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Small comics publishers have been jumping onto the digital bandwagon in droves, and the latest to come aboard is Arcana Comics, publisher of 100 Girls, Helen Killer, and Clockwork Girl, which is soon to be a movie—no, sorry, a “3D animated feature.” Arcana launched its own comics app, based on the comiXology platform, this morning.
This isn’t exactly new territory for Arcana, as at least some of their books have been available for quite a while via comiXology’s Comics app, and Clockwork Girl was one of the free e-books offered by Wowio last year. It’s interesting, though, that they have taken the additional step of creating their own app. While that makes sense for a publisher with a strong image (such as DC or Marvel), Arcana is less well known and their comics are more of a mixed bag. I can’t imagine there’s much of a crossover between the teen-friendly 100 Girls and Helen Killer, or the fantasy comic Kade. Harlequin romance readers will read anything that’s a Harlequin romance, regardless of the author or even the cover art, because they know exactly what they are going to get; I doubt that Arcana Comics evokes the same response. That’s a good thing—their line actually has some interesting variety. But it makes branding by publisher problematic.
Of course, Arcana still has a healthy 60 series available via the comiXology app, and the two apps sync with one another, so clearly they are covering all the bases. But making your own app must involve quite an investment—it will be interesting to see how this pays off for Arcana.