Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comics and the Promise of the iTablet

Randy sent this article along.

The basic gist of the article is that some comic geek pondered how their iTunes and other iPhone apps work, thought about the page size of a comic, added a dash of kindle, and said "hey, this could be neat for comics!"

Yes. Indeed, it could be.

I like my iPod, but I'm not a full-blooded Apple Acolyte. In fact, I've become so bored with the "I'm a PC and I'm a Mac" ads, I now dread new ones, as it means the campaign will NOT DIE. And I'm writing this post on a MacBook somebody decided I needed somewhere along the way.

Part of why I've not been quick to run out and get an iPhone (aside from the fact that everyone I know with an iPhone gets terrible coverage and refuses to believe its their network and device, and not bad juju, evil forces at work, lead-lined walls, etc...), s that, really... I'm just not that interested in working on a tiny screen.

But a tablet. Yessir... a tablet.

On a tablet, I could be reading, watching video, and reading comics. Or, if Apple played its cards right... drawing them, too. I'm just saying.

We've seen the willingness of companies like Boom! to adapt to the digital format as Simon tried out Irredeemable last month for us. My guess is that with Marvel under Disney's ownership and DC having a new boss (put in place to expand DC's reach), they'll be following Boom! to the digital format. Marvel has put some of its product online, but there are no real report about how that's going (I assume not very wel, or they'd be talking about it a lot more), as well as releasing original online content.

In any case, what is not happening is the release of current comics via an online distribution format. If I have to guess as to a "why", it would be that the Big 2 are aware that this could severely injure the comic shops that are the only place carrying their product at the moment in the periodical format (collected editions actually do quite well at bookstores, etc...).

As a reader, I'd still like access to DC's backlog of comics, and can see myself paying for collected editions online, or numbered runs on a series of older comics. Perhaps more for recent or current comics. I can also see opportunity for indie comic creators, etc... to tie into the iTunes or iPhone App format to keep readers engaged and returning.

But mostly... big, glowing comic pages sounds like a darn good idea.


Simon MacDonald said...

The one good thing about owning an iPhone in Canada is the Rogers network is actually very good for connectivity. Can't complain about that at all.

I'm enjoying reading comics on my iPhone but I use it as more of a taster. I try and issue or two a series to see if I'd like to pick it up in trades. It has the benefit of being cheaper to buy two or three issues digitally than buying the first floppy.

I welcome an Apple Tablet device as that could be a boon to my book/comic reading. I'd love to get into the back catalog of Marvel and DC. A major boom for both companies could appear by doing print on demand. Where fans could make up their own trades.

tjeff said...

it's not Apple, but I've been interested in the idea of this one by Asus, pretty cheap too: