Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Digital Horizons: Libraries, Vertigo, Marvel, IDW, and the New York Times

Apparently there was a panel at the New York Comic Con about digital comics and libraries. I want to know why I wasn't invited. C'mon, I have a blog about digital comics and a master of library science degree. Who better to lead that discussion? I'm offended and will henceforth boycott the New York Comic Con (not that I've ever gone before). Also, the article mentions Comixology as a digital comic provider that serves the library market. I haven't heard of this before and I wonder what kind of content they provide libraries--i.e. do libraries purchase single issues for their patrons to check out, or is there some kind of licensed package deal? Sadly, I don't see my local public library buying digital comics any time soon, as when I worked at the library five years ago trying to get them to embrace comic books as literature worth having in their collection was like trying to pull teeth. I can't imagine adding the digital aspect will make the art form seem any less ephemeral to them.

In the past couple of weeks both Marvel and IDW have announced deals with Comixology to release more of their digital content. My feelings about this news reflect my ongoing love/hate relationship with Comixology. On the one hand, I'm happy to know that when I get around to writing a Digiversity post here I'll have more options to choose from. On the other hand, I'm concerned by the prospect of Comixology's status as the primary source of digital comics being cemented even further. As I've said before, competition is necessary for the medium to grow, and I fear that if Comixology is the de facto monopoly when it comes to digital comics, they won't be forced to make improvements (and drop prices) in order to win customers.

Somehow I missed this in all the comics news that I read regularly, but Macworld notes that DC announced at the New York Comic Con that Vertigo titles will slowly be folded into the day-and-date digital release program. I've never gotten into any of the Vertigo titles I've tried out, but nonetheless I think it's cool. As with Marvel and IDW, more fodder for those future Digiversity posts.

The New York Times has an article about Barnes and Noble's boycott of DC titles in response to the Kindle Fire exclusive deal. This isn't really news anymore--I blogged about it two weeks ago--but I just think it's cool to see an article about my pet hobby in the New York Times. Kind of like seeing your ex-wife on Jeopardy. (Which, incidentally, also happened to me this past week.)

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