SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
When Apple’s much-anticipated iPad launches in the United States on April 3, the media slate’s highly organized e-book application will feature “Comics & Graphic Novels” among its top-tier categories, Forbes.com reports.
Citing findings by the Busted Loop mobile media research firm, the website states that Apple’s iBookstore will designate about 20 main categories, including “Fiction & Literature,” “Reference” and “Cookbooks.” Below those will be more than 150 sub-categories; “Manga” will fall under the comics section.
The iBookstore content sales and delivery system is viewed as a major selling point of the iPad, but until today it had been unclear how much an emphasis might be placed on comic books.
When the iPad was unveiled in January, Apple announced it had partnered with five publishers to produce content for the iBookstore: HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. All of those houses have imprints that publish graphic novels or manga (for instance, Hachette’s Yen Press imprint publishes Twilight: The Graphic Novel and Yotsuba&!, while Penguin’s Puffin division produces a line of literary adaptations). Macmillan and Simon & Schuster are also major book-market distributors of graphic novels by other publishers but there’s been no mention of whether those agreements could extend to the iBookstore.
More publishing partners are expected to be added after next month’s launch.
Comics | A “very fine”-rated copy of Action Comics #1 sold at auction Monday for $1 million, breaking the previous record price for a comic book. The names of the buyer and seller weren’t released.
The previous record for the most expensive comic was held by another copy of Action #1, which sold last year for $317,000. About 100 copies of the issue are known to exist, and only two are graded “very fine” or higher. John Jackson Miller provides analysis. [Times Online, Hero Complex]
Business | Sean Kleefeld gets details from Wowio CEO Brian Altounian about his efforts to secure financing for the e-book publisher. Altounian, who purchased the struggling company in July from Platinum Studios, will retain a majority interest. [Kleefeld on Comics]
Awards | The manga nominees have been announced for Japan Expo, the Japanese pop-culture convention held each year in Paris. The winners will be announced at the event in July. [The Comics Reporter]
Publishing | Gary Tyrrell reports that publishers have begun receiving payments for the second quarter of 2008 from long-struggling e-book site Wowio. All publishers are expected to be paid by Nov. 15. [Fleen]
Awards | When the National Book Award nominations were announced Wednesday, some wondered why David Small’s graphic novel Stitches: A Memoir was included in the young people’s literature category. It turns out the publisher nominated it as a young-adult title. [GalleyCat]
Business | Former DC Comics President Jenette Kahn and ICv2.com President Milton Griepp have joined the board of advisers and directors of comiXology, which produces the Comics by comiXology digital comics application. [press release]
Conventions | Remember that ad incorrectly announcing Warren Ellis as a guest at Toronto Comic Con? It turns out they totally meant Dollhouse star Eliza Dushku. Not Warren Ellis. Eliza Dushku. [Bleeding Cool]
e-Publishing | Citing “objectionable content,” Apple has removed “Anda’s Game” from the iTunes store. “Anda’s Game” was one of several stories by novelist and blogger Cory Doctorow that was included in IDW’s Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now. Robot Comics (no relation) adapted it into an iPhone application.
“The publisher says that they believe this beheaded orc is the objectionable content in question,” Doctorow wrote on BoingBoing. “So much for Apple as a benevolent dictator, well-suited to acting as guardian of what sorts of things you should and should not be allowed to run on your devices.”
If the beheading was the reason for the removal, it’s worth noting that violent movies like 300 and Lord of the Rings (the latter of which features plenty of human-on-orc violence) are still available from iTunes.
E-devices | Fujitsu has unveiled Japan’s first full-color e-book reader, the FLEPia.
It would seem like a major leap forward for comics, but CNET UK points out that the FLEPia only supports XMDF and .book format e-books. Plus, the device is now only available in Japan, where it sells for ¥99,750 — or a little over $1,000.
Publishing | At ICv2.com, retailer Steve Bennett returns to the “collectibility” well to argue that the urge to bag, board and sort will save the printed comic from being replaced by the digital version.
E-devices | At Publishers Weekly, Ada Price talks with a handful of publishers about their early experience converting titles to Amazon’s Kindle.
Copyright | At Reason Online, Henry Jenkins examines how illegal copying and distribution helped anime to succeed in the United States.
E-publishing | IDW Publishing has made available the first two issues of its sold-out Star Trek: Countdown at the iTunes app store.
E-publishing | Uclick and Tokyopop are making the first volume of Svetlana Chmakova’s Dramacon available as a free app on Apple’s app store.
Webcomics | Joey Manley looks at the use of webcomics as promotional tools for TV shows and print comics.
Multimedia | From SXSW, Wired.com considers the “deep media” approach Electronic Arts used for marketing the video game Dead Space, an effort that included comics, animation and interactive web features.
Blogosphere | David Brothers talks e-devices, webcomics, digital comics, and more.
What’s Webcomics Weekend? It’s not really a convention, organizers say; it’s more a gathering — a free one, at that. It will feature panels, livedraw events, book signings, and guests such as Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes (Unshelved), Danielle Corsetto (Girls With Slingshots), Rene Engstrom (Anders Loves Maria), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics) and R. Stevens (Diesel Sweeties).
E-devices | At Gearlog, Brian Heater tries out Bone, Jimmy Corrigan, New X-Men and Watchmen on Amazon’s new Kindle: “In my humble opinion, the best device for reading comics at the moment (besides, you know, old-timey comics themselves) is the iPhone.”
Webcomics | The Floating Lightbulb and The Comic Chronicles’ John Jackson Miller try to figure out what to make of GoogleTrends data showing a steady decline of unique visitors for many of the most-popular webcomics.
E-devices | Jason Ankeny lays out why mobile devices are the future of comic strips: “Few forms of creative expression are better suited to that kind of brief consumer engagement than comic strips. Life in Hell — a crudely illustrated but consistently sharp and insightful black-and-white strip — would seem like a natural on a Kindle or on an iPhone, as would any number of classic daily efforts including Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, Krazy Kat or Doonesbury.”
Podcasting | The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiles local comics podcasters.
Scans Daily | Glenn Hauman chats with a couple of moderators from Scans Daily about LiveJournal’s closing of the community, copyright, fair use, and whether the site helped or harmed comics.
In related news: “Hand of God Suspends Homoerotic Scans Daily Comic Book Community.” (via Christopher Bird)
Social media | iFanboy has begun compiling a list of Twitter accounts of comics publishers and creators.
Social media | Someone has formed a webcomics Twitter group.
This morning a Morgan Stanley analyst predicted Amazon will sell 1 million Kindles by Thanksgiving.
E-publishing | Barnes & Noble has acquired Fictionwise, one of the largest independent e-book retailers. Although Fictionwise will operate as a separate business unit, B&N makes it clear the retailer is part of its larger digital strategy, which includes launching an e-bookstore later this year.