Eyestrain, e-books, and egregious errors

You weren’t planning on doing any work today, were you? Because thanks in part to the Marvel thing, the internet is abuzz with news and commentary about digital comics.

Item: CNet says that Amazon will be debuting its e-reader today. According to the advance hype, it has a WiFi connection so you can get books on the road, and Amazon seems to have a deal with Sprint as well, in case there are no nearby hotspots. List price is $399. Simon Jones (NSFW!) is not impressed with the prototypes he has seen so far.

Item: German comics magazine Comicgate interviews Dirk Wood of Dark Horse Comics, and the conversation turns to digital comics. He discusses Dark Horse Presents, their free webcomic at MySpace, and talks about eventually implementing an iTunes model, Continue reading


The Long Awaited Kid’s Book Project Goes Live!

After two weeks of the most frustrating experience with a DSL modem in 5 years I am finally back online. This means a flood of news from yours truely and the first piece to get off my chest is the newly released Kid’s Book Project from Michael Rouse-Deane. This guy might actually be in second place for webcomics nice guy with all the work he’s been doing with charities. The book consists of the work from 52 artists plus a cover and intro by two more for a total of 54 exclusive works. Taking a look at the sneak peak Mike sent us I’ve already pulled up the site to pre-order the book.

The good news does not stop there. Mike does not plan to stop with his work from this year as he is already lining up a Guest Strip Project for Make-A-Wish Foundation which starts on 1st January and goes throughout the year. They’ll be Tastefully Done 2009 and a third project he is keeping under wraps. Following is the list of artists and what page they did;

Continue reading


Cell phone comics up in Japan

Anime News Network reports that sales of electronic manga in Japan totaled 10.6 billion yen, or about $95.7 million, in 2006. That’s a respectable increase over the 3.4 million yen spent in 2005. One aspect that is being watched on this side of the Pacific is how much is going to cell phones rather than computer screens: It was pretty lopsided last year, with 2.4 billion yen being spent to view manga on computers and 8.2 billion to read it on cell phones.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that many Japanese people commute by train, not car, so they have big blocks of time to read cell phone manga. But this article, translated by Manganews earlier this year, touches on another important difference: Continue reading


Manganovel’s alternative reality

In this week’s PWCW, Ed Chavez unwraps the new service Manganovel. The Toshiba-owned site allows readers to download manga and upload their own translations. At the always NSFW Icarus Blog, publisher Simon Jones comments:

[Manganovel] promises to one day grind the bones of print manga publishers into powder, mix them with the puréed hearts of professional translators and the severed fingers of touch-up artists, to make a frozen almond tofu dessert OF PURE EVIL!

The site is basically trying to monetize something that is already happening on the web: Fans scan in Japanese manga and supply their own translations. Continue reading


Marvel comics digest

Of course, it was inevitable that the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited site would crash on its first day. Less predictable is the fact that Marvel would give the new intiative the acronym DCU, which caused audible snickers all over the internet.

Props to ICv2, which asks Marvel’s Dan Buckley, with a straight face, “Can you cite some non-porn examples of successful subscription sites for entertainment content?” (Buckley comes up with a handful.)

Buckley also bends the rules a bit, saying that Marvel may put up new comics (i.e. less than six months old) to promote a trade—and they will pull books off the site after a while. At ComicMix, Dan Grauman reacts badly to that news and also fills in some background. (Via Journalista.)

And this seems a bit ominous: Continue reading


It’s official: Marvel comics online

OK, the magic hour has passed and the news is official: Marvel will be putting 2,500 comics online, for a price.

Here’s the deal: you pay $9.99 a month, or $4.99 a month if you’re willing to commit for a year, and you get unlimited access to the archive. Plus they’re keeping 250 comics online for free. As USA Today’s David Colton breathlessly reports:

Subscribers will be able to access the first hundred issues of key titles, turn pages with a click of the mouse or navigate a battle against Dr. Doom frame-by-frame with a “Smart Panel” viewing feature. The user can zoom in on details of art by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko from the 1960s or catch up with today’s The Ultimates and New Avengers.

Well, not “today’s” The Ultimates and New Avengers: Nothing goes online until it’s at least six months old. And the big catch is that it’s a subscription model, not downloads, so you can read it but you can’t take it with you. Continue reading


Marvel to launch online comics tomorrow?

Newsarama posted a news item today stating that Marvel would unveil a subscription digital comics site tomorrow, then as I was writing this post, they took it all back, stating that the original story was inaccurate. According to a commenter, the news was supposed to be embargoed until midnight tonight, which may explain this anomaly. Or maybe the writer of the CBC story that was the source for the Newsarama article did indeed make some mistakes. The industrious reader can find snippets of the original story in the comments section, but as the full scoop will be up tomorrow, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

UPDATE: Here’s a story credited to the AP. Caveat lector, as this may be the same as the CBC story that Marvel called “inaccurate.”

UPDATE 2: Well, Newsarama has posted an AP story identical to the one linked above, except for this paragraph:

News of the new Marvel initiative began appearing online Monday afternoon, via an AP wire story and sources like the CBC.ca website, prompting Marvel Comics to request any version of the story citing the AP or CBC be removed from websites due to the CBC version in particular being “filled with inaccuracies.” It is not immediately apparent what was inaccurate about the CBC version of the story.

Of course, nothing was inaccurate; Marvel was simply throwing their weight around because the story was embargoed. Classy!

Continue reading


Celebrating The First Year of Digital Strips

If Family Feud were to round up all the webcomic artists and ask them what they’re top 10 wishes were getting their comic in print form would easily be on the list. Thus we are ecstatic to announce the long time awaited news of DS being released through IndyPlanet. You can now take your favorite podcast comic with you wherever that may be.

The news doesn’t stop there. Good old Zampzon went around talking with some of the local comic book shops around Dallas and today closed a deal with Titan Comics to put both his Bramble Vine Comics and Digital Strips: Year One on their shelves. Now I understand how excited everyone gets when they actually have their comics for sale at a comic book shop.


NY Times Magazine goes Platinum

The New York Times Magazine has discovered Platinum studios. Writer Ben Ehrenreich seems to be fascinated by the fact that Platinum’s Scott Rosenberg made a movie deal for Cowboys & Aliens based on a few slim threads of a story—basically, no more than the title and a few character sketches, if the magazine is to be believed. If that’s true, maybe I should clear out my half-baked-ideas drawer and head West.

Ehrenreich’s article raises the question of what exactly constitutes a “comic” when he writes

For most of the intervening years, “Cowboys & Aliens” did not exist as a published comic. Platinum didn’t bother printing any of its comics, in fact, until late last year, when “Cowboys & Aliens” became its first property to exist in tangible, paper-and-ink form.

Continue reading


DS 126: Review of Perry Bible Fellowship

Digital Strips Show 126
Digital Strips : Show 126
[16.1 MB]
We’re back and getting on schedule. It has been 3 months since I real life started interfering but this review should make up for it. We have for you perhaps one of the top ten biggest comics. That’s Perry Bible Fellowship for those of us who keep up with webcomics but the MySpace king for everyone else.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
  • Share