Friday, May 1, 2009

Paper Comics Death Watch: Don't call 'em comics no more!

With all the recent technological advancements that have been announced recently this blogger foresees the following:

  • Some, if not all, of the items below finding there way into what we now call the "comic book" industry

  • Serialized graphic entertainment changing so dramatically that we won't be able to call the items produced by these advancements "books" any longer

First up, for those reading who prefer to wait for a trade paperback to come out rather than trek to the comic book shop every week/month, we have: The Espresso Book Machine:

"Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell's Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait." ~The Guardian

The Espresso Book Machine. Photograph: David Parry/PA

Nick named the "ATM for books" this machine, some believe, has the potential to change the way books are bought and sold all over the world. Right now the majority of the works that are printed are "Out of copyright" such as old classic manuscripts.

The article goes on to talk about the designers setting a goal of over 1M titles by the end of the summer. Missed an issue of your favorite comic? Want to read a story that ran through a comic book years ago that has yet to be collected in TPB? Going to a convention where you'll get signatures but you don't want to ruin the artwork of your original collectors comic book?

Imagine being able to walk up to an "Espresso Book Machine" in every mall, shopping center, and book store [stores that now only sells rare and "collector" books off the shelf] to get anything you wanted printed within 10 minutes?
I'm not sure you'd be able to call that a "Comic Book" any longer.

PCDW POINTS: 1,000,000,000

For those who still would prefer something other than an electronic device in their hands [like paper] while reading their comics we have: "The Flexpeaker"
"Based in Taiwan, the Industrial Technology Research Institute has created their own version of paper-thin speakers, really just tweeters, called Flexpeaker. They'll be sold as 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheets for $20, but they'll be available in much larger sheets, even rolls, so you could wallpaper a theater with the stuff, use it in a car headliner, or as the speakers built into an ultra-thin TV."~Dvice

For now, sound quality is a bit of an issue it would seem, but I'm sure that will change with further development. Imagine a Disney Princess comic book with a built in sound track? Thats not all, other kids comics would benefit greatly from this as well; the Amazing Spiderman, Batman, Young Avengers and more. I could see a "Flexpeaker" book being released in conjunction with podcasts, video games, movies and more.

Along with the "Espresso Book Machine" I just don't see how a comic made with this technology could be called a "comic book" any longer either.
PCDW POINTS: 500,000

There are more electronic device rumors as well. From the all mighty apple iPhone camp:

Apple MediaPad

"Apple is close to an agreement with Verizon Wireless to launch two new Apple products this year: a cut-down iPhone and a larger device dubbed a "media pad""~The Register


The Zoho online productivity suite made an announcement recenty:

"The company, which has thus far offered limited app support for the iPhone and Windows Mobile handsets, is now extending that support to Android, BlackBerry, and Symbian S60 handsets under an initative dubbed Zoho Mobile."~AppScout

Credit: Larry Dignan/ZDNet
With ZOHO there exists a tool to bridge the gap between "published professional" and "fan comic" with the ease of online document creation and editing. Now, with ZOHO Apps, those same tools are brought forth to the iPhone and the digital comic arena.

Have a great weekend,


Reno said...

I saw that Espresso thingie for a bit on the news this morning. How many pages does it print in five minutes?

Caine said...

The Article I read stated that it would do an entire book in just about 10 minutes. Thats got to be a couple hundred pages...


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