Friday, 3 October 2008

ROK Launches GeekSpark

With the mobile social network market predicted to grow from 54 million users in 2008 to 730 million user in the next 5 years, ROK Entertainment, owners of ROK Comics, has announced the imminent worldwide launch of GeeSpark, the world’s first mobile viral messaging service.

The fastest growth in the mobile social networking market will come from the Far East and China, according to Juniper Research in a report published this week. In addition, Juniper predicts it will be advertising-funded mobile social networks which will drive the revenue growth of user-generated content from $1.1 billion in 2007 to $7.4 billion in 2013.

Following the hugely successful adoption of broadcast messaging on computers, where users share messages with multiple friends at the same time, GeeSpark will enable users to chat, share messages, images and YouTube videos on their mobile phones and forward these to their friends and groups, in a viral fashion.

GeeSpark has been developed by ROK’s Finland-based mobile services development company, Geniem. GeeSpark is currently in invitation-only Beta mode and will be advertising-funded. The service is free to join from and is free to use providing the user has a data plan in their mobile tariff. 

“In the past few years, there has been a phenomenonal uptake in, and migration from, the use of email onto instant messaging and now onto multi-person ‘broadcast’ messaging using PC-based social networking services" said Tuomas Kumpula, Managing Director of Geniem, “and we believe the next evolution in the networking space will be through mobile phones wherein GeeSpark users can share messages, images and videos from YouTube with all of their friends at once, on a viral basis, through their mobile phones."

Commenting on GeeSpark, Laurence Alexander, Group CEO of ROK said “To be launching the world’s first mobile viral messaging service is tremendously exciting and is another major milestone in the development and deployment of our suite of revenue-generating mobile services and technologies.”

Thursday, 2 October 2008

ROK And A Hard Place Comics Competition Winner

ROK Comics is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2008 ROK and A Hard Place Comics Competition, run in association with the Birmingham International Comic Show, is British comics artist Ian Stacey.

Ian’s entry, titled “Noah and A Hard Place” was a stand out winner for the BICS team and wins him a Nokia 95 mobile worth almost £500.

The BICS judges also spoke highly of John Maybury’s “SpaceBabe” entry and Ian’s other shortlisted entry, “Crossroads and A Hard Place”.

You can view all the winners at here on

Working in partnership with BICS (, ROK Comics threw down the challenge to creators to create a comic revealing a life changing moment.

“The Noah strips works on every level,” felt James Broxton, who judged the winners from a high quality shortlist along with indie comics distributor Shane Chebsey, owner of Smallzone Comics, and also a BICS organiser. “It’s a nice job, and Ian is a deserved winner.”

“It’s fantastic news,” said Ian on learning of his win, “Thank you very much and thanks also for finding my work a new home.”

Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Ian Stacey had already won high acclaim for his ongoing strip Wet Paint before taking the plunge and bringing it to ROK Comics for web and mobile distribution. “There’s some very funny material that made me laugh out loud,” says Monty Python team member Terry Jones, while top comic creator Alan Grant has described Ian as “an exceptionally funny cartoonist.

“He aims at just about every target under the sun, from genetic modification to Batman, and hits the mark in every case.”

Ian recently began offering a collection of many of his Wet Paint cartoons for sale via his web site (, with all proceeds going to the Big Issue Foundation.

“When we first discussed the idea of a competition to tie in with BICS we were determined to stretch comic creators from the get go,” says ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman. “The cartoonists rose to the challenge, with some great entries.”

“We wanted comics with someone telling the story of a difficult choice they've had to make in their life,” said Shane. “It certainly made a change from superheroes.”

"We at BICS love the way that ROK Comics is so accessible to both creators and readers,” Shane adds, “and feel that working together we can help to bring the wonderful medium of comics to a wider readership. Mobile phones are now the most widely used method of communication in the world, so it seems the perfect way to present new comics to more people than ever before".

ROK Comics delivers the means for both comic publishers and creators to reach a worldwide audience by delivering comics to mobile phones, either by WAP subscription of Pay Per Download via Multi Media Messaging (MMS).

Creators publishing professionally via ROK Comics will receive up to 50% of the available revenue on every sale, with full access to sales statistics, viewings and more.

• The Birmingham International Comic Show takes place this coming weekend, Saturday – Sunday 4 -5 October 2008 at the ThinkTank, Birmingham.

ROK Comics 2008 Humour Competition Winners

ROK Comics is pleased to announce that the overall winner of its 2008 Humour Comic Competition is David Fletcher, for his strip featuring Crumb, his crazy, ever-hungry blackbird character.

David’s entry, titled Pitter Patter was a stand out winner for the editorial team at top Egmont comic TOXIC, who were the external judges for the competition which ran through August this year on the ROK Comics web site, and wins him a Nokia 95 mobile worth almost £500.

TOXIC editor Matt Yeo describes the strip, which stars Crumb and his rat friend as “A punchy quick-fire gag, with simple yet effective illustrations!”

Runners up were ClownoSaurus by Peter Coupe (“The ancient tale of a bizarre clown-based dinosaur. What’s not to like?!” says Matt) and Meteoro by Puerto Rican comics creator Vicente Aviles (“Classic euro-art, backed with madcap energy!”) starring El Profe.

Vicente, who has been publishing strips to ROK Comics since it started last year, originally published the strip in English, but has recently added Spanish versions at the suggestion of the ROK Comics team, and this entry qualified for consideration for the competition.

Responding to Matt’s comments, Vicente says “I'd say that I always liked the European comics style, and is the style which I've always trying to emulate, so... I have accomplished it! I wish someday I have the opportunity to publish a comic book.” (you can read more El Profe at

Crumb is just one of top New Zealand-based cartoonist David Fletcher many cartoon creations. David’s cartoons are published in over 30 newspapers worldwide including New Zealand’s top-selling TV Guide (which has some 800,000 readers a week), the New Zealand Herald and the Australian Daily. The strip is now available in Chinese and through the whole ROK Comics mobile and online distribution network.

“It's great to have all the long hours slaving over a graphics tablet recognised by someone of Matt Yeo's standing,” says David. “My fourteen year old son's eyes lit up at the thought of getting his hands on the Nokia. No chance! Crumb's become very much part of my life and I'm still hoping one day he'll be able to support me into my old age.”

ROK Comics delivers the means for both comic publishers and creators to reach a worldwide audience by delivering comics to mobile phones, either by WAP subscription of Pay Per Download via Multi Media Messaging (MMS).

Creators publishing professionally via ROK Comics will receive 50% of the available revenue on every sale, with full access to sales statistics, viewings and more.

“We were delighted with the quality of entries for the competition and pleased the shortlisted entries tickled the fancy of the demanding TOXIC team, who were our external judges,” said John Freeman, ROK Comics Managing Editor and former editor for titles such as the UK Simpsons Comic, Doctor Who Magazine and Star Trek Magazine.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Scattered Comics Contest

To celebrate the release of the first issue of its full-colour comic Scattered, Scattered Comics, the publishing house featuring the work of Night Owl artist Jason Dube, have created a cool cover contest.

Your challenge is to create an original, cool, jaw-dropping cover art as inspired by Scattered #1.

(Follow this link to see pages from the comic for you to use as inspiration)… the rest is up to you and your creative artistic minds!

Submit entries to Jason Dube at

The Winner of the competition will have their cover used as a variant edition cover for Scattered#1 and you will receive 10 Free copies of that issue to show off or sell. Scattered Comics will also run a bio feature about the winner inside the comic itself and the Scattered website(s).

The runner ups will have their submission in the comic with name and contact information.

• You must be 13 years or older to participate
• This is a worldwide contest.
• The art can be created by using any media.
• You may submit more than one entry: online entries only, hardcopies not accepted;
Entries are to be inspired by the linked comic book. (See:
• Entries must be submitted before 11:59:59 PM (PST) ON November 15th, 2008. Entries after this date will not be accepted
• All entries must be 11” x 17” and at least 360dpi
• Acceptable file formats: TIFF, PSD, EPS, PDF, JPEG
• The Work (i) may not have been previously published or won any other prize/award, (ii) must be the exclusive original work of the entrant, (iii) must be in keeping with the Sponsors™ image, (iv) may not be inappropriate, offensive, libelous or defamatory, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful or plagiarized, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion, (v) must not be harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, profane, obscene, excessively violent, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable or offensive in any way, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, (vi) may not violate or encourage others to violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation, (vii) may not defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any persona’s personal or property rights or any other third party rights, (vii) may not contain commercial/corporate advertising, including but not limited to corporate logos, brand names, and slogans, other than those relating to the Sponsors and (ix) may not include any viruses, worms, corrupt files, Trojan horses, or other forms of corruptive code or content that may harm or compromise the Contest Site and/or the proper conduct of the Contest.
• All Works submitted will remain the exclusive property of the entrant, provided that:
(i) entrant will not acquire any ownership or other interest in any and all trademarks, logos and other intellectual property of the Sponsors (collectively “Sponsors Marks”) contained in the Work;

Contest entries will be judged based on Technical Skill (25%), Originality (25%) and Creativity (50%). The more creatively you can capture the themes from Scattered, the better your score in Creativity.

• Visit the official Scattered Comic web site:
• Visit the Scattered Comic Stuido web site:
• Read Night Owl on ROK Comics

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Virunga National Park Promo

If you're a fan of mountain gorillas (and who isn't?) then you might like this unofficial promo I worked up for the new Virunga National Park web site using pics sent in an email...

Check out the web site at:

80% of World's Population on Mobile by 2013

Despite turmoil in world financial markets over the last year, the $1 trillion mobile industry continues to confound expectations, with spectacular and accelerating growth, says Portio Research in its report, 'Worldwide Mobile Market Forecasts 2009 – 2013'.

The report, published this week, reveals that over half the world now uses a mobile phone and predicts that 80% of the world's population – 5.8 billion people - will be doing so by the end of 2013.

Put into perspective, 5.8 billion mobile phones represents more than twice the total, combined, number of TV sets and PC’s globally.

Among the top 20 growth markets there are few surprises, the report says. China wins the top spot, just ahead of India. These two countries alone are expected to contribute over 1 billion additional mobile phone users in the next 5 years.

Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are also expected to experience high growth, estimated at 13.3%, 10.7% and 9.9% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), respectively.

Meanwhile, despite rising mobile data revenues, mobile ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) continues to decline, and is predicted to fall from $23.20 in 2005 to $15.80 by the end of 2013, largely because the additional subscriber growth is likely to come from low per capita income markets.

Nokia, the world’s leading handset manufacturer, shipped 437 million handsets in 2007, while Samsung has displaced Motorola from the number 2 spot. In the first two quarters of 2008, LG displaced Sony Ericsson from the number 4 spot.

Commenting on the report, Laurence Alexander, Group CEO of ROK said “We are enthused by the Portio report as it highlights not just the staggering and continuing growth of the mobile industry, but also the increasing need of operators and manufacturers alike to develop non-voice revenue streams, which is exactly what we offer”.

ROK Entertainment Group Inc., (OTCBB: ROKE) founded in 2004 and owners of ROK Comics, is a global mobile entertainment group. With approximately 200 staff worldwide, ROK has filed more than 40 international patents for its suite of innovative mobile technologies.

With 3.3 billion mobile handsets in use worldwide, the mobile entertainment industry is a multi-billion dollar business.

ROK TV enables the streaming of live and on-demand TV to mobile phones over mass-market 2.5G, as well as over 3G and Wi-Fi.

More Info: