Tons of digital announcements hit at C2E2 today. Has the comic book industry finally turned the corner and embraced digital comics? Oh, and stuff happened in the print realm too...
Digital comics have been a novelty for years now in the comic book industry. Companies make comics available digitally and they make motion comics (some more humorously bad than others), but they've always been kind of an afterthought, a begrudging admission that people do have computers and tablets and smartphones, and they do want to read comics on them, but really wouldn't it all be better if everyone would keep paying $4 for a 20 page magazine thank you very much? It seems like this year, however, the comic industry is finally coming to terms with the idea that digital comics are here to stay, and are probably the future of the industry.
Marvel's House of Ideas panel today was all about Marvel's digital intiative. For starters, Marvel Publicity Guru Arune Singh touted the Marvel Digital Comics App, which allows readers to access their comic collection on any device. "It's important to us that you can get your comics anytime, anywhere," he said, proving he understands the concept, even if the execution of a cloud based solution instead of actual file ownership still seems elusive. In addition to access, Singh confirmed that all $3.99 comics from Marvel will come with a code for a free digital download.
Marvel isn't stopping with traditional digital comics, however. Their ReEvolution intitiative puts the Marvel Augmented Reality App, a digital content enhancement to print reading, and Marvel Infinite Comics at the forefront of their digital program. In regards to Infinite Comics, a new way of presenting comics digitally in a panel format designed from scratch for a digital device and enhanced with minimal animation, Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada admitted, "I think this is the way we'll be telling comic book stories very shortly."
The Ideas don't stop at their eponymous House, however. DC Comics is getting into the digital comics game in a big way. In addition to the digital comics offered on their Digital Comics App and the Comixology App, DC announced some very major news - ORIGINAL digital comics, that is, comics released exclusively (at least at first) on their digital comics platform. These titles include Bryan Q. Miller's Smallville Season 11, a continuation of the WB television show, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's Ami-Comi Girls, a sexulaized manga comic featuring some of DC's female superheroes which this reporter will not even attempt to understand, and an out-of-continuity Batman series that will feature a rotating cast of creators including LOST's David Lindlelof and Jeff Lemire teaming up on one particularly anticipated story. These digital comics will be released weekly.
Other publishers are getting in on the act as well. Eisner-Award-winning publisher Archaia will also be releasing digital-first exclusive comics on Comixology, and Dark Horse, despite not making any major announcements at C2E2 yet (though there are still two days to go), has had a strong digital initiative for some time now, even causing a stir when they attempted to offer digital comics for cheaper than their print counterparts.
Whatever happens next, this reporter is finally beginning to believe that publishers are taking the digital market seriously, and that can only mean good things as the potential for readership of a well-supported digital initiative could finally allow comics to capitalize on the massive popularity of their properties and break out of their current niche status.
Update: And as all of that weren't enough, individual creators are getting into the act too. As Outhouse poster amlah6, who, contrary to what some people say, is not an arrogant d-bag who revels in pointing out the mistakes of humble comic book reporters like this one, helpfully pointed out in the comments section of this article, veteran comic book writer Mark Waid made a huge announcement of his own. Waid is launching his own creator-owned digital comics site, Thrillbent, which will debut original comics created for the digital market. Thrillbent launches on May 1st.
On the analog side of comics, we can expect most of the big announcements to occur tomorrow and Sunday. However, there were a few tidbits.
For all you boys out there that like to play with dolls, Outhouse correspondent Zechs was on hand at the DC Direct Panel. To kick things off, it's no longer called DC Direct. It's DC Collectibles now, a name that both better describes what it is they sell, and also makes grown men feel better about paying $400 for a statue of Doctor Manhattan. Which is one of the things they're making. You can click on the article for the rest, because, well, it's toys.
Speaking of toys, Diamond Select Toys and IDW are partnering to release Battle Beasts, a Japanese offshoot of Transformers that made it's way over to the US in the eighties and was forgotten by, well, most people. But we're not most people, are we? C2E2 attendees are able to pick up an ashcan preview of the mini-series from IDW, which will hit stores in July, as well as something called a minimate, which this reporter guesses is another toy, and not a midget life partner.
Back on more serious manboy topics, Outhouse correspondent Zechs was also on hand at the DC All Access panel, which you can read about here. Though not an announcement heavy panel, fans were treated to a preview of the DC Nu52 Free Comic Book Day book, which features four pages by Jim Lee. DC creators and brass Bob Harras, Bobbi Chase, Geoff Johns, JMS, Shane Davis, Scott Snyder, Kevin Maguire were at the panel to discuss the stories upcoming in their books, and the panel also showcased Batman: Earth One and Superman: Earth One Volume 2. Read the article for more details.
Not to be outdone, Dark Horse had two major announcements today. First up is a new horror series by Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley called Ex Sanguine. Seeley himself sums this up better than this reporter can: "Ex Sanguine is my take on the vampire-romance genre, but instead of being full of longing and anguished staring, it's full of brutal flirtations between two savage predators, one a vampire, one a serial killer." Ex Sanguine is in stores in November.
Also from Dark Horse, in partnership with Sequential Pulp, is a new home for Steve Bryant's 1930s pulp heroine Athena Voltaire. The agreement between Bryant ant the co-publishers covers digital and print publishing through 2015, and promises great things to come. And Nazis.
In other news that isn't necessarily C2E2 exclusive, Dimension Films announced that Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For is finally moving forward again, and Diamond announced that they will be distributing DC Comics Graphic Novels in the U.K. from now on.
Stay tuned to The Outhouse this weekend as we continue to cover comics news, both digital and analog.
Onward into the digital age!
C2E2 is one of the biggest Comic Book Industry events of the year, and the largest midwest comic convention. Follow all the latest news right here on The Outhouse, and head on over to our forums to call each other names over it.
Source: Press Release
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror