For October I decided to support a wonderful free resource instead of my usual software endorsement for this month’s Adobe Offsetting. As an artist, it’s always helpful to acquire quick visual escapes which provide reference and inspiration for future creations. The Digital Comics Museum (DCM) provides that immersion with a catalogue of thousands of downloadable golden-age comics at your disposal for free.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with comics. And since I’m the youngest of all my cousins, there were tons of comics from different eras available at my grandparents’ house. It was great being exposed to titles like Kirby’s Fantastic Four or Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. These books fueled my imagination from even before I could read. The art in Epic magazine or countless monster movie magazines showing make-up artist techniques kept me engaged for hours— probably making my time with my grandparents enjoyable for them.
The only thing between you and endless volumes of golden-age content is registering as a member of the Museum. Once you have a user name and log-in, you can download to your hearts content.
From what I can tell, there’s no way to download entire titles. You’re force to download each individual issue, which can take some time, but it’s worth it. I can normally download up to five issue at a time. After five, the website won’t download anything else until at least one of my previous five selections has finished downloading.
There are great horror titles like Nightmare or Tales of Horror. If you fancy The Spirit or Phantom Lady, they have you covered. Recently, I’ve been enjoying Crime by Women and The Saint. You can indulge in comics published before the repressive comics code; corrupting you mind with comics from a time before censors.
Now just like open-source software, the comics from the DCM are free and clear. There are no copyright restrictions and you can enjoy reading any of the titles without paying for access. But just like open-source software, if you want the Museum to continue, grow, and thrive; you need to support it. They have a donation page where you can give as little or as much as you want. It’s your support that continues their mission. If you use the service and find that you like it, definitely consider contributing a few bucks. That money will help keep their servers up and running; giving everyone the historic gift of golden-age greatness.
As part of my monthly contribution, I am also a subscribing member of the Blender Cloud with a reoccurring monthly donation. If you are first learning Blender, the site is a wonderful resource of videos for learning modeling and animation techniques. They also have access to all the art and assets from their upcoming open-source animation, The Gooseberry Project.