Friday, June 26, 2009

Staying In Touch with Digital Comics News

There are posts, articles, and even entire websites popping up all the time regarding digital comics. Some report , some criticize, some generate content , while others provide delivery systems. Something that doesn't get reported on nearly as much, with one exception, is hardware/ software. What will be used to view the digital comics in question.

I think it's largely assumed that the iPhone (and other smart handhelds) will be used to do that. Now, and in the future with a rumored iTablet on the way (which will have a much larger screen to view the comics on).

Recently news has surfaced to shed the light of Digital Comic hardware/software in another direction:

TOUCH BOOK

"Until now, all netbooks were engineered the same way: Power-hungry Intel Atom, ugly case, and outdated 90's OS. Our goal: To achieve a breakthrough in both architecture and design. The result: a revolutionary device that works as both a netbook and a standalone tablet thanks to a detachable keyboard and a 3D touchscreen user interface".~Always Innovating

CRUNCHPAD



"The idea is to get a new type of device into people’s hands for as cheap as possible (we were aiming for $200, it looks like $299 is more realistic). It fits perfectly on your lap while you are sitting in front of the TV, so you can look up stuff on Wikipedia or IMDB as you channel surf.

It plays Flash video flawlessly so you can watch movies and TV shows on Hulu or Joost or wherever. Or listen to music on MySpace Music. Or use TokBox to have a video chat with your parents. Then check email and call it a day. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Hulu, Wikipedia, Google Docs and Gmail are the killer apps for this device." ~TECHCRUNCH

Its unclear at this time whether or not the CRUNCHPAD will allow you to run a few other programs on its hard drive, from an external drive or even a thumb drive (such as a .cbr reader). That fact alone would give the TOUCH BOOK the clear edge for digital comic book fans, particularly with a quick google search turning up little in the way of a web based .cbr or .rar viewer.

Getting back to content for a moment, recently a new iTunes inspired comic book service was announced last weekend, that seems to have generated a huge amount of media coverage in the last few days (judging by my Google Alerts...):

LONGBOX

 Rantz Hoseley, the editor behind Image's “Comic Book Tattoo” anthology of comics inspired by Tori Amos, introduced his latest endeavor at Heroes Con this weekend. Longbox, a digital comics platform similar to iTunes, is expected to launch later this year as a free download for Mac, PC, and Linux.

Developed by Quicksilver Software, Longbox comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. The first two publishers confirmed for Longbox are Top Cow and BOOM! Studios. CBR News caught up with Hoseley to discuss the details of Longbox and its potential impact.

~CBR

Very similar to other services we've reported on in the past:

CARBONATED COMICS


"Who is Carbonated Comics?

Thank you for stopping by www.carbonatedcomics.com. We are a technology company that is building a way to safely and securely view digital comics and other mixed visual literature. We feature our comic reader (The Carbonator), the Carbonated Comics file format (CCX), and the Carbonated Comics store front for building and selling comics digitally.

We are actively looking for content providers that are interested in exposing their content. We are looking for new, old, and very old content from artists, publishers, and any other providers that wish to reach a broad market".~CARBONATED COMICS @ccomics

COMICS XP

 "The comicsXP Reader is a FREE downloadable software, currently available for windows based platforms, with Mac editions forthcoming. The comicsXP Reader will also bundle with the comicsXP Organizer, for organizing and managing your library.

Together this software offers you the ability to organize and read your favorite comicsXP titles. Along with comicsXP titles you'll also be able to read any .cbr, .cbz files that you may have."~COMICS XP @comicsxp

In two weeks we'll discuss digital comics you really should be reading NOW!

Have a great weekend,

Caine

4 comments:

Walter Ostlie said...

The digi-age is upon us. Really excited to see how digital comics are going to evolve.

JimShelley said...

Walter, yeah I couldn't agree. It's really nice to see so many things coming together all at once!

Chris said...

The Touch Book looks like it might make a nice Comic Reader, if someone can get a CBZ/CBR Comic Viewer working on it's Arm version of Linux.

If anyone does get Comix or another viewer running on that, I'd love to hear their experience with it.

JimShelley said...

@Chris - yeah, I'm like you, I'd sort of like to hear what someone else's experience is like before I consider plunking down money for such a device. I keep thinking Apple is going to unveil something like this everytime they have a conference, but durn if they don't...

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