Over on the Vertigo blog, we find an announcement that Vertigo’s titles are starting to be released simultaneously in both print and digital (“day and date” is an insipid phrase; let’s all stop using it).
In advance of DC’s move to simultaneous digital and print release, comiXology has released version 3.0 of its software, which it says is a major improvement in many areas.
ComiXology’s digital storefront for physical comics shops went live yesterday, but not without some bumps. The release has been accelerated in order to get ready in time for DC’s digital day-and-date rollout next week, and some retailers have voiced concerns about the contract, including the fact that retailers cannot use customer data, while comiXology can, use of store logos and so on. The terms have already been emended a bit from the version posted at Bleeding Cool, which was leaked on a private retailer forum, so we won’t run it here. Although the basic agreement is that the stores are affiliates of comiXology, selling digital comics via their own sites, this is not entirely a comfortable idea for many retailers.
Despite all the worries, about 100 stores have signed on for the launch, according to the PR, below.
Only a year ago, Tom Bouden’s gay-themed adpatation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest was fighting rejection on Apple’s mobile platforms, leading to cries of a double standard where sex and violence were concerned. But now LGBT publisher Northwest Press is claiming victory by having Teleny and Camille, Glamazonia: The Uncanny Super-Tranny, and Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics all approved by Apple. All are now available via the iBooks app.
Manga publisher Viz has just announced VizManga.com, a digital comics site which immediately went live during the con. Viz’s wide variety of manga titles are now available there in an array of digital formats, with first chapters available free, and first volumes available at 40% off for the first month.
Comics and the iPad were made for each other. The screen, although slightly smaller than a comic page, works nicely to display comics. Panels look great on it’s glossy screen, even with the backlight turned down. Even the iPad with the smallest capacity can hold 20 longboxes worth of comics, no problem, and that’s just what I can carry with me. Comics folks are classically unwilling to accept change (why do you think no one ever dies in comics?) but it’s time. Comics are going digital and we should embrace that, so here’s a quick look at some of the best digital comics readers for the iPad.
So, as happens frequently in America, we treat History like a Cassandra, reading and studying, but choosing not to believe or remember the lessons it teaches us. I know Cassandra’s fate, and thus the dangers of saying “I told you so”. So instead, I’ll quote Gene Wilder in ” Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”:
Oh, you should never ever doubt what nobody is sure about.
So, what can we expect in 2011?
Has the pirate menace changed the creative business model for good? Most would say so, but some people are still fighting back. Up on The Hill, Colleen Doran launches a spirited counter attack on piracy:
Digital comics continue to evolve quickly into a significant revenue stream for publishers, and they are increasingly moving forward without worrying about other sales outlets. To wit, today’s announcement that DC has installed a standalone comics store on their site. Co-publisher Jim Lee, who has led the charge on this, made the announcement on the Source blog:
§ Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read an interview with a publishing executive talking about his digital plans WITHOUT worrying about direct sales retailers taking his every word as a call to arms? Well, take a gander at ICv2’s talk with Disney’s Dario Di Zanni:
Another audio file of the first panel at the ICv2 digital comics conference. This one brought together almost all of the emerging industry’s major players for a fascinating conversation. As opposed to previous panels where there seemed to be questions over whether this was even a viable business model, these are smart people doing smart business moves in a dynamic art form. This is where we’re going.
Yet another step towards complete digital distribution as Marvel and Graphic.ly announced a deal to sell Marvel Comics via graphic-ky’s desktop application. Single issues will be available via both digital download to desktop and some mobile devices, including such titles as Iron Man; Kick Ass; Amazing Spider Man; Captain America, and Astonishing X-Men. While comics have been getting establish on handheld devices, selling them via a stand-alone desktop client has been having a harder time getting off the ground; this should change that. Desktop downloads have the advantage of being readable when offline of benig able to be shared among devices.