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Marvel jumps into the digital age

Old 11-13-07, 02:21 PM
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Marvel jumps into the digital age

The comic book industry makes a long-delayed step into cyberspace today when Marvel Comics unveils the industry's first online archive of more than 2,500 back issues, including the first appearances of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk.

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited will offer the archive in a high-resolution format on computer screens for $59.88 a year, or at a monthly rate of $9.99, at marvel.com.

Subscribers will be able to access the first hundred issues of key titles, turn pages with a click of the mouse or navigate a battle against Dr. Doom frame-by-frame with a "Smart Panel" viewing feature. The user can zoom in on details of art by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko from the 1960s or catch up with today's The Ultimates and New Avengers.

"We did not want to get caught flat-footed with kids these days who have the tech that allows them to read comics in a digital format," says Dan Buckley, Marvel's president. "Our fan base is already on the Internet. It seemed like a natural way to go."

To help sell the experience to an audience unaccustomed to paying for content, Marvel will offer a free sampler of 250 titles. Asked why people would pay for superheroes when newspaper websites have been unable to charge for content, Buckley says, "You can get the news anywhere. We're the only ones who have Spider-Man."

While comic book publishers have experimented with online content for years, Marvel's effort is by far the most extensive. DC Comics recently launched its own online site, Zuda comics.com, which offers free online comic strips by newcomers. DC does not offer its back catalog of Superman and Batman online.

Marvel's online initiative comes as publishers find that the traditional comic book, which now costs $2.99 an issue, is acting as a springboard to other formats, including trade paperbacks and more expensive reprints.

To protect current sales of comic books, new issues won't be on the Marvel site until six months after they are published.

"If they put their monthly comic online at the same time, they'd be cutting their own throats and undercutting the retailers," says Peter David, a comic book writer currently adapting Stephen King's The Dark Tower for Marvel. "The material is owned by Marvel, and they can do whatever they want with it. This is just another means of reprint when you come down to it."

Comic books have not been immune from Internet file sharing. But unlike MP3s for music, fans haven't found a format to easily share the pages.

"About 90% of the comic books sold today are scanned and put online within 36 hours," says Chris Arrant, a comic book analyst for Newsarama.com.

"Our quality is much higher; the library is huge and will never go out of style," says Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada. "This is the legal way to do things."
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/n...ine-main_N.htm

$5/month with the yearly rate doesn't sound to bad as long as they keep adding issues every month.

I'll have to check out the free sample titles.
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Old 11-13-07, 11:31 PM
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Call me old school but I prefer paper in my hands and the books to carry around with me wherever I go.

The idea is nice, but there isn't a snow ball's chance in hades I'd pay for it.
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Old 11-14-07, 10:32 AM
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It's not about old school, it's that after staring at a computer screen for hours on end at work, the last thing I want to do is do the same with reading comics, instead of reading them in my favorite places like my couch/bed/back-yard/toilet/portch. And I have a good cock-punch for anyone suggesting a lap-top...
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Old 11-14-07, 11:31 AM
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I'm terribly excited about this actually. I've been saying for years that I don't want to buy single issues, but I do like following some titles monthly. Granted, there is a six month delay on titles being uploaded, but this is a really good start for digital comics. I know there are people who will never be interested in reading comics on the computer, I'm just not one of them.

I have a gigantic monitor that is pretty brilliant. So for me, reading comics on the computer is actually easier in some cases than they would be reading an issue or trade. I don't want to own everything I want to read, so this is right up my alley.

I hope this takes off.
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Old 11-14-07, 03:08 PM
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This would be a great way to catch up on things you've missed without buying an entire run.
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Old 11-18-07, 11:19 AM
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And The DVD ROM license is being pulled. Get them while you can.
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Old 11-19-07, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MBoyd
And The DVD ROM license is being pulled. Get them while you can.
Now THAT sucks. I like the DVD-Roms quite well, for what they are. And the convenience of them is much better than the new website (just looked over there, hate the layout, and the page sizes).
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Old 11-21-07, 09:09 AM
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They have something like 200 misc. issues available on-line right now and I tried Bullet Points #1. Can't say I'll ever pay for the displeasure of reading comics on-line. I have a 17 inch monitor and I had to blow up the page to get it to a satisfactory reading size (approximately the size of a real comic) and of course the entire thing doesn't fit on the screen. Needless to say, this is not at all pleasant when looking at splash pages and obviously worse for two page spreads. Maybe if I had one of those monitors that you can spin so that it is taller than wide, but I doubt the software accommodates for that anyway. I'll pass.
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Old 12-26-07, 11:15 PM
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I absolutely hate the Flash tool they are using for their online comics. Terrible doesn't beging to describe it.
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Old 07-31-10, 12:50 AM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Didn't even know this existed but saw a coupon "SDCC201020" to get it for $47.90 ($3.99/month) so I checked it out. Read one of the freebies, and it was pretty dang impressive. Don't know if the format has changed much since this thread. I'm really thinking of pulling the trigger, but would hate to waste so much time at work.

Last edited by kvrdave; 07-31-10 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 07-31-10, 02:09 AM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Great price if you get access to all ~2500 comics!

I've been out of physical comic books for a while now and just got back into them with the digital versions (odd because I'm a "collector" and love having physical copies of everything opposed to "renting" a digital version). I think the monthly/yearly plans are much better than the $3 per issue they try to charge to download them (with some exceptions of course). Downside for me is having to read them on the computer.

If they make an iPad app (seems unlike considering the app currently available just sells single issues) I'd jump on this!
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Old 07-31-10, 02:22 AM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Well, I did jump. For the price, I decided it was worth seeing how I like it. Just reread Alpha Flight #1 from the 80s. It was freaking awesome. I will really enjoy this. Apparently the iphone/ipad thing is likely a pipe dream as the service is flash based and apple don't like no flash. Get it for the android and I'd likely switch. May even decide to get a windwos based portable browser just for this.
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Old 08-06-10, 11:58 AM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

I seem to be reading 3-4 comics a day, and it is a blast. There is a legit complaint about not having complete series, though. The mini runs all seem to be complete. But I started to look at Deadpool and the series (1997?) is all over the map as far as what they have. I would guess that older stuff is something you just have to wait for them to digitize. But damn, I am digging this service.
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Old 08-06-10, 12:57 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Well, I did jump. For the price, I decided it was worth seeing how I like it. Just reread Alpha Flight #1 from the 80s. It was freaking awesome. I will really enjoy this. Apparently the iphone/ipad thing is likely a pipe dream as the service is flash based and apple don't like no flash. Get it for the android and I'd likely switch. May even decide to get a windwos based portable browser just for this.
I really wish they would consider modifying it for the ipad, though... I would also buy a sub in a heartbeat. I have a hard time reading comics on my computer, but I love reading them on an ipad.

So how many new releases do they put out each month, and do they take others away?
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Old 08-06-10, 02:03 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

http://marvel.com/digitalcomics/calendar/current/

They dont' take them down, and seem to add about 25 a week.
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Old 08-06-10, 02:37 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

I like the reader that Marvel.com uses. Anybody know of any similar downloadable readers?
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Old 08-06-10, 03:27 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I really wish they would consider modifying it for the ipad, though... I would also buy a sub in a heartbeat. I have a hard time reading comics on my computer, but I love reading them on an ipad.
I'm another sale they're missing by not having something like this on the ipad.
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Old 08-18-10, 01:08 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Just finishing up the Secret Wars series from 1984. This was where Superman got the black suit that became Venom. Never read it back then because stores in the area didn't cover it.

The art is pretty weak, but then again, they were called "pensilers" not "artists" back then.

Great story, though. I am truly enjoying the hell out of this. Read a few at lunch. Another one or two before I go to bed as well.
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Old 08-18-10, 01:21 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Just finishing up the Secret Wars series from 1984. This was where Superman got the black suit that became Venom. Never read it back then because stores in the area didn't cover it.

The art is pretty weak, but then again, they were called "pensilers" not "artists" back then.

Great story, though. I am truly enjoying the hell out of this. Read a few at lunch. Another one or two before I go to bed as well.

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Old 08-18-10, 01:34 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Just finishing up the Secret Wars series from 1984. This was where Superman got the black suit that became Venom. Never read it back then because stores in the area didn't cover it.

The art is pretty weak, but then again, they were called "pensilers" not "artists" back then.

Great story, though. I am truly enjoying the hell out of this. Read a few at lunch. Another one or two before I go to bed as well.
Didn't Mike Zeck do the whole series? Probably one of the better artists at the time. I've been slowly re-reading the series because they pack in the comics with... action figures.
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Old 08-18-10, 02:11 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by Bob_Bobbson View Post

Just read the thread about someone liking DC more than Marvel, and it must have stuck with me.
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Old 08-18-10, 02:12 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Didn't Mike Zeck do the whole series? Probably one of the better artists at the time. I've been slowly re-reading the series because they pack in the comics with... action figures.
Yeah, and Jim Shooter wrote the whole thing. And it is good for the time, it is just amazine what came about a few years later. Image made art matter....and comics expensive.
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Old 08-18-10, 02:56 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
it is just amazine what came about a few years later. Image made art matter...
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Old 08-18-10, 04:18 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Image made art matter
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Old 08-18-10, 06:27 PM
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Re: Marvel jumps into the digital age

Damn, I pissed in the Cheerios.
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