We predicted this for months, people, and now it has come true – and we fear for the future of those nice enthusiastic young people who love to work in that last refuge of friendly geekery, the comic shop – Marvel (owned by Steve Jobs’ Disney since last year) has introduced an iPad application for comic reading.
We think this app is extremely important. Though we have split loyalty – we think it will be great, but we do worry about the industry, and the people within it.
Think, Marvel allegedly pays its comic artists just $60 per page (or so, there’s no royalties) and we’ve been told anecdotally isn’t even prepared to provide authors or artists with complimentary copies of the titles they create (usually, bet there’s a few exceoptions, but let’s just say the mutterings from inside that stable aren’t always joyous. Ask Alan Moore, he knows the score)…
Anyway – the way the new app works. The free Marvel Comics App for iPad features 500 of the publisher’s top types, including Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Thor. More to come.
This is highly likely to take a chunk out of the regular new comics market (Forbidden Planet et al may face a problem). We got to hope it boosts interest in collector’s comics, I guess, or it will be game over.
Marvel’s app is based on the Comixology app which is already the source for Marvel comics on the iPhone. The app will also be available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It ships with a couple of free comics. Further titles will cost $2 per issue.
This also makes it very likely we’ll see some iPads around the WonderCon 2010 comic convention which opens later today in San Francisco.