Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cloud 9 Comix Brings Comics from Around the Globe to your iPad

Sydney, Australia, Thursday, January 27, 2011: Spectrum Pacific Publishing managing director
Benjamin Slabak has announced the launch of Australia’s first digital comic book publisher, Cloud 9
Comix. Collecting the best of independent comics from all six continents, Cloud 9 Comix delivers
some of the favorite titles from Italy, France, Croatia, India, Argentina, Australia, USA and many
other countries, with a number of titles fully translated and adapted into English language for the
very first time.

Spectrum Pacific Publishing, founded by Benjamin Slabak in 1996 in Sydney, Australia, have
developed and published over 30 computer games before moving towards digital publishing in 2010
that will cover comic books, magazines, books, as well as casual games for digital handheld devices.

“We are big fans of the international comic book scene and we will bring a number of classic Italian
fumetti, French BD, as well as titles from Asia and South America to the digital platform, starting
with the iPad and following up with Android and other platforms in the coming months”, says Mr
Slabak. “Furthermore, we will work with and support independent comic book authors and small
publishers in making their titles available to an audience that’s wider than ever before. A myriad of
digital tablets and e-reader devices are slated for release during 2011 and we expect the digital
comic book scene to experience a boom in 2011”.

The iPad app, codenamed Silver Lining, available now as a FREE download from iTunes, was
developed internally by Spectrum Pacific Publishing and it features a store-front that lists the
available comics, previews of each comic, and a handy shelf feature where the purchased comics are
stored and easily accessed. The simplicity of use of the app is one of its strengths and the comic
book fans will surely enjoy flipping between the pages of the many comic books and graphic novels
available in the store, with a number of free ones available to download. The full catalog of the
comics is also available on the official website

Cloud 9 Comix has also collected the best of Australian comic book titles under its brand and titles
such as Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes, Vienna, Dark Nebula, Southern Squadron, The Wraith, and
others, which are already available for purchase in the Cloud 9 Comix iPad store.

Mr Slabak drew attention to the quality and clarity of comics on the iPad which is “perfect for comic
books and it allows one to take their comic book collection with them and read them on the go; and
with most comics priced between $0.99 and $1.99 USD, it has never been more affordable to get

back into the wonderful world of comics and graphic novels. Our catalog offers something for
everyone, with new titles being added on regular basis”.

Small publishers and independent studios such as Red Handed Studios, Ratti Entertainment, Spinner
Rack Comics, Black House Comics, Level 10 Comics, Azure Press, Heroic Publishing, Cinemacomics,
Urban Style Comics, Vimanika Comics, and a vast number of others, have joined the ever-growing
Cloud 9 Comix family, which now features over 150 unique titles from all six continents, making
Cloud 9 Comix the only truly global digital comic book publisher. Additionally, comics will be
available in a variety of languages including Italian, Spanish, German, Croatian, and others.

“We are excited about launching Cloud 9 Comix and look very much forward to building our brand
and reaching new audiences with much content never before accessible on the global scale. This is
an opportunity for independent authors and publishers to show their labour of love to the world
which would not be possible without the digital platform”, says Mr Slabak. “I invite everyone with an
iPad to download our free app and sample some of the comic book titles available from us.”

“Come join us, we’re on Cloud 9!”

Official Cloud 9 Comix promo video:

The Dark Nebula, The Southern Cross & The Southern Squadron are all now available through Cloud 9 Comix - coming to an Ipad near you.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comicsmonkey Goes Live!

Press Release 12-14-2009


COMICSMONKEY.COM GOES LIVE! Print-On-Demand technology comes to comics shops with the launch of!, a revolutionary new comics distribution service for direct sales market comics shops, brings comics distribution into the 21st century. uses print-on-demand technology and the world wide web to eliminate the hassles of traditional distribution -- no more pre-sales, no more advance ordering, and absolutely no more worries about late shipping. With its entire catalog and ordering system online simplifies the ordering process while also providing retailers with more information than ever before about the products available to them.

"I think people will be amazed by the sheer volume of great comics that they had no idea even existed," ," says ComicsMonkey co-founder Barry Gregory. "We've got a selection that really runs the gamut. We've got comics, manga, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks. We've got everything from slick, full color superhero comics to black & white underground style comics and everything in-between. We've got comics from well known industry veterans as well as by talented newcomers. There are hundreds of titles available right now and we add to our catalog every day.

"The majority of our products have never been available to the direct market before and because of that we're doing our best to take the guess work out of what to order. Each item listed in our catalog comes with sample pages as well as a series overview and an individual issue synopsis. We want retailers to really see what's available to them."'s products are available to all brick-and-mortar comic book specialty shops as well as to established online comic shops. There are no minimum orders, no fees of any type, discounts up to 50% off of cover price, and free shipping on orders that total more than $500 retail.

All orders are printed and processed by Ka-Blam Digital Printing (, the leader in the rapidly expanding world of comics printed on demand.
# # # is a subsidary of 01 Comics Inc. Founded in 2003, 01 Comics is a publisher services company dedicated to serving the needs of independent publishers through its network of affliated web sites. In addition to, 01 Comics also owns and operates Ka-Blam Digital Printing as well as IndyPlanet ( the online indy comics superstore.

# # #
Australian graphic novelist & publisher Tad Pietrzykowski, creator of The Dark Nebula & The Southern Cross, has affiliated himself with Ka-Blam & Comicsmonkey & is looking forward to having his books made available to the direct sales comics specialty retail market worldwide. His material can also be viewed at his website,

Tad can be contacted for interviews on 0403.301.250

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Everything kicks into high gear with 'The Trial of The Dark Nebula

It's often said it's always darkest before the dawn - truer words have never been spoken when it comes to The Trial of The Dark Nebula.In the events that led to the creation of The Dark Nebula, a champion of Life, created by Death, Mark Medula & the alien Cerellus of Caileu killed one another, with both being reborn in Mark Medula's body, while Cerellus remained a disembodied spirit in the recesses of Mark's mind.Now Mark Medula must face Caileuan law for the death of Cerellus. Good luck finding a defence as he is considered an inferior being & therefore unworthy of any defence at all. Worse, Mark's had his hands full keeping Cerellus under wraps - what happens when he's faced with a planet of Caileuans, each gifted with the same psionic abilities?It's a no-win situation yet win Mark must, otherwise Earth will fall.Brace yourself for The Dark Nebula's greatest challenge yet in The Trial of The Dark Nebula, starting this week on

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Southern Cross Special Edition - out now at

After much time & deliberation The Golden Age Southern Cross' adventures are collected now for the first time, in full colour, & available on

Average bloke Gordon Russell, who stars in The Southern Cross radio serial, through a strange twist of fate actually becomes the character in real life & there you have the premise for The 'Golden Age' Southern Cross. Gordon finds himself facing saboteurs, siding with secret agents & an evil plot to assasinate the Prime Minister! Told in the 'Golden Age' tradition of Jack Kirby & Will Eisner this story features all the thrills & excitement of yesteryear, when men were men & nasty was spelt 'N-A-Z-I'.

This 62 page trade paperback is priced competitively with other mainstream graphic novels & makes for an attractive showpiece on the bookshelf.

Just follow the link -

The magic is yours to own - & check out the on-line adventures at

The Dark Nebula 'Origins' out now at

Finally after many months & much deliberation, the first Dark Nebula graphic novel in 15 years is finally available in print through you can enjoy your very own prestige edition copy of The Dark Nebula in full colour.'Origins' collects the first two stories that launched the cult Australian series on the web in time for the character's 25th Anniversary with fresh art re-imagining yesterday's hero as he leaps into the world of tomorrow. from the far reaches of outer space to the grime filled back alleys of a city filled with crime discover how a hero is made & a prophesy is fulfilled!Just click on the link & see for yourself.
This 72 page trade paperback is priced very competitively with other mainstream graphic novels & makes for an attractive showpiece on the bookshelf.Check it out, the magic is now yours to own - & check out the on-line adventures at

The Southern Squadron - 'doin' the Walrus Rock

The Southern Squadron have faced off against The Dark Nebula's arch nemesis The Grandstander in 'Behind Bars' & now it's time to square the ledger as they pursue him to the isolated Walrus Rock where things may not be as they seem & they encounter more than meets the eye.As a bonus, there are the events that lead to this encounter, The Bi-Centennial Ball, where anyone who's anyone is in attendance & the Squadron are on security detail, ensuring everyone's safety - or at least that's supposed to be the plan.Watch everything go pear-shaped, Squadron style, starting this week at & dig the groovy cover by Superman artist, Jerry Ordway!

The Dark Nebula, lost in The Chaos War?

Round one of The Chaos War has gone to the living embodiment of Chaos, with Mark Medula trapped powerless in the past, as is Cerellus in the distant future.Having long-yearned for separation it seems that the only way to overcome Chaos is to somehow reunite to become The Dark Nebula once again - or will our hapless heroes find themselves locked in combat with one another if they do somehow come face to face?Just what is Chaos' goal? Can he in fact destroy The Dark Nebula or is there something far more sinister planned for our hero & his component protagonists?The answer can only be found in part two of 'The Chaos War', starting this week on

The Southern Squadron delve into the mystery of 'The Tasmanian Devil File'

On the tail for their foray in the land of 'The Long Black Cloud' (sorry, that's the Nightfighter's name for it, not mine), the Southern Sqaudron investigate the mystery of the Tasmanian Devil, as it's called. Narrated by Adam West, the mighty Nightfighter, Bertram Davis, The Southern Cross & Costas Borgus, The Dingo, this Lt. Smith solo adventure explores a dock-side mystery in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart amidst sightings by drunken sea-men, a suspicious fishing vessel & an inquiry by a one-eyed American soldier/spy. Saddle up for a sea-side mystery at

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Dark Nebula is plunged into The Chaos War

Having endured the trials brought on by 'Asylum' The Dark Nebula is faced with his next crisis, or more to the point IT seeks him out.
The living embodiment of the concept of Chaos has manifested to subdue & neutralise the Dark Nebula, by splitting him into his component parts, that of Col. Mark Medula & the Caileuan, Cerellus.
What is hoped to be achieved by this division - & is it something that can be reversed, or even consented to by these two dueling parties who couldn't be happier now that they are finally apart?
The answers to these questions & the most important one, what is Chaos' ultimate goal can only be found in 'The Chaos War', a two-part epic, commencing this week on

The Southern Squadron in New Zealand in 'Who Dares Wins'

The Southern Squadron in their pursuit of political incorrectness (at least in the case of the Nightfighter) find themselves butting heads with their 'Kiwi' counterparts, the Waitangi Rangers in a joint exercise where things may or may not go pear-shaped. Will Lt. Smith be able to keep the peace or is the Nightfighter's big mouth going to land him in hot water with the New Zealand authorities as well as those they're supposed to deal with. The only way you'll find out is to check out the latest misadventure of this dysfunctional far-from-fantastic four in 'Who Dares Wins', starting this week at - oh & check out the brilliant cover by Mike Grell!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Dark Nebula has a 'time-out' in 'Asylum'

Mark Medula is The Dynamic Dark Nebula - or is he? Could it all be a delusion & this poor, sad, pathetic wretch cowering in a corner of a mental institution is simply mentally unhinged? Or could something even more sinister be brewing. While other mainstream comics have done this theme (or something similar) since this was the first, finally available outside Australia for the first time.'Asylum', starting this week on

The Southern Squadron - Behind Bars!

We've seen what happened when the Squadron (& the Uncanny A-Men >groan<) Moved Home, now check out what happens when the Squadron finds itself literally Behind Bars, starting next week at Oh, & did I forget to mention that they face a Dark Nebula villain? None other than The Grandstander! Cheers, Tad

& the Walls come Tumbling Down!

Things are moving at a cracking pace on the Dark Nebula website, & with print editions just around the corner, the subscription wall has come down.Now's a great chance to check out all the material that's been tucked away behind the subscription wall.The bulk of the inventory is coloured & work is progressing on the coloured print editions, which I've had quite a few inquiries about.All this stuff has only ever been available in black & white & the response to the coloured material on the website has been phenomenal.Project Wonderful ads are up on the website & any of you who has internet business should take advantage of the 'honeymoon rates'on te website.If you haven't as yet, come & check out Australia's greatest vintage superheroes who've made the leap into the new millenium. Cheers, Tad

And now.. The Grandstander!

Heroes are always defined by the villains they encounter & this story is The Dark Nebula's first encounter with one of his greatest enemies, The Grandstander - the smuggest, self-serving son of a bitch you're going to love to hate to love.He's a killer-for-hire with flair, style, taste, charm, wit, devilishly handsome & he's forcing me to type every word of this.Some characters take on a life of their own & the Grandstander has a knack of finding himself in the spotlight, largely because that's the way he likes it.Careful, he'll take you off-guard - you'll find yourself cheering for him, then he'll kill you where you stand. He may be even good enough to take out The Dark Nebula.There's only one way to find out - The Challenge of The Grandstander, starting this week on http://www.thedarknebula.comDon't forget the popcorn!Cheers,Tad

Hold On To Your Braincells - Here comes the Southern Squadron!

Starting Tuesday the Dark Nebula website is running on all cylinders with the serialisation of The Southern Squadron, Australia's own trouble-shooters.The Squadron has already made their debut overseas in a couple of brilliant mini-series with Aircell comics back in the 90's but this is the first time that the Squadron will be seen anywhere in full colour.Starting with two superb show-piece stories by creator Dave de vries & Gary Chaloner, 'Moving Home' & 'Behind Bars', you'll discover why the Southern Squadron are as much-loved as Dark Nebula Down Under.Meet Lt. Smith, The Nightfighter, The Dingo & the Modern Age Southern Cross an unlikely & sometimes dysfunctional combination that somehow always come through & save the day - only at Southern Squadron & The Dark Nebula live in the same 'universe' & move around in similar circles - fighting the same foes & even each other somewhere down the track. When these guys meet, real sparks fly.For old & new fans alike this will be a real treat & a welcome addition to the Dark Nebula website.It also means there will now be a new page of sequential art on the Dark Nebula website every day, with Dark Nebula, The Southern Squadron & The Golden Age Southern Cross.Check it out - over 12,000 have already. Cheers, Tad

Project Wonderful is now set up on the Dark Nebula website

Hi, we've just set up the Project Wonderful aspect of the Dark Nebula website so, in its formative stage, you'll be able to grab your free ad-space - so it's a case of first in, best dressed. With over 12,000 hits to the D.N. website in under 6 months it's as good a reason as any to take advantage of that sort of traffic. Cheers, Tad

Even The Dark Nebula has Nightmares

'Nightmare', the latest installment on the Dark Nebula website is the only Dark Nebula story I never wrote. Shea Anton Pensa, who went on to do The Butcher & The Brave & the Bold for D.C. wrote & illustrated this gem 20 years ago & I added the colours to it recently. It's a glimpse at what happens when The Dark Nebula sleeps - he visits the land of the dead & sometimes that's not a pleasant experience at all.Also, starting with this installment we're trying something a little different - the latest page uploaded to will be free to view, then goes behind the subscriber wall when it's superceded by the next page to come up. I love this medium, so many fun options to play with!

Dark Nebula turns 25! - & I'm not talking issues here!

2007 marks 25 years since The Dark Nebula made his debut Down Under & in New Zealand. Yes, D.N. first hit the shelves back in 1982 - the same week that Nexus debuted! It is only fitting that is fully up & running with more on offer every day. Already the new version of the classic origin has been widely cheered & received & the new version of the second adventure, The Earth Alive, is being serialised - the origin of Planet Earth, the first hero with earth-based powers created to finally make his appearance on the world stage.Soon the adventures of The Southern Squadron will be available on the website, as many of their adventures & the Dark Nebula's intersect it is only fitting the full story is told. The Southern Squadron has been on the world stage before via a classic mini-series through Malibu back in the early 90's but they'll be presented in sequence with the adventures of the Dark Nebula, culminating in the D.N. / Squadron crossover which has never been seen outside of Australia & New Zealand in the pages of the classic Dark Nebula #7 & #8 - all for the first time in brilliant colour.As well, the adventures of the Golden Age Southern Cross continues - a brilliant period-piece which has had some people ask 'was this an actual hero of the Golden Age of comics?'.It's all systems go for The Dark Nebula's 25th year - oh, & did I fail to mention that new adventures are being worked on as I type this?Make the Dark Nebula part of your life, go to and find out how a classic hero from the past has made the transition into the future.

This Earth Alive!

After the huge success of placing the Origin of the Dark Nebula on the website in huge blocks for quick introduction, regular updates appear on with the serialisation of the second Dark Nebula adventure, 'This Earth Alive'. Updates appear every Monday, Wednesday & Friday. This is guaranteed as the material was all completed some time ago &, in fact the bulk of the inventory material to follow was done over 15 years ago. I've been busy colouring away & not only is the complete Dark Nebula inventory close to completion in colour but the Southern Squadron isn't too far from hitting the website either. It's all systems go at Dark Nebula Central!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why’d it all come to a screaming halt?

After I did #8 of Dark Nebula back in 1991/1992 I was going to take a break for a couple of months & launch back in with Dark Nebula # 9 - 12. That didn’t happen. many factors came into consideration at that time which led to my decision not to continue but the major one was fore-seeing the landscape of comics at the time.

Marvel were going to glut the market with an inordinate amount of extraneous titles, designed to flood the market & flush out the little guys (including me).

I could see my money either being set alight, flushed down the toilet, wasted on publishing, or i could hang on to it. I waited for a better climate to emerge - hello worldwideweb! It's been a long time between drinks & I'm sure everyone's parched but it's worth the wait.

How to kill a conversation?

Many people look at my surname & give up while they’re still behind. It’s pronounced ‘Pee-et-cha-kov-ski’ - it works better when you’re drunk.

What’s the best murdered spelling of your name you have come across??

Oh, the list is long & distinguished, not unlike the length of my actual surname, but the honor of the greatest dog’s breakfast that ANYONE’s ever come up with my surname, goes to an insurance company that addressed a letter to Pieter Zykowski - I mean, seriously, there are names more complicated than mine out there & they still look at my name like it’s a Christian & Surname all rolled into one - puh-leeze!

Uncharted territory

When the inventory material of Dark Nebula is exhausted the new material, I believe, will be well worth the wait. I’m interspersing old plots with newly conceived plots to ‘pepper’ the time-line from the way it was originally intended. The way we did storytelling before had to be really concise, couldn’t have too many sub-plots going all at once, because you were never sure when it was over. Now I see no reason to have more sub-plots running con-currently. Still getting to the desired end-result without overt confusion but an ability to overlap stories more. That was a luxury I thought I’d never see.

Hold onto your braincells!

I’ve been asked what level of involvement the Southern Squadron will have on the website. Basically, we’re running the seminal stuff Dave, Gary & Glenn did, chiefly because of the inter-relation between D.N. & the Squadron, which culminated in the popular D.N./Southern Squadron crossover in D.N. #7 & 8. With all the good stuff in between it’d be a shame to have stuff not seen on the world stage - kind of like all the charm of a smile with a missing tooth. After we’ve exhausted all the Squadron inventory material I’ve spoken to Dave about inter-weaving the Squadron where they’ll help with the overall tapestry of any given story. It’d be a shame for their involvement to come to a screaming halt. For those instances I want Dave to have autonomy over the ‘Squadron bits’ (hell, it worked in the crossover) - that way everyone’s happy!

Oh, just to add to this, I’m not limiting this to just the Squadron. I’ve got some story ideas I’ve loosely plotted that involve Gary’s Jackaroo & Flash Damingo. It’s great to already picture specific sequences in my mind’s eye & I can see D.N’s first meeting with Flash.

where do we go from here?

Now that is live & happening, this year ahead is focused on presenting all the stories in sequence as they were originally intended. The first two adventures which i felt were a little weak art-wise were re-done by the very talented Shane Foley, who’s set the tone for the series quite frankly. Then, all the inventory will be presented in colour for the first time. This will include the Southern Squadron-related stories which featured Grandstander, my most popular villainous creation, & Crossover, the Southern Cross-featured story. After that, it’s continuing on, business as usual, from where we left off.

Where do you get inspiration?

Inspiration is wherever you look - you’d be surprised at what can inspire you. For me it’s when I'm driving or riding, the passing scenery seems to unlock the key to new ideas, doing something menial with my hands (gardening, etc) also helps unleash inspiration.

Music is a biggie. I’ve written stories directly inspired by songs - my popular villain Grandstander was inspired by a Don McLean song off his American Pie album ‘Everybody Loves Me Baby’. The story ‘Asylum’ was inspired by a song of the same title by Supertramp. A short story I did in Southern Aurora Comics Presents, ‘The Other Side of Life’ was inspired by a song of the same name by the Moody Blues. Oh, & Roadtrip was inspired by an ‘Eddie & the Cruisers’ song by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, ‘On the Open Road’.

Oh, & if someone with a really interesting name makes my aquaintance, they’re fair game too. I have over the years used names I felt quirky & unique in the most unsual ways. I have, in fact, a major villain coming up in the next year or so based on a harmless old man's ( & really nice guy) surname, because it inspired me.

Required reading

If i can get someone onto good reading then my job is done. If a child isn’t reading, the key is to get them onto comics because then they are at least reading something. The trick from there is to get them onto literature.

If someone asked me what I’d like to see someone get into reading after they started with comics I’d have this semi-short list:

The James Herriot All Creatures Great & Small series of books, 'Gladiator' by Phillip Wylie, 'The Power & the Glory', 'Catcher in the Rye', any Robert Heinlein book except I Will Fear No Evil, but my personal faves are Door into Summer, Stranger in a Strange Land, Double Star & the original Starship Troopers, E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s Lensmen series, Day of the Triffids, ANYTHING by H.G. Wells, A Stitch in Time, oh, My Brother Jack - & probably a few more I can’t recall off the top of my head.

Any gems of literature anyone care to add to that distinguished list?

How to World-Build

The way we define our characters & the worlds that each of them live in isthe good old concept of ‘world-building’. It’s amazing how far we can stretch the envelope for the reader without it snapping in their faces as they read it, largely because we establish the believeable parameters, some which we don’t disclose from the outset but introduce in time. I’ve always found the easier it is to write, the easier it is to read. If you have some thoughts you wish to add to this I'd be happy to hear them.