Digital Comics Are Go!

A month ago I mentioned that more digital comic stores would be opening later this year. Guess what? At last weeks New York Comic Con, both Marvel and Top Cow announced they would start selling digital comics. Woot!

  • Marvel’s president, Dan Buckley, said “[Digital distribution] is a very real thing that we’re all going to have to deal with, because whether we like it or not, our books are already on the internet”. Click to read more.
  • Top Cow announced they would be teaming up with IGN.com for online distribution. Find out more here, and here.

Naturally, I’m very excited by this news, as are many others. I don’t think there is an issue over the media format, paper vs digital, it’s really about choice. Digital comics are popular with fans, and publishers now recognise this fact.

With regards to reading these comics with ComicBookLover, I hope Marvel and others will avoid trying to create a custom document format, encumbered with DRM. Instead, they should stick to a popular format such as CBZ, perhaps with a few changes to accommodate metadata, and alternative compression formats (7zip). Fingers crossed!

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3 Responses to Digital Comics Are Go!

  1. TheDov says:

    Well, I think it’s already a positive step that Marvel has so many comics available on DVD as PDFs – I bought the Ultimate X-Men and complete Amazing Spider-Man collections already.

  2. Simon says:

    @thedov : Yes, those DVDs are quite popular, but I think the quality of the digital comics could be improved. For example, the scans could have been of single pages, instead of scanning two pages at a time. Another thing is that the PDF file has a Marvel logo which appears when trying to read the comic with a standard PDF viewer like Apple’s Preview.app, and printing is not allowed. These restrictions are inconvenient for customers, and are ineffective in tackling the issue of copyright infringement.

  3. voidstar says:

    I’ve now spent some time with Marvel Digital Comics. The good news is that there’s lots of them, the bad news is the selection is sporadic, and the user interface is a dreadful Flash monstrosity, especially compared to my beloved CBL.The comics themselves are usually 1000×1500 jpgs per page, with the more modern comics having a layer of SWF for the lettering. The lettering is a bit disappointing as well, it’s misaligned fairly regularly.The reader that Marvel uses is insanely bad, and actually (and this is truly bizarre) crashes my cable modem. I eventually put a proxy in place between my system and my modem, and things improved, but this made it impossible to give to my 10 year old nephew as a Christmas gift (it crashes his cable modem as well).void*

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