DC Comics Launches Digital Comics Initiative Via comiXology

Just yesterday I was complaining that comics publishers were far too slow getting into the digital publishing game. After all, they already have an engaged, geeky audience that loves both gadgets and reading, so why not bring the reading experience to their gadgets? Seems like they were listening.

Today DC Comics announced an app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in partnership with comiXology (one of the start-ups we spotlighted this morning). Marvel Comics teamed up with comiXology a couple of months ago, and the result is really stunning and engaging digital comics that work well, even on screens as small as the iPhone’s. Now that DC is in the mix, comiXology-powered apps serve 80% of the comic marketplace.

Launch offerings include over 100 classic issues from DC Comics, Vertigo and WildStorm, plus a few new comics will be available day and date of release. Justice League: Generation Lost mini-series is the first of these, and hopefully more will follow soon. Readers will also get access to free comics or selections like the ZUDA series Bayou (which you really must read, as it’s amazing) and Batman: Black & White. A free 10-page preview of the 700th issue of Superman that serves as a prelude to the “Grounded” storyline by J. Michael Straczynski and Eddy Barrows will also be available. Other goodies include an issue per week of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, exclusive to the comiXology platform, and over 100 additional issues from DC’s imprints released each month.

Comics will cost $0.99 to $2.99 per issue, which is, in some cases, the same as the print title. We’re not sure how comics fans will feel about that, especially as so many will want to own both.  However, when you buy a digital issue it’s not limited to just one device. “Once readers download an issue, they will be able to read it on all DC Comics-branded Comics by comiXology-supported platforms,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “DC’s taking a bold approach to platform convergence, and we’re thrilled to be their solution of choice.”

In the future, this will include an Android app, which isn’t ready yet but we’re assured is in the works.

Now that DC and Marvel are both players in the digital space, do you plan to read your comics on the iPad or iPhone?

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