Category Archives: Comics/Graphic Novels

DC Comics Finally Goes Digital

Official Press Release: DC Comics Launches Digital Publishing

Jim Lee Addresses DC’s Digital Move

Still iPadless, I can only look at this from a distance. $2.99 for a digital comic book? Hm. DC also makes nice noises about storefront retailers. Like anyone wants to actually step foot into one of those places.

Thanks to @ghostfinder for alerting me via Twitter and for providing this screensnap of the DC iPad app splash screen:


Click = big

Previously here:

When Will Comic Publishers Learn?
Dear Steve Jobs …
Comic Books: Adult Eyes Make A Difference
Will The iPad Save Comic Book Publishing?
Comic Book Pricing
Digital Comic Books, Piracy, And More
Warren Ellis Unearths Comics Goodness

Noting Oscar Wilde

Otherwise busy, but this can’t go by.

It Gets Worse: Apple Censors a Gay Kiss in Oscar Wilde Comic

Apple Reverses Block Of Oscar Wilde Graphic Novel’s Gay Kissing

Oscar Wilde once said, There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

There is also a new, third tragedy: Apple.

Additional:

A Note To All Corporate Ass-Kissers

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

Apple Forfeits eBooks By Banning A Comic Book!
Apple And A Tale Of Two Bannings
Apple Bans ANOTHER Book From App Store!
Apple Approves Of Shooting Nurses In The Face!

Previously at The eBook Test:

Apple: Get The Hell Out Of Your Own Way!
Another Day, Another DoubleDumb Apple Book Rejection!
Apple’s Two-Faced Censorship At Work Again
A REAL Justification For Apple Censorship?

Previously here:

The Latest Outrageous Apple Book Rejection!
Apple: Think What Now?
Apple Rescinds Book Ban
Steve Jobs: Keep Saying No!
Apple Is Scaring Publishers And Writers
Steve Jobs: Abandoning A Principle?
Dear Steve Jobs …
Cory Doctorow Was Right
When Steve Jobs Wrote A Letter
The Trillion-Dollar Web Question
“What Are My Options?”
Thank You, Apple. No, Seriously.
Apple Censors Like It’s 1932!
How To FAIL At Free Speech
Apple Censors Real World

Apple Censors Like It’s 1932!

Really, Apple, when will you stop being such a public embarrassment?

Ulysses Seen iPad webcomic gets Apple approval after cuts

Rob Berry and Josh Levitas launched the ambitious webcomic version of the classic novel, one of the most important works of Modernist literature, earlier this year under the title Ulysses Seen. The comic includes only cartoon nudity, which the pair had to remove before Apple would approve the app.

And:

“Joyce’s novel is pretty explicit in its language and themes, so much so that in 1932 it won one of the most important court decisions about censorship in American history,” Berry continued. In 1920 after the magazine The Little Review serialized a passage from Ulysses dealing with the main character masturbating, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice helped get the book banned in the U.S. for more than 10 years. Eventually, following United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, U.S. District Judge John M. Woolsey ruled in 1933 that the book was not pornographic and therefore could not be obscene, with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the ruling in 1934.

Hey, Apple! NBC once had a famous censor, his name was Herminio Traviesas. He coined this phrase:

Guess what? Traviesas is dead.

Or did you find a way to dig him up and revivify him for your damned Store?

Look, Apple!

That’s a public sculpture at the entrance to what used to be the U.S. Custom House (now American Indian Museum) in New York City.

And two blocks away from it is this iPad ad!!

Aren’t you sponsoring public nudity by advertising in my filthy city?

Grow the fuck up already!

Additional:

A Note To All Corporate Ass-Kissers

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

Apple Forfeits eBooks By Banning A Comic Book!
Apple And A Tale Of Two Bannings
Apple Bans ANOTHER Book From App Store!
Apple Approves Of Shooting Nurses In The Face!

Previously at The eBook Test:

Apple: Get The Hell Out Of Your Own Way!
Another Day, Another DoubleDumb Apple Book Rejection!
Apple’s Two-Faced Censorship At Work Again
A REAL Justification For Apple Censorship?

Previously here:

The Latest Outrageous Apple Book Rejection!
Apple: Think What Now?
Apple Rescinds Book Ban
Steve Jobs: Keep Saying No!
Apple Is Scaring Publishers And Writers
Steve Jobs: Abandoning A Principle?
Dear Steve Jobs …
Cory Doctorow Was Right
When Steve Jobs Wrote A Letter
The Trillion-Dollar Web Question
“What Are My Options?”
Thank You, Apple. No, Seriously.

When Will Comic Publishers Learn?

Comic Publishers: It’s Time To Take Digital Seriously

And who can afford it anymore, either? How do I justify $3.99 on a comic? I can’t, at least not in the numbers necessary to justify the trip or to follow the stories going on at Marvel and/or DC. For example, it cost $12 just to buy the three Bendis-penned issues at the end of “Siege.” [...]

I’m solidly a wait-for-the-trade or wait-for-a-review-copy kind of guy now. With Amazon’s discounts, trades and hardcovers are affordable. Plus, my lifestyle currently doesn’t give me as much time to read comics as it did just five years ago. So I don’t need a stack of a dozen or more comics a week anymore. Those three or four hardcovers next to my computer will keep me busy for a while, thanks.

Let’s play with some numbers: A standard Marvel Premiere Edition hardcover at Amazon is six issues for $16.50, or $2.75 an issue — $1.25 less an issue than buying it on the stands, in a superior format. “The Invincible Iron Man” hardcover I reviewed last week is $26.39 for 19 issues right now — $1.39 an issue. The “Iron Fist Omnibus” is $47.24 for 20 issues, roughly, or $2.36. Over at DC, the first volume of the “Starman Omnibus” series is $31.49 for 17 issues, or $1.85 an issue. The more modest “Y The Last Man” Deluxe Edition, Volume 1 is $19.79 for 12 issues, or $1.65 per issue.

You want me to drive to the local comics shop to pay $4 for a comic…why?

There’s a big fat bag of money out there waiting for them to scoop up from people like me who stopped reading comics and would not only like to read some of the new ones but also get e-reprints of some of the ones we used to own.

Comic books used to sell in the millions. The sales figures today aren’t really even worth mentioning when compared to over a million iPads out there (probably near three million by the time Jobs does his WWDC keynote).

Dear Steve Jobs …

Dear Steve Jobs: I admire you greatly, but when it comes to PUBLISHING, you have YOUR HEAD UP YOUR ASS!Sun May 16 17:18:09 via Echofon

iPad Says No to Violence and Adult Situations in Manga

I hope HP and Palm are paying close attention to the issues here.

Freedom of Expression could turn out to be the killer app for a webOS tablet.

Comic Books: Adult Eyes Make A Difference

As I stated in some other posts, the iPad renews my interest in reading comics again and in the possibility of “e-reprints” of some of the comics I once owned.

I’ve been looking at several sites today that display pages from some of the comics I had when I was a collector, back in the 1970s.

I recall back then whining with others in sympathy that comics weren’t taken seriously. That they were basically “frozen movies” or “frozen television” — basically, storyboards — and therefore worthy of serious, adult attention.

Well, seeing some of them again today again reminded me of that phrase, You can’t go home again.

See the horror after the break.

Continue reading

Some iPad Screensnap Studies

Went to fondle an iPad again today.

Did some screensnaps to answer some questions.

See them — many! — after the break.

Continue reading

Will The iPad Save Comic Book Publishing?

Checker Addresses Diamond Cancellations

In the comic book industry there is one company which dominates distribution. That company is a privately held firm. The owner is a gentleman named Steven Geppi. Despite protests to the contrary for business purposes Geppi is Diamond Comics, and Diamond Comics is Geppi…period. Checker BPG became aware of extensive legal actions against Mr. Geppi in the Spring of 2009 to our extreme dismay. The frequency and number of the lawsuits is staggering and I list them simply for factual underlying basis for our separation from Diamond Comics, Inc. of Timonium, Maryland:

Mr. Geppi had ongoing legal suits which he has since lost with PNC Bank and Harbor Trust Bank of Maryland for 16.4 million and 3.5 million dollars respectively. Mr. Geppi has also had legal actions against him filed by Creditors Trade Association, Westview Center Associates, LLC., The Heirs of artist Bob Montana, and the Maryland Stadium Authority which has been settled amidst controversy. All clearly shown in public court filings researched by Checker BPG last year. Our legal counsel briefly reviewed several these suits last spring and advised us to leave. We lost count and interest in the legal train wreck which is Steven Geppi after four or five lawsuits.

This is a very long post. But the bottom line is that it’s very difficult to see how the one company that has a stranglehold on the majority of comic book distribution can remain viable.

And now that this news is out, how many other publishers will pull out?

With that void in the world of print comic book publishing, it seems to me this is one industry that has to go electronic fast.

It will be interesting to see if the iPad winds up being the savior of comic book publishing.

I won’t buy print — and I especially won’t buy print from one of those ghastly stores that sell comics. Yet I’m very interested in reading comics again on the iPad. Iversemedia tweeted the other day that all of Kick-Ass is now available. I’d buy that. And I think many other people who wouldn’t seek them out in a store would too. Those are sales that the publisher wouldn’t otherwise get.

So, can the iPad save comic book publishing?

Book publishers better pay attention to this. Especially with Borders continually on the lip of the abyss.

Documentary News

Greg Baldino’s C2E2 Report #8 – Understanding Grant Morrison – And Warren Ellis Documentary Announced

The panel ended with a teaser trailer for the team’s next project, produced along with documentary film maker Kevin Thurman. The clip showed a dark image of a bearded man smoking and drinking Red Bull, speaking about life and purpose and writing, ending with the words:

Warren Ellis

Captured Ghosts

According to a tweet by Warren Ellis, this will be a DVD.

But we all know everyone will clamor for this stuff to be at the iTunes Store too. In HD. For our iPads. (And attention, kids, one hour of HD video is over a gigabyte of storage. See, avoid that 16GB low-end model!)

Comic Book Pricing

The day after a discussion about digital comics, writer Warren Ellis has an interesting discussion going on at his Whitechapel forum about print comic book prices.

Warren Ellis:

And now, most of the more popular comics in the commercial field are 3.99. The old favourites, your X-MENs and so on. Some of them are including extra material — indicating that the price could in fact have been held at 2.99, but pricing them at 3.99 increases your dollar market share in nice ways.

More than one commentator has noticed, however, that the midlist is getting cannibalised again.

No-one can retreat from 3.99 again, really. That’s the new threshold.

– and –

My thinking is — and this isn’t news, it has been for a while — that in the current time, comics probably have to work a little harder to be owned. To quote myself about magazines, they are objects that have to want to be owned. In fact, you can also frame it in terms of experience design — comics singles must want to be used.

Someone over there calls himself a “geezer,” stating that he began buying comics when they were sixty-five cents.

Dear god! When I started, they were twelve cents.

Anyway, that “geezer” says he has a hard time going into a store with twenty bucks and coming out with 3-4 comics.

I don’t know what digital comics are going for at the App Store. I haven’t looked (going through the disorganized mess of the App Store on a desktop is No Fun). So, I can’t comment on the digital price aspects of it.

One way or the other, though, I expect I’ll be surprised.

And I also expect to be buying a lot of e-reprints, if those ever happen. There’s a huge comic book nostalgia market out here that shouldn’t be ignored.