201110211746.jpgAs the glow of the Amazon Kindle Fire begins to appear on the horizon, many questions over just how comics are going to work on it are still unanswered. But it looks like publishers will be able to adapt their own works using Amazon’s tech specs. Amazon has announced some new author tools for the Kindle Fire on their website:

Upcoming enhancements to Kindle Publisher Tools will make it easier and faster for publishers to create high quality Kindle books. KindleGen 2 (available soon) creates Kindle content from a wide variety of sources including HTML, XHTML, and EPUB. Kindle Previewer 2 (available soon) provides an easy way for publishers to preview how titles will look on Kindle devices and apps so they can be confident that their Kindle books look great.

Basically, Kindle will offer self-authoring tools to prep your files—presumably including comics — on the new platform. This is currently available for the regular Kindle, although download charges eat into the profits of high-graphics titles.

There’s also the matter of what Amazon is calling “panel view” for comics. Although comiXology will be a part of the Kindle Fire — if you believe the the prominent placement of the comiXology logo on the promo materials — apparently Amazon is using its own version of “scan and pan”, and not comiXology’s familiar Guided View.

While all this is confusing, comiXology continues to make inroads on the Wednesday Crowd. As pointed out by Vaneta Rogers today every Wednesday for the last month, comiXology has been the top-grossing app for iPads. New 52 anyone? In addition:

On October 11th, the company revealed that Marvel was finally signing up with comiXology to deliver its digital comics to Android devices. The move means customers who by a Marvel comic on comiXology’s apps elsewhere can finally view those comics across all their platforms.

Rogers’s piece includes an interview with David Steinberger, who has been guarded in public statements on all of this. One expects that all will be revealed pretty soon; digital comics is clearly a growing market.


  1. So… who owns the patent on Guided View? Disney/CrossGen #7882368? Patent #6232966? Comixology has Application number: 12/780,838 pending.

    At what point in the future do graphic novel e-books outsell comics apps?

    Will Amazon’s KF8 become the e-book version of WMV? Will the International Digital Publishing Forum update EPUB to better handle graphics formatting?

  2. Interesting to see Amazon expanding the kindle author tools to the comics world. IDPF has just approved the EPUB 3 format as the new standard – http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-overview.html#sec-intro-overview

    Eventually, inevitably, websites, apps, and ebooks all pretty much become the same thing. The coding and programming are becoming more and more universal across each of them. In the meantime, there is a sea of potential for trying different formats and different models.

    If what I’m reading is true, and people in the digital group at marvel were part of this week’s cull, well I really don’t think Perlmutter can have one iota of sense left.

  3. I’m one of those day-and-date geeks adding to the Wednesday tally for downloads. It’s not all that different from my previous lifestyle except that I open my iPad and log on each Wed. at 11am, rather than heading over to the shop at 2pm.

    I’m sort of surprised at these numbers, though. Just for funsies I asked my LCS manager how many other fans pulled their DC subscription service in favor of digital. His response?

    “Just you.”

  4. @Torsten – Good to see I’m not the only one who remembered the Crossgen Comics On the Web Guided view! Wouldn’t it be ironic if Comixology ended up having to pay royalties to Disney for the Guilded View Technology? That might end up making the Crossgen purchase a moneymaker after all.

  5. Wow this is getting confusing. Will amazon end up like apple and not allowing for sales from your app? Sure looks like they want you to use their stuff.

    I had thought comixology would be bought by amazon but now I am not so sure. They already worked a deal with DC and Marvel doesn’t have one yet with anyone. With the passing of Jobs the disney/marvel/apple link is broke. But apple has a boat load of cash and I think a self interest in ensuring they have content. This could get interesting.