It's Not Rocket Science!
As seen on Bleeding Cool News!
by George Peter Gatsis
2011 - 12 - 29
Getting my comic onto the AppStore.

I have been producing/publishing Canada's first computer generated comic book (The Black Diamond Effect) since 1990. It is also the first comic book to be produced with nearly 100% vector based graphics! Unlike everyone else at the time who was generating bitmapped graphics of various quality... vector was and still is clean and non-destructive.

For the years following I would continue to step ahead with technology. Drawing, writing, building layouts and testing new methods. HECK, I even taped a pencil to the mouse controller and tried to do tracings of artwork I drew on paper into the computer... That only lasted for one day. It was very difficult to maintain a perfect "north" position on the mouse as you trace artwork into the computer. It's fun. It's exciting. I relish stepping into undiscovered territory when it comes to art... until a couple of years ago... when I got an iPhone.

I wanted to put all my comics on the AppStore for sale or free download. I looked around and got pricing that ranged from $2,000 to $12,000!!

HOLEY MOLEY! That's insane I thought. There is no way I am going to dish out that kind of money. Especially when, even after they build my comic app, they will control the deployment and want a revenue sharing cut.

So, I got to thinking... I "THUNK" how did an app get to the AppStore for distribution?

Well that was easy to find out... You become an APP DEVELOPER with Apple.
Cost: $99 US.

One year later... progress has been made... but slow. My day job and family ( for some reason, just when I thought I was out... they drag me back ) did take up a lot of my time.

Then I decided to add a new element into the mix of creating my comic book app. Reach out into the internet and buy code to include in my app. Yep, it's done all the time. I searched and searched. Nobody came up as a credible option for me... not until I hit :


The codestore was offering $29.00 for the source code to building your own comic book app! For that cost, I could take a chance on a Paypal purchase. BUT WAIT... for $59.00 you could get ALL the different Apps source code they offered! Heck, why not.

Made the Paypal purchase, got the download links, followed the instructions and my first working Comic Book App was done!

But that wasn't enough for me. I am a very lazy guy and wanted my comic book app to work for both left hand and right handed people. I wanted my app to work with as little interaction as possible. I wanted my app to be able to browse through the entirety of my content by any hand-held configuration. If I was on the public transit system or if I was on the couch, I wanted to go forward and backwards with my comfort zone fully engaged! ( think of someone drunk and passed out on the couch ) Except I wasn't drunk. Really.

So I got my lazy self to designing the interface for my comic app.

No pinching or swiping... Just a single tap and a double tap.
That is as simple as it gets to navigate my comic app.

Once the design was done, I hired the Codestore to make my design a reality... and WAMMO! My comic book app is done and ready. A few tweeks later, it becomes a universal app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch... and a unique vertical and horizontal version to boot!

Now all I have to do now is make a copy of the source directory and:

  1. change a few lines of code, like the name of the app, the version number, the number of pages
  2. change the thumbnail menu configuration by modifying an html page and re-sizing the thumbnail jpgs
  3. modify the resolution of the pages to fit the iPad and the iPhone exactly
  4. make sure the external links to my website's and other apps work in the menu
  5. final review of what I would sell it for
  6. submit to Apple
  7. wait for about a week to be approved or a few days for an update

All this could be done with the basic source material you get from the codestore...
I just like my interface better.

  1. Getting my comic onto the AppStore.
  2. To become an APP DEVELOPER with Apple:
  3. Get an ISBN number:
  4. What is an ePUB?
  5. BUT do you need the AppStore?
  6. Thoughts behind this passing of knowledge.
  7. If all this is still rocket science to you...
    How about this to get the New Year started off
  8. Wait a minute... Who the heck is George Peter Gatsis?