I just got off the phone with Michael Murphey from iVerse Media, and the real details about Diamond’s digital comics distribution program bear minimal resemblance to how this was initially portrayed by early accounts from the ComicsPro meeting. Moreover, and this will be the first time I’ve said this about a Diamond Digital project, it seems like a very reasonable plan.
Digital comic downloads are a bit of a strange market. (Note: I’m talking about paid/legal downloads.) The big thrust, thus far, has been the battle of proprietary formats. Comixology has their own format. iVerse has a format. Graphic.ly has a format. Apple has a format. Amazon has a format. If you’re from New Jersey, you’ll probably want to tell me my mother has a format. Well, as of the ComicsPro meeting, the focus has changed a little, because now Diamond officially has a comics app.
Over at CBR, Kiel Phigley had a chat with John Rood, DC’s Executive VP-Sales, Marketing and Business Development, about DC’s digital sales and it’s worth taking a closer look at.
The biggest question, which is still utterly unanswered, is how many copies these digital comics are selling. The second biggest question is where these sales are coming from and Rood does get into that, just a little:
In the latest announcement of its kind, Dark Horse announced today that as of December 14, 2011 it will be releasing all its comics simultaneously in both digital and print. (Remember, just say no to the “day and date” phrase.) Over at Robot 6, Brigid Alverson did a little digging and found out this simultaneous release extends to original graphic novels and trade editions, with a price point from $2.99 to $7.99.
We all know DC signed a deal to give Amazon digital exclusivity to 100 graphic novels (and it kind of blew up in their face). You were probably thinking that you could read one of those DC digital graphic novels, like Watchmen, on any device that runs a Kindle app. (Bleeding Cool has a tweet of Warner Bros. saying just that.)
It turns out, this is not the case. As DC’s Hank Kanalz says, “You can’t do that today but that’s the intention going forward. Like other other Amazon digital editions, readers will be able to read their graphic novels on any device.”
BY JEN VAUGHN – Comic writer, podcast host and serial blogger at his own website, The Invincible Super Blog, and Comics Alliance, Chris Sims sat down to have a chat with me about his upcoming Dracula comic to be fully released on Monday, October 31st, also known as Halloween. Six delicious pages are up as a preview now.
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.