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Nobrow Press co-founder Sam Arthur once described the company’s mission as “to publish books that deserved to be printed — and by that I mean they needed to exist as tactile objects that people [can] collect and cherish.” This has been borne out over the years as Nobrow established itself as a publisher that paid painstaking attention to the production process.
Given that, it’s not surprising that it took Nobrow seven years to go digital, and when it did, it came up with a digital solution that addresses the physical aspects of its comics.
Digital comics | The digital comics publisher Thrillbent has launched its own iPad app, which allows users to read Thrillbent comics and also load in their own comics in PDF, CBR and CBZ formats via Dropbox. [iTunes]
Publishing | Diamond Comic Distributors is dropping the price of its monthly Previews catalog from $4.50 to $3.99 with the January issue (in stores Dec. 24). That, as the company notes, is “the average price of a standard monthly comic book.” [PreviewsWorld]
Publishing | Dark Horse plans to publish the historical graphic novel Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Tails). [The Beat]
Marvel has released the launch trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier — The Official Game, a film tie-in that allows players to control Steve Rogers as he commands an elite team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents tasked with stopping a sinister global plot.
Developed by Gameloft for Adroid and iOS, the mobile game features an original story by comics writer Christos Gage. Players can call in Falcon and Black Widow for help as the go up against such adversaries as King Cobra, Taskmaster, Puff Adder and the Winter Soldier. A multiplayer mode offers the ability to join clans and to compete for a higher position in leagues.
The game is available for download now. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens Friday.
Gameloft this morning released its Captain America: The Winter Soldier — The Official Game on Android, allowing players to assume the role of the Sentinel of Liberty as he leads an elite team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to stop a sinister global plot. An iOS version is promised soon.
Announced last month, the mobile game is, of course, a tie-in to the new Marvel Studios sequel, which opens April 4 in the United States. The Paris developer previously partnered with Marvel for Spider-Man: Toxic City, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3.
Marvel and Paris-based mobile game developer Gameloft have announced Captain America: The Winter Soldier — The Official Game, in development for smartphones and tablets.
Inspired by the upcoming Marvel Studios movie adaptation, the game will allow players to assume the role of Captain America as he leads an elite team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in a fight to stop a sinister global plot. A multiplayer mode offers the ability to join clans and to compete for a higher position in leagues.Gameloft and Marvel previously partnered for the mobile games Spider-Man: Toxic City, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier — The Official Game will be released in late March on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android, ahead of the April 4 U.S. premiere of the film. Watch the game teaser trailer below.
Digital comics | ComiXology CEO David Steinberger dicusses the growth of the digital-comics platform, which was the top-grossing non-game iPad app for the third year in a row. “We’re finding that a larger and larger percentage of our user base — our new user base — is people who are buying comics for the very first time with us,” he tells Wired. Steinberger also hints at a next step for comiXology: curation. [Wired.com]
Comics | Torsten Adair looks back at some comics trends in from 2013 and looks ahead to what we can expect in 2014. [The Beat]
Comics | Dark Horse Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie discusses the relaunch of the publisher’s Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator series and the debut of Prometheus. [io9]
ComiXology was the top-grossing non-game iPad app in the iTunes App Store in 2013, coming in at No. 11, just ahead of The New York Times. They were the only non-game apps to crack the Top 20.
In addition, the digital-comics platform announced it has served more than 6 billion pages — that figure includes both paid and free — since its launch four years ago. ComiXology trumpeted 2 billion pages just slightly more than a year ago.
“In a billion-dollar marketplace with competition between over a million apps, it’s gratifying to rank as the Top Grossing non-game iPad App in the entire iTunes App Store,” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said in a statement. “This past year has been a great year for comics and comiXology!”
Last year saw the company further expand its industry domination with distribution deals with the likes of UDON Entertainment, Viz Media Europe, Avatar Press, and 15 French publishers, partnered with eBay, and introduced gift cards. In October, comiXology also released findings from a survey that found its female readership has grown from 5 percent to 20 percent.
Starting today, UK underground comics publisher Knockabout Comics and digital-comics publisher Sequential are teaming up to publish Neil Gaiman’s Lost Tales, a collection of Gaiman’s comic strips from the 1980s, for free—and they will donate 50 cents to charity for every download.
The 100-page collection, which is available only via the Sequential iPad app, includes stories from Outrageous Tales from the Old Testament and Seven Deadly Sins, as well as a science fiction story from 2000AD and other material. Some of the comics are collaborations with other creators, including Bryan Talbot and Dave McKean, and many are long out of print. Also included is a 1988 interview with Gaiman.
Conventions | A even bigger obstacle than the San Diego Chargers to the proposed $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center could be the California Coastal Commission, which must approve the project before it can proceed (the stage agency has regulatory oversight of land use and public access to the California coastal zone). The commission’s 11 members are meeting today through Friday in Mission Valley, where they’re expected to consider staff objections about reduced access to the bay; a bridge, estimated to cost about $42 million, from the foot of Fourth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter has been floated as a solution. A public hearing is being held Thursday. The expansion of the convention center is viewed as critical to keeping Comic-Con International in the city past 2015. [U-T San Diego]
Awards | Stephen Collins’ The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil won the inaugural 9th Art Award, announced Sunday during the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Presented by Graphic Scotland, the prize recognizes the year’s best English-language graphic novel. The other finalists were: Building Stories, by Chris Ware; Days of the Bagnold Summer, by Joff Winterhart; Naming Monsters, by Hannah Eaton; and The Nao of Brown, by Glyn Dillon. [9th Art Award]
Manga | Raina Telgemeier’s comic about Barefoot Gen has attracted attention in Japan, where one city recently removed the manga from elementary-school classrooms, claiming it’s too violent for children (the manga depicts the bombing of Hiroshima). “I was lucky to have adults in my life who were willing to discuss the violent subject matter with me, and help me put the story in historical context, and clarify things I might not yet understand,” Telgemeier told The Asahi Shimbun. “After I finished volume 1 of Barefoot Gen, I was deeply upset. (But) as a child, I believed that if people simply saw what war was all about, they would take care that it wouldn’t happen anymore.” [The Asahi Shimbun]
Tokyo-based software developer Panel Nine has now made its digital graphic novels app Sequential available in the United States and worldwide. The free iPad app, which “specializes in sophisticated digital graphic novels designed for adults from the world’s leading creators,” launched in May in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The company has already partnered with U.K. publishers Blank Slate Books, Myriad Editions, Great Beast, Tabella and Knockabout, and deals with SelfMadeHero and Walker Books forthcoming. U.S. publishers are promised soon.
If you’re a little bummed about not getting to go to San Diego this year, The Devastator has developed a way for you to experience the hustle and bustle of the convention without actually being there: Comic-Con Star Stalker, billed as “the first-ever video game about Comic-Con” (I doubt anyone can dispute that claim).
Available as a free app for iPad and iPhone beginning Monday, Comic-Con Star Stalker casts players as Seth, a fanboy trying to score as many celebrity autographs as he can: “What stands in your way? Ravenous crowds, clunky cosplayers and overzealous security guards. So, y’know, all of Comic-Con.” It’s a 2D endless-runner game in which Seth leaps over attendees, collects power-ups (nachos, energy drinks and swag), and collects autographs.
If you do make it to Comic-Con, The Devastator crew will be set up at Booth F-03, where attendees will be able to play Comic-Con Star Stalker on a mini-arcade.
Publishing | Dark Horse President Mike Richardson discusses how he became one of the first publishers of manga in the United States, explains how the company selects its titles, and suggests some manga for first-time readers. [Previews]
Digital comics | Retailer Ron Catapano points to the comiXology server crash triggered by the response to the free Marvel comics promotion as “the problem with digital content that fans keep complaining about”: “I can’t read the books I paid for because I can’t save them on my own computer and I’m limited in what I can save to my tablet by the small storage on tablets. Instead, the books I pay for are kept by comiXology and as long as I have a high speed internet connection available… I can log on and read my books on their web site or I can download a few to my tablet. BUT NOT TODAY … because someone decided it was a good idea to put 700 Marvel issue #1’s up for free at the same time.” [ICv2.com]
In “By the Numbers,” ROBOT 6 takes a look back at the events of the past five days … in numbers. Our starting point this week is Wednesday’s announcement that retailers ordered a record-breaking number of comics for Free Comic Book Day, an international event that will draw millions of customers into specialty shops on May 4.
However, there was another figure that’s almost as impressive: the print run for the latest volume of the hit manga One Piece.
Continuing the expansion of its Viz Kids imprint, manga publisher Viz Media this morning launched sticky DOT comics, a free kids’ digital comics app for the Apple iPad and iPad mini.
Developed by Viz Media, the app allows readers to securely browse and download a range of manga and graphic novels, from Pokémon and Mameshiba to Redakai and Voltron Force.
Launch titles include Pokémon Adventures, Pokémon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl/Platinum, Pokémon Black and White, Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, Mameshiba: On the Loose!, Little Miss Sunshine: Here Comics the Sun!, Mr. Strong: Good Thing I Came Along!, Redakai and Voltron Force. Available for download in the United States and Canada, volumes are priced between $2.99 and $3.99. New titles and volumes, along with free previews, will be added frequently.