Kickstarter of the Day: A Book that Forces You to Solve Puzzles to Unlock the Next Page

Industrial designer Brady Whitney has created the ultimate puzzle book: one that requires the reader to solve each page before moving on to the next. Made of five wooden laser-cut puzzles/pages, the story revolves around an apprentice of Da Vinci who is similarly trapped reading the Codex and must solve it before his master returns. #Love it!

Kitty Pryde quick sketch! I’m very happy how the face turned out, looks like Ellen Page, the phasing through 2 walls, sorta works :). I also enjoyed the movie a lot, definitely one of the best Xmen movies made!

For what is history, but… huge libel on human nature, to which we industriously add page after page, volume after volume, as if we were holding up a monument to the honor, rather than the infamy of our species.
—  Washington Irving, History of New York
DreamWorks Industry Masterclass Videos

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We’ve been a little absent lately, launching a brand spanking new website! Check out our page for our dreamworksanimation Industry Masterclass, featuring videos from DWA creatives explaining their animation practice.

The Croods Production Designer Christophe Lautrette discusses designing prehistoric worlds and creatures, while Visual FX Supervisor Doug Cooper explains designing Berk in How To Train Your Dragon.

Production Designer Kendal Cronkhite talks about creating the characters for Madagascar and Jason Schleifer, Head of Character Animation, walks the crowd through Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Head to the page and scroll down for image galleries and the videos!
Why The Fuck Aren’t We Talking About Tar Sands Expansion This Election? | VICE | Canada
Canada is trying to convince the world that tar sands expansion and a stable climate are not irreconcilable.

Whether or not to increase extraction from the Alberta tar sands isn’t up for debate this Canadian election. The Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals are on the same page as industry: drill baby, drill! The three main parties bicker only over who has the better plan to get the stuff out of the ground and sold.

Meanwhile, economists, First Nations, scientists, and activists look on bewildered at the lack of substantive discussion over what is often called the largest industrial project on earth, the tar sands.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England (formerly governor of the Bank of Canada), spoke last week in London to insurance and banking executives noting that if there is to be a planetary hope for a stable climate, then a bunch of fossil fuels need to stay in the ground. The UN International Panel on Climate Change calls this a “carbon budget”.

Earlier this year a couple natural resource economists published a study in the scientific journal Nature investigating which specific fossil fuels reserves would have to stay buried to adhere to this carbon budget. They looked at how carbon-emitting various fuel reserves around the globe are. According to their analysis, 85 percent of Canada’s tar sands, which are 17 percent more carbon-emitting than conventional oil sources, would need to remain unburned.

In 2014 there were 166 billion proven barrels of oil in the tar sands and extraction was going at a rate of 2.3 million barrels per day.

Following that math to conclusion, the tar sands have max 30 years left. Then it’s over. The planet’s biggest industrial project would need to be abandoned around 2045.

But the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) estimates a very different trajectory, with extraction in Canada growing steadily to 5.3 million barrels per day by 2030. […]

Prime Minister Harper continues cheerleading for pipeline projects despite strong citizen counter-mobilizations and First Nations lawsuits, like the eight groups in BC challenging the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau touts a vague environmentally responsible approach to energy projects, but chastises Harper for not selling the Keystone XL pipeline well enough to President Obama, who has blocked the bitumen export project. Trudeau promises to institute better environmental assessment frameworks that would gain public confidence and get pipeline projects built, thereby expanding the arteries for western oil to flow out.

While not straying far from Trudeau’s environmental responsibility rhetoric, NDP leader Tom Mulcair argues for refining more oil here in Canada. This, he says, is a departure from the “rip and-ship” export approach characterizing much of the nation’s history, from cod to old-growth forests to buried minerals and fossil fuels. But fundamentally he’s not opposed to digging more carbon out of the ground.

When prominent NDP candidate Linda McQuaig (Toronto Centre) mentioned the clash between climate science and tar sands expansion in August, she immediately backpedalled stating, “I didn’t say I want this oil left in the ground.” Since then the public has sought to understand the party’s position but, as with the Liberal’s stance, details are hard to pin down. “An NDP government will make policy that fits with the facts, instead of playing with the facts to fit the policy,” party press secretary Mélanie Richer told But the party won’t say what facts they are looking at on this issue. And Mulcair stands by the industry, with the only caveat being a call for more local refining. […]

So I just got a job offer from a friend of a friend, which I declined. I think I need to break down exactly why. Here’s the pitch I was sent:

“Here’s the problem: I know a lot of artists. But not many who fit all of the criteria for this job:
1) Works digitally
2) "Comic Book Style,” appropriate to a horror title inspired by classic Marvel “Tomb of Dracula”, “Monsters Unleashed,” “Werewolf By Night,” etc.
3) Able to commit to a workload for a comic released monthly. (20-ish pages is industry standard, but we could get a bit of wiggle room there, since we’re working digital, which breaks the usual “page” concept with swipes that re-use backgrounds, etc.)
and the biggie: 4) Willing to work for a co-wonership stake in the property, rather than a work-for-hire fee. This is not a paid-up-front thing – not for me, and not for the artist. But it has a potential for wider uses of the IP beyond just the digital comic sales – all of which they’d share a cut of.
Very hard to find somebody who fits all those.“

Anyone who has ever worked freelance should recognize this as a very typical pitch for spec work. Spec work is anything that you work on under the promise of being paid for it later, after it’s sold, rather than paid up front for your work. It’s generally seen as skeezy and unprofessional, because it goes unsaid that the artist may never get paid for their work at all, if the comic doesn’t sell. It’s the type of deal often offered by people who have an idea they want to make real but who don’t have the money to pay an artist to create it.

I inquired a little about the person pitching this, and I learned that they work in digital publishing. They are also a teacher. It’s more likely that the comic will really be published with someone who has worked in publishing before, but the fact that a teacher at an art school is trying to pitch spec work makes me pretty sad– this is the kind of thing that young artists often reach for in order to get any kind of freelance work, and are burned when the job fails to pay off. Pretty much any professional will tell you not to take these kinds of jobs unless you have a personal stake in them or are okay with doing the work for free, if at all. This job– like a lot of them– requires an incredible amount of investment of time and effort from the artist (20 pages a month? Are you serious? For comparison, most webcomic artists– who are working on their own ideas, without pay– crank out a page or two a week.) and almost no investment of any kind from the person offering the job.

If you’re somebody who has an idea for a comic and you want to find an artist, rather than trying to find somebody to do spec work (you probably won’t, and if you do, the quality of their work will probably be questionable because experienced artists who can get paid work absolutely will not take these jobs) I’d recommend saving up your money to hire an artist to do a pitch– a short (10-or-so page) summary-type comic showing off your story and where you intend to go with it, its plot and characters, and the quality of work you can put out– and then send that pitch to an indie comic publisher. Last I checked, Image Comics is always accepting submissions from artists and artist-writer teams, but there are plenty of others. Even if it isn’t picked up by a publisher, you still get to see your idea realized, you and the artist both have portfolio pieces to show the quality of your work, and the artist gets paid.

The industry standard page rate is $100/page, and that is what you should expect to pay an artist. We are professionals, we have worked hard for our skills, and we have to pay bills like everyone else. There are dozens upon hundreds of people who want their ideas to be realized as comics, and most of them are willing to pay for it– the ability to convince an artist based on the quality of your ideas alone is one hell of a tough sell when you’re competing against every other person who has an idea for a comic. Willingness to pay an artist shows that you respect them and value their work, and that you are invested in your story enough to invest in it. Please don’t offer spec work– at the very best, it’s disrespectful and might get you a reputation for being shady, and at worst, you’re effectively scamming a young artist out of work that they never get paid for.

tl;dr: Don’t take jobs that offer the possibility of pay someday if the project is successful. These projects are a dime a dozen, it’s very likely that you will never see any money, and there are plenty of jobs that will offer per-page pay as well as royalties. Don’t put out the feelers for finding freelance artists unless you’re willing to pay them for their work; not doing so is disrespectful and shows a lack of investment, and can potentially get you a bad reputation.



   IMAGE+ is a monthly magazine featuring Image’s upcoming releases, as well as bonus creator-owned comics content. Each issue will feature an original, four-page THE WALKING DEAD story concerning Negan’s origins, and created by New York Times bestselling team ROBERT KIRKMAN and CHARLIE ADLARD, for a total of 48 pages of backstory! IMAGE+ will also showcase interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics. IMAGE+ is fans’ premiere source for all things creator-owned.



(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cory Walker (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

Introducing the first nine volumes of the greatest superhero comic in the universe, collected into one massive paperback edition!  
Collects INVINCIBLE #1-47


(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cory Walker, Cliff Rathburn, Jason Howard (CA) John Rauch (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

It’s here: the second massive paperback collection of the greatest superhero comic in the universe! Witness Invincible’s transition from new kid on the block to established superhero! 

Collects INVINCIBLE #48-96.


(W) Robert Kirkman (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

Invincible battles the REANIMEN on the campus of Upstate University.  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to him trouble is brewing–trouble of MARTIAN origin.  Invincible must assemble a team of Earth’s mightiest defenders to go out into space and prevent what could well be the end of mankind!    

Collects INVINCIBLE #36-41.


(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cliff Rathburn (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

Angstrom Levy finally attacks, and the world has never been in more danger! Guest-starring the entire Image Universe… and that’s just the lead-in for Conquest! Invincible faces his most deadly threats yet in this can’t miss volume of the critically acclaimed series.


(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cory Walker, Cliff Rathburn (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

In the aftermath of his battle with CONQUEST, Invincible and his world are left in ruins.  He’s faced with questions he doesn’t know how to answer about his future as a hero and what is needed to actually protect the people of Earth.  Meanwhile: deep in space, Nolan and Allen the Alien are making preparations for the impending VILTRUMITE WAR!  This volume is not to be missed!



(W) Robert Kirkman (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

Collecting issues 71-78, chronicling the Viltrumite War in its entirety, with Invincible and his strongest allies pitted against the entire Viltrumite race. Spanning across the universe, no planet, species, or hero is safe from this epic battle.


(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cliff Rathburn (A/CA) Ryan Ottley

Mark Grayson finds himself at a crossroads: Is fighting battles head-on always the best solution to the world’s greatest threats, or is there a better way?

Collects INVINCIBLE #79-84


(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cory Walker (CA) John Rauch (A/CA) Ryan Ottley, Cliff RathburnThe aftermath of the Viltrumite War continues on! Mark is unprepared for the challenges his brother Oliver and Allen the Alien set before him… get ready for a beat down in the grand Invincible fashion!

Collects INVINCIBLE # 85-90

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Big Data is the cure for big illness

The third industrial revolution is happening right now. Silicon is the new steel and data is the new oil. Now the companies building Big Data ecosystems are about to reap the rewards.

That is the finding from an exhaustive new research report from Morgan Stanley. The 109-page tome traces industrial development through the ages – from the dirty days of coal to today’s pristine data centers. While several sectors such as media, online retail and hospitality have already moved to the new era of data and digitization with great success, the analysts conclude the U.S. economy is still only 27% digital. They expect that metric will reach 43% in ten years and significant rewards will flow to companies that bring the data revolution to little trafficked sectors like pharmaceuticals.

For example, Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development finds the average cost of a new drug in 2013 was almost $1.4 billion. Of that, a material component was the result of high failure rates for drugs tested in human subjects. The appeal of Big Data is better human profiling and drug characterization to reduce attrition. Morgan Stanley analysts believe these cost savings alone, in the United States could be $20 billion per year, or 5% of the $400 billion pharma market. And that is just the start.

BCC Research of Wellesley, Mass., expects the global market for healthcare analytics to triple to $16.9 billion by 2020

Alphabet (GOOGL) began the transition to a holding company two years ago to allow its disparate subsidiaries to shine on their own accord. Its Deep Mind, Calico and Verily units are now focused on all parts of the healthcare value chain. Deep Mind, the artificially intelligent brain best known for defeating a world champion Go player, is working with UK hospitals to help physicians diagnose and treat illnesses better. Calico is a standalone, data driven pharmaceutical company working on longevity. Verily is leveraging its computing and engineering chops to help big pharma firms do more effective research. Last week it formed a joint venture with French drug company Sanofi for diabetes research. This follows similar collaborations with British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and Swiss pharma giant Novartis.

IBM (IBM) has taken a slightly different route. In 2013 it broke out its artificial intelligent Watson computing platform to tackle healthcare through data analytics. Because the unrestricted health data market is fragmented and still relatively young given longstanding industry silos, it has been an aggressive consolidator. In 2015 it bought Merge Health for $1 billion to bolster its medical imaging capabilities. This year it bought Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion. Watson Health general manager Debrorah Disanzo told Bloomberg: “The strategy of IBM is to bring this data together and democratize it so that both IBM and our ecosystem of partners can build health solutions on top of it.”

And that is the key. Big Data will change healthcare in fundamental ways. Alphabet and IBM are taking the lead, building vibrant ecosystems around their Big Data collection and analytic tools.

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