The iPad and Comics: Round 2

The iPad and Comics: Round 2

So the iPad is finally here.  The reviews have been positive even though no one is sure why exactly anyone will want to buy one of these things, but it is clear if you do buy one you will like it.  Now I’m clearly in the naysayer camp when it comes to the iPad and comics.  I do not believe it will save comics or be the game changer that many are hoping it will be.  Nothing about the current release has changed my opinion on that but there are some very clear positives about the iPad and other tablet devices for comics and I’m going to focus on those.  Or to put it simply, the iPad is not a game changer for comics but it is a enhancer.   (more…)

DC Wants to be #1 in the Direct Market

Under Paul Levitz DC has always seem content to be the number 2 company as they never seemed truly interested in taking the kind of risks that Marvel has.  Now that was not a bad strategy given the extreme boom and bust swings of Marvel.  Matt Price of  Nerdage did a nice job of cover the ComicPRO event from this past week, a meeting between publishers and retailers, Dan Didio had this to say at the event.

Our goal is to beat Marvel, We have to see if there are tools we can use to make us No. 1.


Webcomic Notes

The hardest part to reading webcomics is just finding a comic worth reading.  As the webcomics experts say the blessing and curse of webcomics is that anyone can make them and put them online.  It’s a blessing because it is free and a open door for all creative types but it is a curse in that it creates a endless flood of mostly bad but some good comics.  Sadly there are few websites out there right not dedicated to webcomics coverage, at least from what I have found so far.  There is no Newsarama for webcomics, at least not yet.   (more…)

First Second Books’ Webcomics

I have been spending more time of late exploring the world of webcomics.  For me it has been like discovering manga after years mostly reading what you would normally find in the average comic shop.  Much like manga, the webcomics field is vast.  I’m a very picky reader as I do not like to waste my time on things that do not meet my personal standards.  So I was lucky to find First Second Books had recently launched their own webcomics line called To be Continued.  For someone like me who is new to webcomics and is looking for something outside the superhero genre this line is perfect.


Straczynski’s The Brave and the Bold

A few people have been recommending J Michael Straczynski’s current run on The Brave and The Bold.  It was one of those things I kept putting off as recommendations can often be hit or miss for me.  I had read a few of the Mark Waid written issues earlier in this series but they did not interest me enough to stick around.  I tend to prefer full arcs on books over one and done type things.

So it was quiet the surprised for me to find out how good this book is under Straczynski, which begins on issue #27.  I think the best way to describe his run so far is that in each issue he cuts right to heart of what was great about the Silver Age.  Straczynski is able to capture the real essence of what is great about the characters featured in each issue.  The amazing thing is you do not have to know anything about DC continuity to enjoy it.  Each issue is completely self contained so it doesn’t matter what issue you read as there is no order to it.  I’m impressed how good the stories are despite only being on issue long.   (more…)

News Items

Here are a few items of news from the past week or so, as I’m catching up on some things.

Longbox Beta

The open beta for the digital comic store front Longbox launched this weekend.  It can be found here.  It is being setup to be the iTunes of digital comics.  It is the most promising of all the digital comic stores out there as it will be cross platform from home computers, to mobile devices, and even things like the Xbox.

After playing around with it for a bit I did find it a bit disappointing even though it is just a beta, mainly because it is too much like iTunes for my liking.  Like iTunes it just feels too slow and clunky to do what I like, but that is my personal bias.  The positive of being like iTunes means it will be more user friendly to more casual minded computer users.  I hope it does well as I think it will be good for comics in general.

DC (more…)

iBookstore Will Have a Comics Category

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. (more…)

Is This Odd?

Is it just me or does anyone else find Batgirl’s new motorcycle to be somewhat disturbing?  Click through to see what I mean.


What I am Reading From Avatar Press

I have a hard time recommending books from Avatar Press to people.  They are like a small press version of Marvel where you get a number of really good things mixed with some really bad things.  On the positive side Avatar is the best place for Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis fans to find most of their best current work.  Avatar has been forward thinking in having Freak Angels posted in installments online for free fallowed by collected trades in print (which has been moderately successful for them).  On the negative side the artists tend to be second level at best along with some extremely unreliable release schedules.

Probably worst of all is that they take a page from Marvel and use the $3.99 and $4.99 price tags without the justifying page count to match.  Now I realize most small press books have to charge more to meet costs, but given how creator owned comics at Image get by just fine with a lower price tag and better production qualities it leaves me annoyed with Avatar’s business tactics when they could be doing the same.  Avatar Press books are worth picking up when they are priced right.  So with that in mind I think the byline for Avatar Press books should be “Wait for the Discounted Trade.”


Marvel Adding Backup Features to Avengers

Robot 6 has reported that the two Bendis written Avengers books will have backup features in each both written by Bendis.  This comes on the announcement that New Avengers will relaunch with a new number one issue titled New Avengers.  That’s right it’s the exact same name and clearly the usual ploy to try and inflate sales numbers.  Marvel has been doing it so much lately that it’s becoming harder for them to sell these sort of things,  but they still think it’s a good idea.  On the positive side they will at least have 30 pages of content to go with the $3.99 price tag and the backups will be written by Bendis so it will not have the problem Captain America has with the backup feature not completing the main feature.  Better late then never.  No word on if the Secret Avengers will have a backup feature as well but given that Brubaker’s Captain America books have featured 30 pages of content it will more then likely be the same for Secret Avengers either with backups or 30 page stories. (more…)