George Bellows. One of the best.



I’m working on research and thumbnails for the last of series of work-for-hire comic book shorts I’ve had on my plate since last year.

It’s an interesting feeling - consciously turning down work, especially pretty much guaranteed published work. For a long time, that’s 100% what I focused on, to the detriment of doing quite a few personal projects. Now on the horizon, at least comic work wise, that’s all there is and I’m nervous as hell. 



FiftyThree’s story began with Paper. What began with three guys building an app out of a New York City apartment has gone on to become one of the most celebrated applications on iOS, defining mobile creativity and winning Apple’s 2012 iPad App of the Year. Paper embodied our belief that technology should support the human need to create. It’s a beautifully simple app that lets anyone capture their ideas and share them over the web. For millions of creators around the world, Paper is where they call home for their ideas—100 million, in fact, over the last two years. Paper has come to represent endless creative potential, and we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to our story.

Stories have twists.

So it came as a surprise when we learned on January 30th with everyone else that Facebook was announcing an app with the same name—Paper. Not only were we confused but so were our customers (twitter) and press (1,2,3,4). Was this the same Paper? Nope. Had FiftyThree been acquired? Definitely not. Then, what’s going on?

We reached out to Facebook about the confusion their app was creating, and they apologized for not contacting us sooner. But an earnest apology should come with a remedy.

Stories reveal character.

There’s a simple fix here. We think Facebook can apply the same degree of thought they put into the app into building a brand name of their own. An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.

On a personal level we have many ties to Facebook. Many friends, former students and colleagues are doing good work at Facebook. One of Facebook’s board members is an investor in FiftyThree. We’re a Facebook developer, and Paper supports sharing to Facebook where close to 500,000 original pages have been shared. Connections run deep.

What will Facebook’s story be? Will they be the corporate giant who bullies their developers? Or be agile, recognize a mistake, and fix it? Is it “Move fast and break things” or “Move fast and make things”?

We’re all storytellers. And we show care for each other by caring for our stories. Thanks for supporting us.

Georg Petschnigg
Co-Founder and CEO

The whole series of animated interviews by Blank on Blank is great, but this Ray Charles one has some great thoughts and quotes. Many folks in my industry want to be ‘rock stars.’ I think I want to be Ray Charles.

This is type of stuff I watch/listen too when I’m stuck on a project. BECAUSE SPACE IS AWESOME.


Original page by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez from Deadman #4, published by DC Comics, June 1986.




Designer: Erik Buckham / Palaceworks

Poster source: IMPAwards

Great article that was sent my way by @beverhoeven.