Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comics may be the killer app for clickable newspapers.

iPhone to Print to iPhone. Plus everyone loves comics.

San Diego Comic-Con: Digital and Print Comics Come Together -
7/24/2009 7:28:00 AM -
Publishers Weekly
: "The Digital Comics Now panel featured David Steinberger, CEO of comics news site, who announced the debut of its combination comics e-reader for iPhone, library and digital comics store; and LongBox CEO Rantz Hosely discussed his much-anticipated LongBox venture, an effort to create an iTunes like delivery system for comics that is slated to work across multiple platforms. It's likely to launch in the fall. Steinberger’s Comixology iPhone/store/library app is available now through the iTunes store for, $.99 and gives readers access to about 100 titles from 20 publishers, including Bluewater, AdHouse and many others. The Comixology app allows reading by full page-view as well as panel-by panel-viewing and also attempts to tie digital comics to print and points readers to retailers for print editions
. .
Developed by Genus co-CEOs Melissa Pope and Helen Cho Anthos, Kamikaze also offers an elegant interface that emphasizes the full page-view as well as panel-by-panel reading. The app will soon offer iPhone editions of the complete Will Eisner backlist available from W.W. Norton; in addition they announced deals to offer the classic underground comics of R. Crumb (including Zap comics), as well as an iPhone version of Macmillan’s forthcoming comics adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451; The 9/11 Report: The Graphic Adaptation and the Warner Bros Terminator comic. Pope and Anthos said the new app is expected to go live on the iTunes store, "any day now." The updated Kamikaze interface now features a table of contents and an enhanced zoom text-bubble feature that enlarges the text for reading and shrinks back into the layout. The feature now also works in the landscape mode. Kamikaze is also offering comics from IDW, U.K. comics house Markosia and a growing list of self-published indies that include comics by Scott Morse and others.

In honor of Comic-Con, Google launched a project involving about 50 comics artists that allows online visitors to pick among comics visual themes created by the cartoonists and use it to decorate their personal homepages. Publishers involved include Macmillan’s First Second graphic novel imprint and their artists, including NBA nominee Gene Yang, Derek Kirk Kim, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, Sara Varon and others. And DC Comics’s superstar superhero artist Jim Lee has provided a superhero visual theme for the Classic Google interface that will be up through the convention.

In separate announcements Archie Comics unveiled its digital comics store, a subscription service offering access to hundreds of back issues. And the software developers at Genus Corp, who released an iPhone comics app at New York Comic-Con that featured a handful of titles—among them Will Eisner’s classic Contract with God—were on hand with an updated version of the app, called Kamikaze, that featured new features and lots of new comics.

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