Comics apps have been around for a couple of years, but the rise of the tablet has seen a resurgence of interest in digital comic books. Comixology, Graphicly, and the Vintage Comics Droid are three apps that bring superheroes and more to your fingertips.
Music, movies, television shows, and books have all developed strong digital presences, but what about the comics from which so many of these other media take their story lines? Relatively new to the digital world, some comics publishers feel they finally have a delivery device for their content in the tablet, and they've got plans for how to develop digital comics. What's less certain is how readers will react to those plans, and whether digital comics will help reverse dwindling comic book sales.
DC Comics, publisher of comics involving well-known heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, … Read more
Digital comics have been around for longer than the iPad, but they were previously confined to either the computer or a tiny smartphone screen. The iPad breathed life into this burgeoning field by providing a larger, colorful display that was still portable.
How the eye follows the page In fact, one of the very first apps to debut on day one of the iPad's release in 2010 was Comixology, an app that allows you to purchase, store, and read comics right on the iPad.
Comixology's iPhone app debuted in late 2009, but it wasn't until the iPad version that the digital comic potential was realized. Comixology boasted a reading experience that's almost cinematic, supposedly mimicking how the eye follows the printed page with a mode called "guided view." In guided view, you read panel by panel, instead of page by page. David Steinberger, Comixology's CEO, claims that around 50 percent of its users use guided view instead of full-page mode.
Content deals soon followed, as Comixology started offering titles by Marvel and DC, the two biggest names in comics. Indeed, Comixology helped the two publishers come up with their own dedicated apps in the iTunes App Store. It has also created title-specific apps like the Scott Pilgrim app that only carries Scott Pilgrim books.
The reason is simple: Specific apps get higher level searchability in the iTunes App Store. This proved especially useful when the movie of the same name debuted and people wanted to read the books that inspired the film.
Audience diversity and growth One of the more interesting results of digital comics on tablets and smartphones is that they typically draw in more casual consumers who are newer to comics. Steinberger said, for example, that the digital audience tends to favor pop culture hits more than traditional comic book fare. When the zombie-centric "Walking Dead" series debuted on AMC, digital sales of the comics on Comixology went up dramatically. This might be because casual consumers either don't know about their local comic book store or just don't want to go there.
"The [traditional] distribution of comics is lame," Steinberger said. "They're not on newsstands anymore, they're not in the corner stores. They're only available to direct-market retailers and there's less distribution than it used to be. There's great opportunity here to gain a larger market [of comic readers]."
He pointed out that the app actually includes a retailer finder. While it might seem odd that Comixology is promoting its brick-and-mortar rivals, Steinberger sees them more as allies.
"Everyone expects us to be a disrupter to steal market share," he said. "We feel that the way the market is shaped in the first place, there's an incredible chance here to enlarge the market. We feel that getting more people to discover comics at all is great for everyone."… Read more
Jeff and I are a little intimidated by today's guest, Blair Butler, because she not only loves video games and comic books, but also knows a ton about martial arts moves like the rear naked choke, which makes her one of the coolest guests we've had on the show! Blair joins us after a busy weekend at New York Comic Con 2010 to chat about all the news from the show, as well as her Fresh Ink segment on G4's "Attack of the Show."
The Javitz Convention Center here in New York once again opened its doors to the New York Comic Convention, and Blair tells us the East Coast chapter has been quickly catching up to San Diego over the past five years.
Among the many announcements from the show, we're especially excited about AMC's television adaptation of Robert Kirkman's monthly black and white comic series "The Walking Dead." The story is about a small-town police officer (played by Andrew Lincoln) from Kentucky struggling to survive in a world taken over by flesh-craving zombies. Blair is super psyched to watch the series when it debuts on Sunday, October 31, but in the meantime you should definitely check out her review of the comic in this list of the best graphic novels for comic novices on G4TV.
Remember Konami's classic X-Men beat-'em-up arcade game from the early '90s? Marvel revealed plans for an update on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network that will feature six-player "drop-in" online multiplay, custom matchups, and various difficulty settings. Fans of the original game will enjoy the classic look of the game, and players can use all the original characters including Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler. Konami plans to release the update later this year.
Tune in for lots more video game and comic news with Blair, including the best and worst costumes, a Pedobear dancing to Michael Jackson, Stan Lee's hockey/superhero mashup "The Guardian Project," and much more from the front lines. Thanks to Blair for an awesome show, and thanks to you for listening!Episode 684 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
The largest comic book publisher in the United States has joined forces with the hottest device so far in 2010 to create a seamless comic book reading experience. Marvel on the iPad is slick and sexy, as users have come to expect from high-end apps on Apple devices, but it's not the digital panacea that comic book readers or publishers have hoped for. At least, not yet.
The app opens to a splash page image of some of Marvel's best-known superheroes: Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Woman, and Thor. That's no small irony that Marvel's version … Read more
One of the key features of the new Apple iPad is the introduction of Apple's new iBooks application, which promises to be both an e-book reader and a storefront for digital books. This obviously leads to a comparison between the iPad and that other famous e-book reader, the Amazon Kindle. But it seems to me that the only real advantage the iPad might have over the Kindle is that it's in color, which doesn't make much of a difference with simple black-and-white text.
But what about books that depend on color, art, and illustration? Indeed, what about … Read more