Manga | Following up on Wednesday’s announcement that Yen Press will move its Yen Plus manga magazine online after the July issue, Gia Manry gets a few more details from Publishing Director Kurt Hassler — among them, that the web version will utilize a dedicated browser designed to emulate the print edition.
Digital publishing | In its White Paper presented last week at C2E2, ICv2 estimates that digital comics sales in North America last year totaled between $500,000 and $1 million. Naturally, it’s expected that sales in 2010 will “expand dramatically.”
iTunes | After Apple CEO Steve Jobs weighed in on the issue, the company has approved for its App store the NewsToon app from Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore. Apple had rejected the app in December, stating that Fiore’s Flash-animated political satire, “contains content that ridicules public figures,” a violation of its iPhone Developer Program License Agreement.
Digital comics | At Extreme Tech, Jim Lynch provides a lengthy overview of comics on Apple’s iPad: “Marvel and the other publishers have taken some important first steps, but they still have a way to go. The iPad has solved the problem of storage and readability, but now publishers must provide the app features, subscriptions, and digital delivery that will fully take advantage of the iPad and make reading comics on it as easy and as much fun as reading them in traditional book form.”
Copyright | A response to a brief post about the Manga Rock 1.0 app is a contender for quote of the day: “This is awful. You’re PAYING to use OneManga, which illegally hosts copyrighted materials! This is such crap.”
Printed, Bodyworld is 384 pages. That’s a lengthy piece of fiction. Online, it is 14 chapters worth of “infinite canvas.” The promise of infinity sounds great when discussed in theory, but in practice the method kind of fails me. To take in the complete story of Body World, it helps to bookmark your progress for a break, it also helps to reference old images on past pages. It is totally irritating to do this online, but far easier to do in print.
Webcomics: Warren Ellis is doing that thing again where he asks creators to come forward and tell his readers about the webcomics they are working on. This is a great way to find new things to read, and he promises to make it a monthly thing. (Via the indispensable ComixTalk.)
Webcomics: DKM Marlink takes a look at webcomics that ended abruptly, leaving readers longing for closure.
Overview: Paul Gravett takes a birds-eye view of the aesthetic and financial issues facing webcomics artists in North America and Europe.
iPad: Chris Meadows examines comics on the iPad from several angles: pricing, the impact on comics stores, and whether it can compete with torrent sites.
Pricing: Andrew Bayer discusses pricing of digital comics, and why it makes sense for Marvel to charge the same $2 for the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man as they do for the latest.
Piracy: Rich Johnston sets the record straight regarding a pirate site that claims to be completely legal because it displays pages one at a time and doesn’t allow downloads. (Spoiler: Nope.)
Devices: Manga expert Jason Thompson checks out iPhone apps for reading scanlations. Ironically, this article appears on the website of comiXology, the creators of the legit comics-reading app.
Creators: Lucy Knisley discusses both digital media and her favorite comics store at Question Riot.
Devices: Japanese artist Aya Fujii is publishing the yaoi manga Peach Boy: MOMO & MIKAN on the Kindle in English and Japanese.
Tablets | Jim Shelley talks to various digital comics folks, including Rantz Hoseley from LongBox Digital, Micah Baldwin from Graphic.ly and David Steinberger from comiXology, about the rumored Apple tablet. Check out part one, part two and part three.
Speaking of which, HarperCollins is talking to Apple about the tablet, according to the Wall Street Journal, and I thought this article on how Apple does controlled leaks was kind of interesting, in light of all the attention a device that doesn’t officially exist yet is getting.
Twitter | Congratulations to everyone behind the Twitter feed Fake AP Stylebook, who have landed a book deal with Three Rivers Press. Their line-up includes several former and current comics bloggers, including former Robot 6 contributor Lisa Fortuner, former Meanwhile… columnist Shane Bailey, retailer/blogger Mike Sterling, CBR reviewer/artist Benjamin Birdie and many more.
Webcomics | According to the Macworld web site, PvP creator Scott Kurtz will speak at the five-day Macintosh symposium.
“In an interview with Chicago Sun-Times and Macworld columnist Andy Ihnatko, Kurtz talks about what digital self-publishing means to creators and publishers, and how devices like the upcoming Apple Tablet could continue to tip the balance in favor of independent artists,” the description of his panel reads.
Also, if you haven’t been checking out PvP lately, Kurtz’s long-running webcomic has a holiday story running, drawn by comics legend Neal Adams. Check out the CBR interview for more information, and after the jump you’ll find a video of Adams drawing PvP.
Tablets | Kindle, meet the Nook … or nook, as it looks like Barnes & Noble are spelling it with the lowercase “n,” which is really annoying. But yes, the bookseller has launched their own e-book tablet, which retails for $259 (the same as the Amazon Kindle 2), has a color touchscreen and comes out in November. Check out the product comparison chart (it’s a PDF) from B & N for more information on how it compares to Amazon’s device.
Google, meanwhile, isn’t working on a device, but they do plan to launch an e-book store in order to deliver electronic books to “any device with a web browser.” Time will tell what any of this means for the comic industry, but with a color tablet coming out soon, you can see the possibilities.
Digital Comics | Dark Horse announced via press release that both Umbrella Academy and Hellboy: Seed of Destruction are available through the iTunes Store, with subsequent issues available soon. Seed of Destruction is available as four issues at $0.99 each, or as a bundle of all four issues for $3.99. The first issue of Apocalypse Suite is available for free, with issues #2–#6 only $0.99 each, or a bundle of all six issues for $4.99.
Digital Comics | Disney Comics Worldwide shares more details on Disney’s DigiComics initiative. They’ll eventually be rolled out worldwide, starting in December in English-speaking countries and Italy. They’ll be available for the iPhone, iPod and Sony PSP, and eventually Disney hopes to expand to other platforms like Nokia phones and the Wii. The stories will initially come from “the huge archive that The Walt Disney Company Italy has built up in the last 50 years.”
Motion Comics | All five episodes of the Spider Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. motion comic are now available for free viewing on Hulu. Because it is “intended for mature audiences,” you’ll have to register and verify your age.
Webcomics | Scott Kurtz, who hosted the Harvey Awards this past weekend, shares his thoughts on what he saw at the Zuda table over the weekend. Kurtz, the creator of the long-running and highly successful PvP webcomic, has been an outspoken critic of Zuda since they launched, but had a different take on DC’s monthly webcomics contest after this weekend.
“If companies like DC can enter the Webcomics world, and find a way to work with creators fairly and bring credibility and positive attention to this medium…that’s good,” Kurtz writes. “If Zuda can light a fire under the asses of talent that normally wouldn’t make progress, that’s awesome. We want that, don’t we? Doesn’t a rising tide lift all ships? I know I’m skeptical. I like being skeptical. But maybe I’ve witnessed so many Platinums in the past that I’m a little gun-shy. Maybe…maybe…Zuda isn’t going to fuck people over.”
Also worth reading on his blog, Kurtz talks about what it was like to host the Harveys.
Webcomics | In anticipation of the release of the ACT-I-VATE Primer from IDW, Graphic NYC has dubbed this ACT-I-VATE week and will run features all week about the webcomics collective and its contributors.
Internet radio | SLG Publishing is testing out an internet radio call-in show, where fans can call in and ask Dan Vado questions about their titles or the comic industry in general. If you’ve ever attended one of SLG’s panels, you know Dan has a lot to say, so this should be worth checking out.
Tablets | Although the Apple tablet I mentioned a few days ago hasn’t even been officially announced yet, this Ad Age story says traditional publishers are already talking about ways to bypass iTunes and offer “an industry-wide digital storefront where tablet users could buy digital issues or subscriptions without going through iTunes or the App Store.”
Tablets | Speaking of tablets (and SLG, for that matter), SLG chief Jennifer de Guzman talks about digital comics in her latest column for Publisher’s Weekly, noting the difficulties that come with trying to make comics for Amazon’s Kindle.
“To be acceptable to Amazon’s Kindle store, a comic needs to be ‘reflowed,’ which means breaking each page into individual panels and saving each as a separate file,” she writes. “This is a process that could take hours for every graphic novel—and that means additional costs for a publisher.”
Digital Comics | If you missed part one of the Brian Michael Bendis interview I linked to earlier because you were too busy checking out what he had to say about Avengers, he talks with Blair Butler about the Spider Woman Motion Comic and the future of digital comics.
Tablets | Gizmodo reports on the long-rumored Apple Tablet device, saying that Apple “is in talks with several media companies rooted in print, negotiating content for a ‘new device.’” In addition, Apple has also applied for a patent on a “multi-touch surface that could accommodate two full hands and distinguish between palms and individual fingers for typing, gestures and more,” according to the Apple Insider.
Scott McCloud comments on the potential for such a device to change comics: “Most of today’s comics publishers are likely to jump into the pool with their clothes on—print-style pages intact. But if Apple’s gadget is anything like what’s being described, we could see a shift over time from point-and-click fragmented delivery, like what we have on the Web today, to more continuous spatial metaphors of the sort a lot of us turn-of-the-century mad scientists were playing with. Should be interesting.”
Webcomics | Alex Hoffman of the webcomics site Transmission-X discusses how webcomics are usually limited to one category when awards time rolls around.
“The issue is that since webcomics are allowed nominations in only a single category – while print comics are nominated under a multitude of aspects of comic production – webcomics are severely limited in their recognition,” he writes. “The online comics community is large and growing quickly, but as yet, all the major awards exclude them from the majority of categories. While they do honour the Best Webcomic, they do not allow those strips to compete for recognition as Best Artist, Best Cartoonist, etc.”
Piracy | Global Gaming Factory X AB said it is buying the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, which hosts BitTorrents of various types, including comics. The Swedish software company “intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners,” the company said.
Digital comics | Last week Rich Johnston did another “Twinterview,” or interview over Twitter, this time with Longbox inventor Rantz Hoseley. The entire thing is collected over at BleedingCool.com. Rich asks about how Longbox will affect comic shops, mobile devices, funding and more. You can also watch Hoseley’s panel from HeroesCon over at iFanboy.
Those updates include:
- Although only BOOM! and Top Cow have been announced so far, Hoseley said seven publishers have signed on for the launch, and the other five will be announced in the next few weeks leading up to the San Diego Comic Con.
- The software will include a “Manga Mode” that flips the left-to-right reading order. That’s pretty damn clever.
- The software will also allow for “age-restricted sub-accounts,” so your kids can read the Muppets but can’t get to your Black Kiss comics.
- Hoseley says that “while we certainly welcome DC and Marvel’s participation, the entire system was designed to have a business model that would be successful and profitable for all involved if they chose not to participate.”
There’s more at the link, so click over and read. This gets more interesting by the day …
Internet | Brian Wood uses Google Maps to highlight key locations from his Vertigo series DMZ.
Social media | Twitter, apparently, has taken the place of message boards as the preferred arena for fights between comic pros and gossip columnists.
It was certainly a lot easier to follow the back-and-forth flames in the old days of message boards. Kids and their crazy newfangled internet tools …
Digital comics | And now a look at the gentler side of Twitter … also on Friday, Johnston interviewed Ryan Penagos, aka Agent_M, about Marvel.com and Marvel’s Digital Comics Initiative. The interview took place on Twitter.
Internet | The New York Times talks to artists who were recently invited by Google to contribute artwork that would be used on their web browser, Google Chrome. Google asked them to do it for exposure rather than pay. (via)