Friday, February 20, 2009

PCDW: 10,000 People Get Hexed!

HexedSo we've mentioned iVerse Media before here on PCDW - they are the company who are doing such a great job currently putting comics on the iPhone. Well recently, they branched out onto the Google Android platform with fantastice success!

from the iVerse Media Website

LOS ANGELES- February 17th, 2009 - The Digital Age of comics has begun on Google’s revolutionary Android Mobile Operating System, and BOOM! Studios and iVerse Media are proud to announce that “HEXED #1” is the FIRST Digital Comic to be released for the platform.

On Friday, February 6th, 2009 “HEXED #1” premiered in Google’s “Android Marketplace” and in less than 48 hours the free comic had been downloaded more than 10,000 times, and received a stellar 4.72 out of 5 rating from over 600 user reviews. “HEXED #1” will also be available on the the iPhone App Store this week.

“This is another great first for BOOM! Studios and there is no better comic to do this with than HEXED,” said Marketing and Sales Director Chip Mosher. “Praised by all quarters, HEXED is the type of book that will bring new readers to comics and BOOM! will always be the most aggressive company around in doing whatever it takes to get more people reading more comics.”

Hex on Android

“The ‘HEXED #1’ release on Android has gone above and beyond our wildest expectations. ” said iVerse Media founder Michael Murphey. “In less than 24 hours we received 100s of emails from Google Android users not only praising the software, but — more importantly — raving about the quality of the story and art… and it just keeps coming. The book has been reviewed over 900 times now, and people not only love it… they want more.”

~ iVerse

PCDW Points: 10,000 x 900 (and counting...)

How Old is a Comic Book?

I'm not talking about the cover date, or if its "Golden", "Silver", or "Bronze" [Jim's favorite] age. I mean to you the comic book fan/reader/consumer? When does a comic book become old to you?

Do you have to read it before its old, or can it get old sitting on the shelf in its alphabetical position at the comic book shop without you ever having stepped foot inside to make a purchase?

1 day? Because at one day you may hear about it online in a blog review or on twitter? 7 days? 14 days? By then you've been paid again and can afford to go to the comic book shop. 30 days? A new issue will be out soon, so the previous one [the one I've been writing about here] HAS to be old now doesn't it?

Maybe you don't buy from a comic book shop. Maybe you wait for trades, or Graphic Novels. If so, I've got good news for you:

"However, the news for graphic novels and comics sales remained good in 2008, with gains in total sales and a jaw-dropping 134% increase in the number of comics for children and tweens. "Graphic novels are continuing to grow, albeit not as fast as they were before.

Overall, [there was] about 5% growth in the comics and graphic novel medium. I think one of the questions for 2009 will be whether there will be an economic impact on format choice for people buying comics. I've been in this business for over 30 years, and in that time there's been a very reliable, counter-cyclical relationship between economic conditions and sales of periodical comics. It's very cheap entertainment and something that is a good entertainment alternative.

This is kind of uncharted territory because graphic novels are a much greater percentage of the business than they've ever been in the past when the economy has been bad. Also,
comic cover prices have gone up faster than inflation, and the continuity of comics is probably different than it has been, [because] the very tightly woven continuity between comic titles makes comic periodicals a much bigger investment than when you're buying one-off


I've also got bad news for you:

"Much has already been made of the increase in single issue prices at Marvel, with many of the most popular titles going from $2.99 to $3.99. Those of us who have tried to save money in this tumultuous economic time by predominantly limiting comics to trade purchases will not be unaffected either. For example, compare the following prices...

> RECENT PAST: Avengers the Initiative Vol. 1 TPB ( six issues, $15 )
> NEAR FUTURE: Avengers the Initiative Vol. 3 TPB ( six issues, $17)

> RECENT PAST: The Incredible Hercules Against the World TPB ( six issues, $15 )
> NEAR FUTURE: The Incredible Hercules Love and War TPB ( five issues, $15 )

> RECENT PAST: Essential X-Men Vol. 8 TPB ( 21-some black-and-white reprints, $17 )
> NEAR FUTURE: Essential X-Men Vol. 9 TPB ( 21-some black-and-white reprints, $20 )

> RECENT PAST: X-Force Angels and Demons HC ( 6 issues, $20 )
> NEAR FUTURE: X-Force Old Ghosts HC ( 4 issues, $20

Average TPB prices seem to have gone up significantly; inevitable, but still frustrating. Especially for not only comic fans who wait-on-trades for most of their stuff, but non-comic fans who have one more reason not to show interest :(


How old is news to you?

Again, I'm not talking about cover dates on magazines or the news paper that slaps your front step every morning [What? My wife still reads it.]

How old is information that you're interested in? Do you have to know it exists before you can determine that? I'm not sure. All who read this blog probably know that the New York Comic Con happened a short while ago. Do they know what went on there? If they don't, is the news old? Well, here is some Marvel Digital Comics news from NYCC regardless:

Marvel Comics DCUMARVEL Digital Comics

Spider-Woman gets the digital motion comic treatment, written by Brian Michael Bendis and art by Alex Maleev

Depending on who you ask, the motion comics will precede the print comic’s release. This is kind of cool as it does two things for Marvel; it’s a tease for viewers to go and buy the comic, and Marvel gets
people to purchase the same issue twice.

Print retailers will be involved in some way. Those plans are being kept secret for now, which means wait until the retailer convention in Boston for more information. How about this Marvel, print a code in the comic to download the motion comic for free?

Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men will also get the motion comic treatment. Don’t think this will change Cory’s attitude about the series though.

There will be four 16-page War of Kings online comics.

Dark Reign: Made Men only on Marvel’s DCU (that’s Digital Comics Unlimited, for those that don’t get Marvel’s “joke”).

There are more than 5,500 comics on the Marvel DCU site. Does anyone have a subscription to this service? Just wondering.

If you do want to subscribe, use the code SPIDEY46 in the discount code window to save 10 percent off your purchase. If you are looking for discounts at, you can use the codes Roundup1, Roundup2, or Roundup3 for additional discounts. Just passing along saving to readers everywhere. Perhaps it will prompt others to start up their own website where they can lavish praise on those less deserving… or trash this site, it’s your choice.

Expect all these motion comics to get a DVD release down the road. Reading between the lines it means Marvel gets you to buy the same content THREE times.


"Marvel Entertainment - home to characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Hulk - has announced plans to release a series of "motion comics" via iTunes. Introduced at New York Comic Con,

the new format would have the iPod- and iPhone-bound digital books taking on characteristics of both print and animation with audio and motion enhancing the typical panel-based format of print.

Hasn't animation of comic books been done? This isn't traditional animation. The Motion Comic format would feature traditional panel-based structures that are set in motion. Instead of thought bubbles and dialog boxes, the dialog would be spoken. Best of all? The original artist's drawings would be used to compose the digital books, as opposed to facsimile drawn by an animator."


NOTE: I have to say the embedded flash motion comic looks REALLY GREAT. Not jerky or amateurish at all.

There is "new" gadget news here as well.

Like the Kindle 2 Wireless Reading Device:

Kindle 2

"The new Kindle 2 wireless reading device from Amazon has been redesigned. It’s now “just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines; 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle in less than 60 seconds, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service
plans, or hunting for Wi- Fi hotspots
; longer battery life and over 230,000 books.


The iPhone Becomes a Web Server

When those Apple advertisements tout "there's an app for just about anything," they aren't kidding. The latest example? A new iPhone application which just debuted in Japan's App Store transforms the handheld into a full-blown web server. Called "ServersMan@iPhone", the application allows your iPhone to appear just like any other web server on the Internet.


Gutted Eee PC ditches the keyboard, turns into an awesome touchscreen handheld

eee Tablet

Netbooks are going to be hot this year, with both Dell and Sony
— among others — trying to get in on the Asus Eee PC and its success
as a cheap, functional laptop for light computer use. So how about a net-tablet? That's basically what this modded Eee PC is, worked over by a Japanese modder who ditched the keyboard and turned the Eee into a handheld ultraportable tablet computer.

The end result is a fully-functioning UMPC that's only 1.68 pounds, with buttons on the face of it for simple navigation, and a stylus to interact with the touchscreen. It'd be interesting if the Eee PC's voice commands made it in, too.

There's talk about this being something of a prototype for an actual product. We hope so — we'd love to try it out. Check out the gallery below for more.


Have a great weekend,

- Caine


Sphinx Magoo said...

What's interesting about those Motion Comics is that Neal Adams' Continuity Associates seems to have a hand in them, as seen here:

Years ago Adams'd talked about creating something he called "Animatics" which allowed for animated versions of his still images. I think he'd said his daughter had figured it out and used it on his drawings; I could be wrong about his daughter's involvement, but it's pretty interesting to see nonetheless.

Jim Shelley said...

Sphinx, thank you for the heads up on Continuity Associates - I've always been a big fan of Neal Adams, and it's really good to see he's still quite busy nowdays, when you consider how many of the old school artists seem to have been forgotten by the industry.


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