inDepth: Enjoy Graphic Novels and Comic Books on Your E-Reader – Part 1
Since reading became a largely digital pursuit, graphic novel and comic book fans often have been overlooked in terms of selection and reading options. Most likely, this oversight is linked to the development of e-readers themselves. Options, like color and higher pixel densities, have only recently enabled comics to be fully appreciated, digitally.
Perhaps another reason the comic and graphic novel industry has been slow to digitize is that these genres are niches within the publishing industry itself. And, until recently, digital publishing was its own niche area within the larger publishing industry. So, digital graphic novel publishing–a niche within a former niche, if you will–has just begun to hit its stride.
Thankfully, if you love reading comic books on your e-reader, there are more options today than ever before. Here are some options for enjoying comics and graphic novels from the convenience of your trusty e-reader.
1. Madefire is a company on a mission to change the way graphic novels make their way to your e-reader. Rather than converting content that was created for print, Madefire is creating comics designed specifically for tablets like the iPad.
This approach helps Madefire titles retain its comic book roots because the essence of the comic still comes through on a digital screen. Motion Books, as the company calls its content, are actively controlled by the reader and include animation, music, and sound effects to bring the story to life.
Each of the titles in Madefire’s library releases a new episode every week, and right now, the content is free. You can download the free Madefire app in the App store and enjoy a growing collection of digital comics. Madefire’s Motion Book Tool even equips wannabe graphic novel authors to create their own digital comic.
2. If you prefer to stick to the tried-and-true comic book classics, you’ve likely heard of ComiXology. The company develops apps so you can read comics and graphic novels on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or Kindle Fire. ComiXology recently teamed up with Marvel Entertainment to bring you a swath of classic content for your reading pleasure.
The multi-year deal between ComiXology and Marvel Entertainment brings Marvel’s entire digital catalog of English language single issues to your e-reader. ComiXology has been powering a Marvel app since 2010, but this new partnership shows Marvel’s commitment to digital distribution. This new commitment probably has something to do with DC Comics’ established alliance with ComiXology. Marvel’s biggest competitor has been distributing through ComiXology for over a year.
Whether you’re new to the scene of digital comics and graphic novels, or you are an established digital comic book junkie, Madefire and ComiXology should be on your list of online hangouts. While this article covered the distribution side of things, next week’s article will focus on the most comic book-worthy e-readers.