Robot 6

Drawn and Quarterly goes digital—on Kobo

Indy publisher Drawn and Quarterly is making its first foray into digital media—and it’s on the Kobo Vox tablet, which has not been a big comics platform up till now. D+Q is are starting slow with just two books, Chester Brown’s Paying for It and Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, and the deal is nonexclusive, meaning the books could pop up on other platforms as well.

Both Kobo and D+Q are headquartered in Canada, which may or may not be a coincidence, but this was an interesting part of the PW story:

D&Q publisher and editor-in-chief Chris Oliveros said that e-book proceeds will be split 50/50 between its authors and the publisher, citing rights recommendations from the Writers Union of Canada. “D+Q has always been an author-centric company, it is this ethos that has shaped us into who we are today,” Oliveros said, “it only seemed natural to offer the fairest proposition to our authors.”

Of course, that’s after Kobo takes its share.

I was curious as to what other graphic novels are available on Kobo; their store lists 515 books in the graphic novel category, including Cowboys & Aliens; a selection of manga from Digital Manga, Yen Press, Manga University, and the long-defunct Comics One; Italian translations of Peanuts; and a number of graphic novels that were new to me. It’s an odd assortment, but Kobo was recently acquired by the Japanese company Rakuten so big things may be in its future.


One Comment

Regarding comics availability, for what it’s worth, I use Comixology to read (colour) comics on my (colour) Kobo Vox. (I also have a Kindle app to increase my prose library beyond the official Kobo offerings.)

I absolutely love reading comics this way–not only because I don’t have space for physical ‘floppies’ and I feel guilty tossing them in the recycle box, but also because the ‘guided view’ is giving me new appreciation for some of the formalism/structuralism in mainstream comics.

The vast majority of what I buy comprises hardcovers and trades and I don’t see e-reading take the place of this ever. It’s a personal thing–I also buy records when it comes to albums, but will legally download individual songs. Last week, I read The Sixth Gun #1 for free (legally) on my Kobo and enjoyed it so much I bought the collection at the Beguiling the next day. Everybody wins. Especially me.

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