Robot 6

Slash Print | The OMG it’s the iPad edition

From the video of the Marvel Comics App

From the video of the Marvel Comics App

• Apple reports that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on Saturday, when the media slate was released nationwide. That same day, iPad owners downloaded more than 1 million applications from the App Store, and more than 250,000 digital books.

• The Marvel Comics App is one of only 11 for the iPad showcased on — that’s out of more than 1,000 available on the App Store. The spotlight comes complete with a video of someone browsing The Invincible Iron Man #1, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca.

• At CNET, Seth Rosenblatt reviews the Marvel app.

Jeffery Simpson considers the differences in the digital paths taken by the music and comic-book industries: “The major applicable lesson from the music industry is not to wait too long before moving toward digital. Record labels grossly misjudged where music sales were going to be going, and spent more time fighting illegal downloads from Napster than they did in finding a way to sell music on-line. It took Apple and iTunes to finally drag the major labels into the digital age, and the record labels continue to manage to cripple new music services and potential revenue streams by forcing draconian digital-rights management software into services that don’t have the clout of an Apple or behind them. Eventually though, the comic industry needs to decide whether or not it’s in the business of selling paper, or selling illustrated sequential stories.”

• And on Twitter, writer Andy Diggle cuts to the chase: “The elephant in the room: will creators get royalties on iPad comic purchases?”



Steven R. Stahl

April 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

I wonder how typical the iPad early adopters are of comics readers. If they have high levels of income, advanced degrees, etc., they’re more likely, I’d think, to buy indie comics than Marvel and DC comics, the downloads of the Marvel app not withstanding.

The speed with which an artist works will limit the number of pages he can do per month, so there’s not much reason to think that the number of pages in a monthly comic will change very much. Nor is there much reason to think that Marvel’s and DC’s practice of heavily promoting new comics months in advance of their release will change much. The upcoming publications are always more important than those which have already been sold to the retailers.

If weekly new releases and timed promotions of those releases are important in keeping readers hooked, whether that’s due to taking advantage of addictive personality disorder or fans’ enjoyment of discussing new releases online and elsewhere, then the release of digital comics will have to replicate the release of paper comics. Changing the pattern could make dumping Marvel and DC comics in favor of others, or abandoning comics in favor of other digital entertainment, regardless of how the digital comics are priced, easier.


@me laughing at early adopters.

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