Digital comics

7 Superhero Companies That Kick Ass In Digital Comics

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There are plenty of reasons to be excited about comics as a tech geek, especially if you enjoy reading digital comics over traditional print versions.

The digital comics industry has seen steady growth in annual revenue over the past three years ($8 million in 2010, $25 million in 2011, and $70 million in 2012), according to data from the business-focused comics news site. ICv2. That number is expected to continue to climb in the coming years thanks to a handful of forward-thinking tech startups and publishers disrupting the industry.

Here are seven such companies that are shaking up the world of digital comics:

ComiXology

Why it matters: It’s fair to kick off this list with ComiXology, the startup responsible for propelling the comics industry into the modern era of digital publishing. The startup was the first major digital platform to begin selling single-issue comics from all major publishers (Marvel, DC Comics, Image, IDW, Boom Studios and others) and the first to strike deals with these. publishers to release their comics the same time they debut in print. Comics purchased through their online store are available on Android devices, iOS devices, Kindle Fire, and the web.

How it changes digital comics: Digital comics on ComiXology’s platform use the company’s Guided View feature, which essentially makes it easy to follow a comic page panel by panel. The experience is so enjoyable that reading digital comics on other platforms is just a pain. And over the past year, publishers have begun using this guided viewing technology to create original comic book series that advance the story by touching the screen rather than turning the page. (For example, Marvel’s Infinite Comics and DC’s DC² comics). Earlier this year, ComiXology launched plans to expand its digital comics business in Europe, ultimately paving the way for more foreign content translated into multiple languages. And perhaps the most disruptive thing ComiXology does is with the company’s creator-owned submission program, which unrepresented creators can use to sell their comics alongside Spiderman, Batman, and The Walking Dead.

Read all ComiXology coverage from VentureBeat.

Madefire

Madefire

Why it matters: Madefire burst onto the digital comics scene in 2012 with the goal of creating a new kind of technology that takes full advantage of storytelling on mobile devices. The startup has created a “motion book” tool so that illustrations on a single page can move and interact with the reader – for example, swiping or tapping on a touchscreen or moving the device so that illustrations on a page move. As a result, the story of a motion book unfolds through layers of art, word balloons, and captions that unfold in sequence – much like reading a book that slowly fills a blank page with text. while you read.

How does it change digital comics: Madefire recently announced new partnerships with publishers that will bring its motion book technology to a handful of independent and licensed comic book series, including those from IDW, Boom Studios and Top Cow. Madefire founder Ben Wolstenholme told VentureBeat that the company is looking for more partnerships with big publishers, some of which it hopes to announce soon.

Read all of VentureBeat’s Madefire coverage.

Image-comics

Picture Comics

Why it matters: Image Comics is the third largest comic book publisher that creators use to publish works for which they retain the rights. He’s responsible for a ton of hit original series, including The Walking Dead, Invincible, Saga, The evening news, wild dragon, Spawnand much more.

How does it change digital comics: Earlier this month, Image became the first major publisher to launch selling DRM-free versions of comic files on its website. DRM, or digital rights management, restricts the use of a file outside of official platforms. (Apple used to do this with music downloads from iTunes until the company was able to negotiate with record labels to offer DRM-free music.) Consumers can download Image comics in a variety of formats, including PDF, CBR and CBZ formats.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Image Editor Eric Stephenson said Comic Resources, “As things stand, we create our digital content in formats like those that are already supported by multiple apps. It was a win-win for us because we’re a comic book publisher, not a tech company. We are therefore able to provide our readers with content in formats they are familiar with, without engaging in the costly and time-consuming business of app development. »