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NBM goes digital with Dinosaurs Across America … and more?

NBM sent out a press release last night saying that it would be re-releasing Phil Yeh’s Dinosaurs Across America as an interactive digital graphic novel, and they are billing it as “a fully interactive version that may very well be the first interactive graphic novel ever published.” That’s a mighty bold claim, but apparently the digital Dinosaurs is more than just a comic that you read on a screen; it has been entirely retooled so that readers climb into a virtual spaceship and zip from page to page, clicking here and there to bring up information. (The original Dinosaurs Across America is an educational graphic novel that takes the readers on a panel-by-panel tour of all 50 states.) The book is available as an app through the iTunes store and as an ebook for Mac and PC via Koobits.

Perhaps this isn’t really the first interactive graphic novel—software companies have been doing something like this with children’s books for years—but it certainly is an ambitious retooling. Even more interesting is NBM publisher Terry Nantier’s comment, further down in the press release:

This is part of NBM’s fairly aggressive move into e-books for its graphic novels and reorientation we’ll be making more announcements about soon. Comics and graphic novels will always be in print, they’re too tactile and collectible not to be, but electronic versions are fun too. In this case, we see a fascinating magnification of the effect comics can have at making learning fun.

That should be interesting, because NBM hasn’t really jumped into the digital pool yet. They have a few graphic novels available via comiXology and comiXology’s Comics 4 Kids app, but that seems to be the extent of their digital presence, so a move into interactive e-books, or stand-alone apps, would be an interesting departure.

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Supreme Court

Legal | The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today on a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The statute, which was struck down in February 2009 by a federal appeals court, is opposed by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, among other organizations. [CNET]

Awards | The Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards will move next year from Toronto Comicon to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The seventh annual awards will be presented on June 18, 2011. [Joe Shuster Awards]

Conventions | Exhibitor tables have gone on sale for MoCCA Festival 2011, set for April 9-10 at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. [MoCCA Festival]

Conventions | The student newspaper at California State University Long Beach reports on last weekend’s Long Beach Comic Con. [Daily 49er]

Retailing | Peter Hartlaub profiles James Sime, owner of Isotope comic book lounge in San Francisco: “Nobody made a comic store for women. They just didn’t exist. I think women love comics just as much as men do, maybe even more. And there’s so many great comics out there for everybody that I had to try. Isn’t San Francisco the city that’s all about just trying new things?” [San Francisco Chronicle]

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