unlock these stretch goals and make Hi-Fi Color for Comics the best resource for digital comic book colorists.
With Hi-Fi Color for Comics I wanted to go beyond the book and create a connection with everyone backing this project. A place for where we could share artwork, download photoshop brushes, participate in online workshops and watch video tutorials. I wanted to create a resource that you didn’t have to carry with you but you could access from anywhere.
That resource is an online companion to Hi-Fi Color for Comics called Hi-Fi Academy. When you choose a reward level of $20 or more you will automatically receive FREE enrollment in Hi-Fi Academy with your copy of Hi-Fi Color Design. Once signed-up each you will have a virtual locker where you will be able to download all the Photoshop add-ons needed to use Hi-Fi Color for Comics. And when updates are available you will have access to the latest versions.
You will also find all the files needed for each tutorial in your Hi-Fi Academy locker including Hi-Fi Helpers, video tutorials, as well as the artwork for each lesson in the book so you can follow along. You will also be the first to learn about new tutorials, workshops, and bonus content. The goal of Hi-Fi Academy is to teach people everything I know about comic book coloring.
As a member you can access Hi-Fi Academy at home or when traveling. Hi-Fi Academy works with the print edition and the ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics. Hi-Fi Academy is just one of the new and improved elements of Hi-Fi Color for Comics and I have a feeling are going to love it.
Who gets it? All backers who pledge the $20 reward level and higher. Hi-Fi Academy is included with the print edition and ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics
What do I get?
- All the Photoshop add-ons you need to make coloring fun and easy including, Hi-Fi’s 1-2-3 Automation Scripts, Hi-Fi Actions, brushes, color swatches, patterns, color preferences, and more
- Line-Art & Color Guides for every tutorial in the book as well as access to bonus videos for each chapter.
- Hi-Fi Helpers including tons of pre-made skies, textures, special effects, and other elements you can use in all your comic coloring projects.
When can I enroll in Hi-Fi Academy? Hi-Fi Academy will open the same week Hi-Fi Color for Comics ships to you. Enrollment instructions will be included inside your copy of Hi-Fi Color for Comics.
Back Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/1eOUfhk
You probably received a notice this morning saying this campaign was frozen due to a DMCA Takedown Notice. I’m not sure what your reaction was but I can tell you my heart skipped a beat! I was worried that all our hard work would be lost over some legal dispute. The good news is there is NO Copyright dispute and the campaign is once again live and we’re only a few thousand dollars away from being fully funded.
What happened? As far as I can tell Marvel have copyright attorneys who probably monitor sites like YouTube, Kickstarter, and others for Copyright violations. They saw our campaign and immediately sent a DMCA Takedown Notice to Kickstarer. They did so even though there is a copyright notice on the Kickstarter campaign stating all art used in the book is done with permission. I’m sure these lawyers do not knowing anything about Hi-Fi, the fact that we actually color and paint projects for Marvel & Disney, or about Hi-Fi Color for Comics. They were just doing their job… even if it did almost send me into cardiac arrest!
Fortunately I was able to locate the original Hi-Fi Color for Comics release form from 2007 and send a copy to Marvel’s legal representation. Once they verified the info with the records they had on file they contacted Kickstarter and the campaign resumed.
In the spirit of the original document I did agree with Marvel’s council not to use Marvel’s artwork in the marketing of Hi-Fi Color for Comics or on the final cover for the book. I decided to also remove DC art from our marketing for this same reason (to be clear no one from DC contacted me or asked me to do this). I do not want to do anything imply that Marvel or DC has endorsed the book or is backing the book in any way. You will see Jean Gray’s image on the cover has been painted over for the time being and I will create a revised video as well.
For everyone who is backing Hi-Fi Color for Comics please rest assured we do have release forms and permission to use artwork from companies like Marvel, Lucasfilm, IDW, Paramount, J. Scott Campbell, Mike Norton, Terry Moore, and many more. All of the art printed in Hi-Fi Color for Comics is done so only with the express written permission of the Copyright holder or their legal representative.
How can I help? Obviously the DMCA Takedown Notice hurt the campaign. Even though we were down only a few hours the impact was big. We received some negative press today because when it comes to big companies like Marvel vs little guys like Hi-Fi the people reporting tend to assume the worst and report it as such.
The best way you can help is to SHARE the campaign on your social media, to your friends and family, with schools, comic book shops, and libraries. We are only a few thousand dollars away from being funded. Lets not let a mistake by a few big corporate lawyers keep us down. I know working together we can get Hi-Fi Color for Comics FULLY FUNDED this week and move on to our incredible STRETCH GOALS!
Back Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/1eOUfhk
Thank you for backing Hi-Fi Color for Comics.
Mike Norton’s relationship with me and Hi-Fi go back to the days of Devil’s Due where Mike pencilled Voltron which was colored by Hi-Fi. Mike has also worked for DC Comics on titles like Green Arrow, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, and Blue beetle.
A few years ago Mike launched his own sword and sorcery web comic titled, Battlepug. The web series has been a huge success with some of the stories collected into print editions. You will join Moll and her dogs Mingo and Colfax, as she recounts the legend of the Warrior and the Battlepug, a tale of one fearless barbarian and his freakishly large pug. Mike won the Eisner award for Best Digital Comic for Battlepug in 2012.
As you know, it can be difficult for aspiring colorist to find sequential artwork to color. Mike was kind enough to contribute a set of truly stunning Battlepug pages for Hi-Fi Color for Comics. As par of the Stretch Goals for this campaign I will be creating a special new coloring tutorial around Battlepug. You will learn to use Photoshop Texture Brushes to create the organic backgrounds for Battlepug and more. There will be a Battlepug Art-Pack available as a download from Hi-Fi Academy as well as a Battle pug texture brush pack for Adobe Photoshop.
Want to get your hands on this amazing Battlepug art by Mike Norton? Increase your pledge, share, tweet, post flyers in your local comic shop… do whatever you have to do to push Hi-Fi Color for Comics past $14,900 and into the Stretch Goals! You can use this link, Hi-Fi Color for Comics — http://kck.st/1eOUfhk
Hopefully you have been following Revivial by Tim Seely and Mike Norton from Image comics, if not be sure to pick up a copy and see what all the buzz is about. If you are like me you will be hooked right away.
You can find out more about Mike Norton, the comics he is working on and his upcoming convention dates at: ihatemike.com
I hope you are as excited about coloring Mike Norton’s incredible Battlepug art as I am. Help get the word out and lets make it happen! Hi-Fi Color for Comics — http://kck.st/1eOUfhk
Brian Miller is the founder of comic book color studio Hi-Fi colour deisgn and the co-author of Hi-Fi Color For Comics
It feels like we have been working and planning this for years and now the day is finally here, Hi-Fi Color for Comics is LIVE on Kickstarter.
UPDATE: Thanks you to all the amazing fans who have pledged already. Over 150 backers and more than 40% funded in the first few days! Be sure to share the campaign with everyone you know via e-mail and social media using the hashtag #KickstartHFC4C
STRETCH GOALS: Hi-Fi Color for Comics is about 190 pages worth of amazing art instruction for $25. Can you imagine if the book weighed in at close to 400 pages including 10 new chapters? That’s what will happen after we meet the initial funding goal and start hitting the STRETCH GOALS. It’s like including a second book’s worth of content for free!
The Kicstarter campaign for Hi-Fi Color for Comics is only days away and I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the rewards packages we are working on. No T-shirts, key-chains, or other hyphenated knick-knacks just a focus on creating the best art instruction book for comic coloring in the formats that work best. Hi-Fi Color for Comics will contain approximately 170-190 pages of tutorials and projects and when the campaign surges past the stretch goals the additional content will push the page count well over 350 pages giving you the ultimate bang for your buck when it comes to comic coloring instruction. In addition to the print version of Hi-Fi Color for Comics we have also teamed up with ComiXology to bring you the digital edition of the book which is fully compatible with their apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle. The ComiXology edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics makes the perfect companion to the printed book as you can take it with you anywhere you go for quick reference and not have to worry about losing or damaging your print copy of the book.
While we have done our best to keep the price of Hi-Fi Color for Comics as low as possible I urge you, the longtime reader and fan to pledge the highest reward level you can and tell all of your friends to do the same. With your help Hi-Fi Color for Comics will reach the funding goal and stretch goals quickly and become your favorite resource for learning how to color comic books.
Finally, the cover image you will see in the rewards is not the final cover art will be the promotional art we use during the campaign. When we hit our funding goal our friends at Comicraft will be designing a spectacular cover. This promo art should give you some idea of how we plan to focus on the comics, in Hi-Fi Color for Comics. And now, without further ado, the rewards:
What do you think of these rewards packages? Let me know and be sure to sign up below for the Hi-Fi Color for Comics email list below to be notified when the Kickstarter for the new book goes live.
Brian Miller is the founder of comic book color studio Hi-Fi colour deisgn and the co-author of Hi-Fi Color For Comics
When I started writing the first draft of Hi-Fi Color for Comics I wondered what aspects of digital coloring people might find challenging. How could I eliminate technical roadblocks to allow readers to focus on being creative? Over the course of writing the book I created many Photoshop add-ons in the forms of color preference files, brushes, Hi-Fi Helpers, and Photoshop Actions. During the two years of creating the book Hi-Fi even became an official Adobe Developer and worked with an ex-Mars Pathfinder software engineer to create Hi-Fi’s 1-2-3 Automation Scripts for Photoshop. When Hi-Fi Color for Comics was published in 2008 the book was an instant success and much of the positive response was thanks to all the Photoshop add-ons doing exactly what I had hoped they would, allow every aspiring comic colorist to unleash their full creativity. But then I started receiving some disturbing emails…
Dear Mr. Miller, I dropped my copy of the book and my disc is cracked…
I lost my Hi-Fi Color for Comics CD, please help!
I purchased your book used and the disc is missing. Is there somewhere I can download the files?
I got a new computer and it doesn’t have a slot for CDs or DVDs, help me out.
Sadly, my only option was to point each of these readers to the publisher of the original book and hope for the best. I started advising everyone to make a back-up copy of the disc as soon as they purchased the book. To make matters worse the publisher started selling a Kindle version of the book with no way for readers to access any of the Photoshop add-ons or related tutorial files. Things became bleak when Hi-Fi Color for Comics sold-out and the publisher no longer had a source for replacement discs. Meanwhile the emails kept coming in from people who had lost, damaged, and broken discs. There must be a better way.
When the Kickstarter goes live for the new Hi-Fi Color for Comics you will see no mention of a bonus disc. Instead every copy of the book, print edition or ComiXology digital edition, comes with free enrollment in Hi-Fi Academy. What is Hi-Fi Academy? Hi-Fi Academy is a new website we are building as a companion to Hi-Fi Color for Comics. You will be able to download all the Photoshop add-ons needed to use Hi-Fi Color for Comics and when updates are available you will have access to the latest version. You will also find all the files you need for each tutorial at Hi-Fi Academy including Hi-Fi Helpers, video tutorials, as well as the artwork for each tutorial. You will be the first to learn about new tutorials and bonus content too. The goal of Hi-Fi Academy is to teach you everything I know about comic book coloring.
Hi-Fi Academy ensures no more lost, damaged, or broken discs. You can access Hi-Fi Academy at home or when traveling. Hi-Fi Academy works with the print edition and the ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics. And if you still want a physical copy of the files you are free to make a back-up copy onto CD/DVD after downloading from Hi-Fi Academy.
Hi-Fi Academy is just one of the new and improved elements of Hi-Fi Color for Comics and I know you are going to love it!
Want more helpful info like this? Sign up for the Hi-Fi Color for Comics email list below to be notified when the Kickstarter for the new book goes live.