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Classics Illustrated, the time-honored series that adapted such literary works War of the Worlds, Hamlet and A Tale of Two Cities, is making the leap into the digital age with the announcement today by Trajectory Inc. that the comics are now available for Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet.
“Making the Classics available in digital form re-introduces these brilliant works to a whole new generation of readers,” Trajectory CEO Jim Bryant said in a statement. “The Nook is a great platform for interacting with one of the most beloved comics and graphic novel series of all time. Barnes & Noble is a tremendous champion of digital comic and graphic novel content.”
Issues of Classics Illustrated are available for download in the Nook Comics store for $4.99; issues of the spinoff Classics Illustrated Junior, which adapted such fables and fairy tales as Rumpelstiltskin, Jack and the Beanstalk and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, are priced at $1.99.
Classics Illustrated debuted in 1941 as Classic Comics, publishing 169 issues during its 30-year run.
Read the official announcement below.
iVerse, which provides the platform for the Comics+, IDW, and Archie iPad apps, has added another platform with the announcement that it has made Nook Color apps for six graphic novels: Dead Space: Salvage, Star Trek: The Official Movie Adaptation, and Parker: The Hunter from IDW, and Archie Marries…, The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats, and Archie All-Stars: Vol. 1 – Veronica’s Passport from Archie Comics.
Just like Graphicly, which announced its own set of Nook Color apps earlier this week, iVerse is releasing each graphic novel as a single app. Nook Color apps don’t seem to allow for in-app buying (I can’t check this as I don’t have an actual Nook), but this also fits the basic idea of the Nook, which is designed to be an e-reader first and foremost. Single-book apps, rather than generic comics apps, make more sense in the Nook ecosystem, as does the notion of buying a complete graphic novel rather than a series of single-issue comics.
What’s next? With two of the three major digital comics publishers making Nook Color apps, can comiXology be far behind? We checked in with comiXology CEO David Steinberger, who gave us something that sounded like a definite “maybe”:
We don’t pre-announce our plans, but we’ve stated that we’ll be on every platform that comics look great on and has a good market size. The nook may fit that requirement.
It’s not clear how the apps differ from the graphic novels already available through the Nook Store, except perhaps to expand the offerings. iOS apps started as single-issue apps as well, so maybe in-app buying is in the future.
Barnes & Noble’s unveiled its app store for the Nook Color e-reader, yesterday, edging the $249 device even closer to being an alternative to the iPad. And Graphicly was right there at the launch with three graphic novel apps Mouse Guard: Fall 1152, Wanted, and Irredeemable.
This is not Graphicly’s fault, but the Nook Color app store is not very well organized; they have cute headings like “Explore” and “Organize” but not “Comics” or even “Read.” Plugging the titles in to the search engine gave mixed results: The Mouse Guard app turned up alongside listings for the physical books. Clicking on the title brought me straight back to the generic Nook Apps page. I couldn’t find Wanted or Irredeemable at all. Maybe if I had a Nook it would be easier, but the website should be as well organized as the built-in app store.
The bottom line is this: It’s great that Nook is getting into apps, and it’s great that Graphicly was there on Day One. But if no one can find your books, no one can buy them, and unless Barnes & Noble comes up with a better way to feature content than this—vague categories and no complete listing of all the apps—they aren’t going to move many comics.