Monday, June 21, 2010

Digital Influentials Volume 2, Issue 7: Special Comic Book Issue

Have any of you noticed that the biggest, baddest (and for the most part, most successful) movies of the last few years are all comic book-related? From such icons as Batman, Spiderman and Iron Man to more indie-minded films like Wanted, Kick-Ass, Sin City or the upcoming The Last Airbender, the level of quality for comic-book films has risen significantly over the years. On TV, it’s the same thing; even though Heroes was cancelled it still was a dramatic improvement over such past creations as The Greatest American Hero (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Q3orQhEcA).

Creativity and imagery are what drive this content to be so successful, and that same inspiration of innovation can be seen in the online universe (not just the Marvel and DC universes, respectively). The development of the iPad has provided a new experience for comic books, making it even easier to access this content no matter where you are. To that end, this issue of the Digital Influentials column is dedicated to the sites and applications that feed the need of the comic book fan!

If you want to know the news behind the comic book business, including previews and insights into new characters and new story lines, check out NEWSARAMA (http://www.newsarama.com/). The site is the CNN of comic book information and a wealth of interesting tidbits.

If you’re a collector, you probably already know about COMIXOLOGY (http://www.comixology.com/). Comixology is a site, and also an app, that gives you insider previews and allows you to create a “pull list” of titles to review and check out that week. You never miss an issue, or a plot twist.

A number of comic book companies are getting into the iPad heavily as a new tool for distributing their stories without having to play the distribution game (too many people don’t know where to buy these books anymore). Leading the path is certainly Marvel (http://marvel.com/) and their MARVEL COMICS iPad app. Joining the fray are companies like IVERSE (http://www.iversecomics.com/) and PANELFLY (http://www.panelfly.com/). All of these companies have created apps that allow you to buy and manage comic selections from their warehouse as well as new releases, creating a new audience for an age-old publishing experience.

If you left the comic book world back when you were just a kid, then maybe you just need a quick refresher on your favorite characters (trust me – a LOT has changed). The best place to get up to speed, believe it or not, is WIKIPEDIA (http://www.wikipedia.org/). Type in the characters you want to know about, and read their history! The maturity of these titles and the art-work alone may draw you back in.

For other apps that you can check out and use to get re-engaged with the comic book trend, check out COMICZEAL4, COMIC VIEWER and ARCREADER. All have their plusses and minuses, but all provide you with an iPad experience of page turning excitement.

Comic books aren’t just for kids anymore, just ask Hollywood and check out the budgets attached to the upcoming Thor and Captain America films. Disney even bought Marvel, which goes to tell you something right? Who can argue with the mouse!

And just for those of you who will recognize the reference; ‘Nuff Said!