In some positive news for comics going into the digital age, Robot 6 reports that Apple’s iBookstore will have it’s own category for comics and graphic novels. That’s important as it initially looked like comics would be limited to the app store. With a designated category it will help books from getting lost in the shuffle which is a issue with the app store at the moment. This likely will not help monthly books but it is good news for graphic novels given current trends. It’s a wise move by Apple as graphic novel sales in the general market have been slowly but surely growing. It still isn’t clear what comics will be available in the store and Apple’s standards are very strict so this could be a issue for many books trying to get into the iBookstore as is the case with the apps.
It is still hard to say if people will take to these tablet devices, but we will not have to wait long to find out as the iPad goes on sale next month with other tablet devices from other companies being released this year as well. The one comic related thing I do see that will greatly benefit from tablets are webcomics. All that is needed is a internet connection to read a webcomic on a iPad or the like. I suspect people will be more inclined to a webcomics model given how much it’s going to will cost to buy a iPad and the internet service for it, not to mention a webcomic is less of a time commitment then say a full graphic novel. With any luck more webcomics will also fallow Scott Kurtz’s recent release of a free iPhone app for his webcomic PVP, which includes the ability to buy digital versions of his print books on top of the standard free content. From my perspective webcomics and their model are sitting in the best position of all for the future.