Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Top Ten Digital Comic News Stories of 2007

Hey, I'm back, and I hope you enjoyed your Holidays as much as I did! Well, with the year winding up, I thought it be nice to look back at 2007 and rundown the big news stories in the world of Digital Comics for 2007.

Note: Please don't try and figure out why one story ranks higher than another. In most cases, it's just an arbitrary call made by me...

1) Chrono/Theme packs become the big fad among the digital comic uploaders
For those of you who are not familiar with the term Chrono Pack, it's a torrent of comics of a specific character arranged in chronological order, thus the name. The most famous of these is the Marvel Chrono pack which saw a reseed on Zcult with a version 2 of the earlier packs. In addition to this, there was also a huge rise in C-list Chrono packs including... The Man-Bat Chrono Pack, The Freedom Fighters Chrono Pack, Galaxy of the Guardians Chrono Pack, Man-Wolf Chrono Pack... you get the idea. It seemed like every 3rd rate character was now the subject of a Chrono pack.

At the same time, Theme packs picked up steam as people started torrents on Witches, Werewolves, Zombies and Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis. While nothing new, there was quite a proliferation of these type of torrents this year.

2) Lost Girls is downloaded by over 65,000 people.
Now, if only half of those had been given the opportunity to *buy* the digital version at $1.00 a pop, imagine how much more money Top Shel would have made off the book.

3) Todd Allen becomes a columnist at ComicBookResources
For those of you not familiar with the knowledgeable Mr. Allen, I will introduce him here as the _EXPERT_ in all things Web Comics. His book, The Economics of Web Comics is MUST reading for anybody considering a future in Web Comics.

....a quick read will reveal that no one at Zuda read the book, but that's neither here or there...

While not *directly* related to Digital Comics per se, I think it's significant that reading comics on the web have gained enough traction amongst the mainstream comic readers that comicbookresources saw fit to have Allen start his column. Also, Allen sometimes has interesting notes about the Digital Comics scene (though he's not the Digital Comics nerd that I am...)

4) Amazon starts selling Kindles.
They look like crap and are way overpriced, but one day, you might be able to read American Flagg on them while sitting in an airport. Not really a Digital Comics new related item, but it's a step in the right direction, so there you go.

5) A developer in Australia develops a way to read comics on iTunes
Here's the link to the original post I did about this story.
Note: I have actually used this last week and flashback comics look great on the new iPod.

6) Marvel launches its Digital Comics Universe
Yeah, it's wrapped in an half assed Flash interface and NO they are not downloadable, but still full comic books on the web are a good thing right? Yeah...I know. I'll see you in alt.binaries.comics.reposts...

7) DC lauches Zuda
While DEFINITELY not Digital Comics, the Zuda project, like Marvel's DCU is an acknowledgement by one of the major players that the web is where the future is. I predict that DC launches its own Digital Comic site next year as well.

8) Marvel pulls its liscensing from GIT
So, once Marvel decided to launch its DCU it also pulled the liscensing for the PDF collections of comics on DVD that GIT was making. While I'm not a fan of PDF comics, this really feels like bad move. Here's the original story from the FB blog:

9) Slave Labor Graphis starts
While not given as much ink as Zuda or Marvel's DCU, Eyemelt was definitely the best in class example of how to sell Digital Comics in the year 2007. Besides having a great assortment of comics, Eyemelt provides users with a very easy system for buying their comics instantly. Dan Vado and company are to be commended! The aholes at PullBoxOnline should take note.

10) DC and Marvel send Zcult (and other torrent sites) cease and desist orders.
I don't think this will surprise anyone who's a regular at this blog. What I do think most of us found surprising was just what an uproar this little incident caused the *mainstream* comics web world. 3 years ago, I'd argue that the phrase Zcult meant nothing by and large to your average comic book message board poster. This year, it was a rallying call.

Well, that's all for this year. Quite a list aye?

I eagerly anticipate 2008!

Now, go get drunk! :D

- Jim


Philip Looney said...

Hey Jim - great article, but two tiny quibbles.

Lost Girls was published by Top Shelf, not DC; and Amazon is selling the Kindle.

JimShelley said...

Yow! Good eye Phillip!


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