29 January 2010

iPad + Comics

I have been waiting with baited breath all week for the announcement of Apples new product as I blogged earlier. It was almost unfortunate that the hype grew so big because I think everyone, me included, thought that this new device would have everything, you know like steak knifes and a lawn mower. Whilst I can see some immediate drawbacks I am still holding to my conviction that this will be a fantastic platform for digital comics.

The name aside (iPad? come on!!) imagine reading digital comics on this! Before it was announced I thought iSlate sounded bad and iTablet sounded like medicine. I think the name iTab would have worked well.

It appears that apple will have it's own store called iBook so it will be interesting to see what sort of graphical content will  be offered there, comics books, picture books, art books kids books.

There will be other companies like comixology that will continue on with the model they have with the iPhone and no doubt a host of other companies.

What I feel needs to happen is a website that lets anyone upload their own comic eBook content and set their own prices for that content, much like lulu.com does with print on demand. It could have a built in suggestion feature like that of amazon.com and librarything matching users with their tastes and tags.

I also feel that creators do not have to go all wiz bang with their comics, ie, sound and moving images. I could see that being an interesting realm of interactive storytelling and animation and fits into Scott McCloud's idea of the future of comics, I just think it would be its own genre. I think a comic will work just fine as static pages. The pages could be zoomed in on, or read as a spread of as multiple pages per screen but the images would remain static as they do on a page. Just like prose text would not be animated with sounds and movement, even though there is room for that type of thing to be explored. For example imagine buying the complete Titin through the iBook store to read on your iPad and carrying that around with you to access at will, as well as other titles. Also you wouldn't want it to be animated with sounds and movement, just the original hi resolution comics would be great and would speak for themselves. After all that is the simple beauty of comics.

For years I have dreamed of some sort of mobile platform that you could read comics on. My interest started with colour ipod screens, although they changed the designs so quickly I did not want to bother formatting my comics for any particular one. My interest had increased recently with the iPhone  and iPod touch and also the kindle, but really the iPad takes the cake in terms of screen real estate for comics.

I think I will wait out the first round in terms of buying one, for the improvements in version 2.

Here is an article about how the iPad will effect comic book stores,
http://www.manolith.com/2010/01/27/ipad-good-for-comics-bad-for-retailers/

Another that thinks the ipad will be great thing for comics,
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10443109-1.html

Comixology's response to the news,
http://www.newsarama.com/comics/Comixology-iPad-100117.html

Video on possibilities with comixology,
http://vimeo.com/9029643

No comments: