"Murderdrome" Comic Banned From App Store. Duh...

People are remarkable. We can spend time figuring out precisely what we're not allowed to do. Spend even more time doing it. Then spend triple that complaining when we suffer the foreseeable and reasonable consequences of our informed and deliberate actions. Heck, Dr. Phil has amassed a money-bin throwing us up on TV for just such spectacle.

Witness all the PR flackery and blog blustering (present posting included!) going on about the strategic geniuses who decided to go ahead and make an iPhone App Store-optimized engine for navigating and displaying specially formatted comic books.

Was their debut feature a family friendly installment of the Tremendous Super-Spider? Nope. It was "Murderdrome" and it was rejected. Find out why after the jump!

The App Store's policy -- which is part of the License Agreement the writers/developers agreed to when they got the iPhone SDK -- expressly states: "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."

Is this a good policy, as Lying in the Gutters rightly points out:

"...you need to have a credit card to download content. And, say, viewers are able to download the "300" movie."

Maybe, maybe not. TV and Movies are mature mediums with a parental guidance system that is well understood in the market and long inoculated against the most extremist of faux-puritanical propaganda (wardrobe malfunctions not withstanding). App Store is a brand new platform delivery model, likely in the sights of every hyper-litigious, uber-manipulative fringe group, and Apple is undoubtedly playing is safe as a result.

Will "Murderdrome" ever make it onto the App Store? Probably some day, maybe even soon-ish. LITG, however, points out that it might be better to get the comic reader App up separately, and then establish downloads for content, like eBooks.

Er... Could it be that was the plan all along? Let's face it: a killer comic reader (and admittedly, this one looks sweet), would definitely be in high demand, especially if Marvel or DC ever decided to explore the mobile internet delivery model for their content. A nice little well-manufactured controversy could bring a lot of attention to an App that wants to own that space, now couldn't it?

As an artist, I'd like to believe in vision without compromise, pushing boundaries, and finding new outlets for creative expression. As a blogger, however, I've grown just a little more jaded, especially when press releases seem so ready to fly...

What do you think?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

"Murderdrome" Comic Banned From App Store. Duh...


I had the longest post about this. And the issue was free expression. This was not manufactured PR. I don't accept graft, even though every other blog seems to grab whatever they can get. How about your blog?

I'm all in favor of free expression, but I can see Apple wanting to CYA in favor of a ratings system. I agree with the suggestion that the e-ComicBook reader should have been written first with downloadable content. In fact, I would prefer that just so I can maybe get back into comic books ;)
All in all, I don't like it, but I can't throw much blame in the direction of Cupertino.

Mike, stick to what you know. Free expression does not entitle you to the use of someone else's microphone (or App Store). Insinuating that those who don't share your flawed conclusions are corrupt is childish and blatant psychologizing.