Well, to some comic news sites, the big news this week was that a line of young adult graphic novels that never really sold very well were cancelled.
I, however, think the really big news that will have major implications on the comic industry was Google's presentation of the new T-1 Mobile G1 touch screen phone which uses Google's opensource Android operating system.
If you are not familiar with the Android phone, let me say it's sort of a iPhone for everyone who doesn't want to be locked into Apple software. It will have a nice big 320x480 touch screen interface like the iPhone.
Check out this video of the G1 touch...
WhyI think this is significant is because this is just the first salvo in what promises to be a very big war between cell phone companies as they try to outshine Apple's iPhone.
Now the G1 is not the only big name contender for the Apple touch screen crown, another, possibly MORE significant player is about to enter the arena next month, and that's BlackBerry...
currently they have scheduled their first (of many I'm sure) touch screen device in the BlackBerry Storm.
And while this picture might not impress you as much as the Apple iPhone's cool interface, the real advantages the Blackberry has are:
1. It's the mobile phone of choice at just about every major company.
2. It syncs seemlessly with Exchange.
So, the buy in on a corporate level for a product like this promises to be HUGE - if, and BIG if here, Blackberry doesn't screw up the touch screen interface. (A lot of Blackberry users actually prefer the teeny tiny keyboards on their phones.)
To placate those cool excecs with a heart of steel who want their keyboards to feel like keyboards, Blackberry is equipping the Storm with something called Haptic responses, so the touch screen will actually *feel* like you are typing on it. (This isone of those innovations that screams wait until version 2 btw...)
"Yes, yes..." I hear you say. "All very cool, but what does this have to do with Final Crisis and how it's ruining DC?"
Well, honestly, not much, because I sincerely doubt Final Crisis (in all it's confusing glory) will ever be read on such devices as the ones above, BUT I think the next wave of comics will be.
Check this out...
I've mentioned a few such Mobile Internet Devices here before, but today, on UMPC Portal, they mention that by 2013 there will be over 200 million such devices in use in the world.
So in 2010, what are the odds that people will still be reading comics on paper (not a Green medium btw) versus reading content on their slick new touch screen phones?
I've already started investigating developing comics for Touchscreen devices, and I've registered TouchScreenComics.com to distribute them.
I may start with a few public domain comics to test with, but I definitely plan on creating original content for this format.
Does this mean I'll stop producing Flashback Universe comics? Most likely not - I'm still a huge believer in the cbr format (and the idea that internet tablets are just around the corner.) I may experiment with a way to create content that can be used in both formats. I have some very definite ideas about what will make a successful TouchScreen comic. I don't think you can just hack up an existing web comic into 320 x 480 slices and think that's gonna do that job.
Bottom line: The time is right to experiment with this new format and introduce what seems to be a quicky growing audience to new experiences. :)
I'll keep you posted as this develops.
PCDW Points for the G1: 20,000