Comics

iPad is coming, but where are the content deals?

The Wall Street Journal reports that, with the iPad arriving in stores and on doorsteps in just a few weeks, Apple is still "scrambling" to secure content deals for their magical and revolutionary new device. Why?

Apple hasn't yet reached a deal with many major TV producers on the price cut, these people said. Some are concerned a price cut could hurt their existing businesses, these people said, including jeopardizing the tens of billions of dollars in subscription fees they are paid by cable and satellite companies for their traditional TV networks.

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Mythical Apple iTablet to be Ultimate Comic Book Reader?

Could Apple's still unannounced, non-existant (for consumers anyway) iTablet be the ultimate comic book reader? Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Apple aficionado, and Sheldon-esque comic book lover Andy Ihnatko suggests just that. When writing about LongBox, which seeks to do for comics what iTunes did for music (i.e. bring a fractured, self-destructive, myopic industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century), he says:

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Quick App: Comics iPhone Comic Store and Reader

Comics [$0.99 - iTunes link] serves as both an iPhone formatted comic book store and reader. (Think iTunes but for comics). comiXology was kind enough to give us a preview of the app, which will be officially announced tomorrow at the San Diego Comic Con, home of all things good and geeky in the 'verse.

First, Comics costs $0.99 because it uses in-app purchases to allow you to buy paid content (more comics). Apple says "free apps stay free", so anything using in-app purchase has to be a paid app. Hence, the minimal price. On to the app.

There are multiple ways to find comics, featured, free, top 25, and browse/search. Lots of information and a few preview images are provided for each, along with a link to buy print versions, which opens a WebView to Amazon.com with an option to move it into Safari.

A good amount of free comics available -- I went immediately for Robert Kirkman's excellent Invincible. You need to set up an account before you can download comics, but it's fairly quick (it does ask your birthdate, presumably for age-based ratings reasons). Once you've set up your account, you can download away. It took me 25 seconds over Rogers 3G to get a comic. Not bad.

A tutorial walks you through the "guided" mode of comics reading, and then away you go. It took me a second to get used to the animated way in which Comics takes you through panels, but it works well. You can turn to landscape when wanted, or disable rotation if it bothers you.

Of course, there's no Marvel (think Wolverine, Hulk, Iron Man) or DC (Batman, Superman) titles to be found, and for that I blame the same kind of slow thinking that long plagued music and still plagues other media to some extent.

It does give the independents a little room to shine, however.

Note: The developers are currently reporting problems with in-app purchases and the iTunes servers behind them, but say they're working with Apple to resolve them. In the mean time, the free comics are all working just fine.

If you're a comics fan, and you give Comics a try, let us know how you like it!

Tons of screen caps after the break!

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Wednesday Fun Comic: Wolverine Better Get a BlackBerry!

SNIKT! How appropriate that CrackBerry Kevin SMASH! was homage'd straight from the pages of Hulk vs. Wolverine, as it seems from the Evil-Comic above that everyone's favorite Canadian mutant maniac might just be heading his way soon.

Remember: he's the best there is at what he does, even if what he does isn't very nice... to multi-touch smartphones, bub.

(True geeks are free to make their own Storm jokes here).

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Could an Apple iTablet be a Kindle e-Book and e-Comic Killer?

Yeah, let the speculation continue! No sooner did we blog about Apple's rumored March 24th Special Event being an iPhone 3.0 or even iTablet into, then we came across this wonderful article up at Newsarama.com featuring uber-Apple tech journo, Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times. Most tantalizingly:

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Mighty Marvel Motion Comics Coming to Intrepid iTunes!

Listen up, true believers! TUAW is reporting that Marvel Comics, home to the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and Spider-Man has announced at the New York Comic Con:

their intention to sell "In-Motion" comic books through the iTunes Store. According to Marvel, the In-Motion comics go beyond the paperback books with animated panels and voice-over work from popular actors. Sounds like something that could be a lot of fun on an iPod touch or iPhone.

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