Category Archives: Technology

ComiXology Announces More DRM Free Publishers

comixology drm free wave twoToday comiXology unveiled the latest group of publishers offering DRM-free backups, allowing comiXology customers to download and store copies of their books. ComiXology’s new DRM-free backup feature was announced this past July during San Diego Comic-Con.

The second wave of participating publishers include IDW Publishing, Valiant Entertainment, Oni Press, Fantagraphics Books, Aspen Comics, Action Lab Entertainment, Th3rd World Studios, A Wave Blue World, Blind Ferret Entertainment, Caliber Comics, Creative Impulse Entertainment, Devil’s Due Entertainment, GT Labs Comics and Kingstone Media. They join Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions in offering this new option to customer. Creators using comiXology Submit also have the option to offer their comics, graphic novels, and manga as DRM-free backups. Some of the new publishers have previously announced going DRM free, or provide the option on other platforms.

To obtain the DRM-free backups of digital comics on comiXology, customers can go to the “My Books” section of comixology.com on their desktop computers and click the button that appears next to their books. Books and series from the second wave of participating publishers will be available for backup starting today. Backups from participating publishers can be downloaded in high definition PDF and CBZ.

Customers will continue to enjoy all their purchases – whether available as a DRM-free backup or not – on the comiXology platform in comiXology’s exclusive cinematic Guided View reading experience, anytime and anywhere.

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Small Press Expo Comes to Amazon. Amazon Comes to Small Press Expo.

spx_amazonThe Small Press Expo is running this weekend just outside of Washington, DC in Bethesda, MD. The show is the premiere convention for independent comics, not just drawing big names, but also some amazing talent who don’t get the exposure deserved, and are overshadowed by the more known mainstream publishers at other conventions. Walking the floor of the convention, you can see that there’s truly something for everyone when it comes to comic books and graphic novels, and there’s fantastic independent and small press comics being produced. But, that’s on the show floor, and in previous years this knowledge and fact was confined to the hotel ballroom, social media, word of mouth, and the various blogs that covered it all.

In steps Amazon, who, in their comics and graphic novels section, is highlighting some of the amazing comics and graphic novels you’ll find at the show from the exhibitors and Ignatz nominees. Started in 1997, the Ignatz Awards is the show prize of the Small Press Expo recognizing outstanding achievements in comics and cartooning. For some of the offerings you can buy print copies, and others you can get it right away for the Kindle, all at the solid prices you’d expect from Amazon.

It’s wonderful to see this, not only is the giant in online sales promoting graphic novels, it also promotes the convention itself, putting it out there for many to see. Amazon has even gone so far as to promote it all through their email program, putting SPX and the graphic novels in front of a potential audience that many would kill to be shown to.

spx_amazon_2This promotion is on top of what comiXology is doing on their site. ComiXology, the leading digital comics platform, has been running a bundle deal where you can purchase 82 comics from folks exhibiting and attending the show for just $10. They’ve promoted it through their social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. That bundle deal ends later today, so get purchasing (and you can pay through Amazon payments)!

While comiXology has supported SPX, and the Ignatz before, this is a first for Amazon, who has previously supported the Eisners, the awards from San Diego Comic-Con. This is a huge boost for independent comics, and particularly the Small Press Expo, a gem of a convention.

ComiXology was purchased by Amazon earlier this year, and now you have two heavy weights (part of one family) showing much love for the indie comics scene. While some have been worried about the acquisition, moves like this show why it is a good thing, and overall, the purchase of comiXology by Amazon is a positive for the comics community as a whole.

Dynamite Offers DRM Free Bundles

Dynamite-logoDynamite Entertainment has announced the next phase of its DRM-Free digital comic shop: discount bundles. Now, Dynamite Comics fans will have the chance to save big on their DRM-Free purchases with discounted offerings from Dynamite Digital starting with the Five-Book Five-Star Starter Set, featuring the first issues of the publisher’s bestselling series including: Vampirella, The Shadow by Garth Ennis, Mark Waid’s Green Hornet, Red Sonja, and Kirby: Genesis all for an introductory bundle price of $5.00.

The bundles offer fans a new way to support their favorite creators, own the files of their purchase, and help Dynamite keep its ten year anniversary celebration going strong. With more bundles planned for later this month, Dynamite is primed to continue the growth of its digital offerings.

This first bundle follows the launch of Dynamite’s own digital storefront last month, a move that coincided with the company donating a portion of the proceeds during the first month of operation to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. To date, Dynamite’s top titles, including Bob’s Burgers, Alice Cooper, Vampirella, Red Sonja, and The Boys, have all been made available and DRM-Free for as little as ten cents to full cover price.

Valiant Joins Madefire

Late last month, Valiant Entertainment announced a new partnership with Madefire to bring Valiant’s complete library of award-winning comic book and collections to the newly launched “Print Books” storefront on Madefire’s iOS and Android apps.

Celebrating traditional comics in the digital space, Madefire now features an honest and simple reading experience with a page-view interface and pinch-and-zoom navigation called Print Books.  Alongside the benchmark reading experience in Motion Books, digital comics and graphic novels in their authentic form will now be available via Madefire’s In-App Purchases directly on your mobile, tablet and web devices.

Featuring day-and-date releases of Valiant’s latest monthly titles – including X-O Manowar, Unity, Rai, Armor Hunters, The Delinquents, and more – the critically acclaimed comics publisher will soon make available its complete back catalog of best-selling comic books and graphic novels.

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If a Digital Comics Service Closes and No One Notices….

In December 2013 it was announced that eBay was teaming up with comiXology to launch a digital comic book store. There was to be a test launch of the service in Europe at some point in this year, as well as eBay moving into selling other goods like music and movies.

I honestly had forgotten about the service completely, and didn’t give it much of a thought since that launch until I noticed today someone clicked to check it out. I decided to follow-up, not having a clue what the link was for, and came to a screen that the service was down/on hold, or in their own words, “out saving the world.”

I decided to dig a bit, and it looks like the service has been down since about April 2014, which is around the same time period it was announced that Amazon was purchasing comiXology. For all the reporting on that purchase, it looks like it’s impact on the eBay/comiXology deal was overlooked….. doh! I guess we’ll see if it returns again in some updated form.

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Fantasy Flight Opens up X-Wing Mission Control

mission control screenFantasy Flight allows anyone to recreate the dramatic space battles in Star Wars with their X-Wing miniatures game. You’re able to control squads of Rebel or Imperial ships and the game allows for tons of customization and a wide range of options.

That individual customization is now going community wide with the announced beta release of X-Wing Mission Control. The free online community resource allows individuals to design and share their own missions for X-Wing.

Coordinate a daring assault run along the Death Star trench, confront the Rebel fleet outside of Endor, or dodge asteroids in pursuit of the Millennium Falcon. X-Wing Mission Control’s custom editor allows you to easily create any play scenario you can imagine, whether it’s drawn from the Star Wars trilogy or completely unique.

Simply select the size of your play area and define the ships you wish to permit. You can create mission-specific squad-building rules, or you can identify any number of specific ships and upgrades. If you use Mission Control to track your collection, it will even identify any mission components not included in your X-Wing collection.

mission control map editorThe editor also allows individuals to select components from all of the available X-Wing products. You’re also able to quickly create maps, define terrain elements, add deployment zones, and any mission-specific rules.

After you’ve created your scenario you’re able to share it with others by publishing them to the site. Other individuals are then able to download the missions, play them, and then vote for their favorites.

The center is in beta, and does not work on mobile devices. It is compatible with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, and Fantasy Flight is looking for feedback, including technical issues via their forums.

Amazon Purchases Twitch.tv

After long rumors of a buy-out by Google, Twitch has been purchased by Amazon for $970 million. The service which allows live video streaming of video games started a little over 3 years ago. According to reports, Twitch will be “keeping most everything the same,” and that the company will remain independent from Amazon. The acquisition will close in the second half of the year.

Twitch is the latest company to be purchased by the giant. Earlier this year Amazon acquired comiXology, the leader in digital comics.

Now, to dream up what Twitch might bring to the table for comiXology…..

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Action Lab Goes DRM Free and $0.99 on All Digital Titles

It looks like the hot thing to do in comics is go DRM free! Action Lab Entertainment has announced that beginning with the Action Lab hit, F1rst Hero and the Action Lab Danger Zone sexy mega hit, Zombie Tramp, all of their titles will now be released as full issue, digital first offerings through comiXology.

The entire catalog from both Action Lab and their mature readers imprint, Action Lab: Danger Zone will be available DRM Free as part of Comixology’s Digital Ownership Initiative. That initiative was announced by comiXology at this  year’s San Diego Comic-Con. This is the seventh comic publisher to announce going DRM free this year.

Single issues will be $0.99 during the first two weeks of release, before returning to their regular price of $1.99.. In addition, books will be timed to release digitally the same month they are offered in Diamond Distribution’s retailer catalog, Previews, giving comics fans a taste of what we do and driving them to comic shops nationwide.

action lab and danger zone logo

Dynamite Goes DRM Free and Raises Money for the CBLDF

Dynamite10thAnnivImageDynamite Entertainment is going DRM-free with comics available in PDF file format. All of this is part of the publisher’s 10th anniversary celebration.

The program launches today with an available selection of over 80 individual comic books, which includes creator-owned and licensed titles from Dynamite’s massive library. The debut selection represents a wide variety of titles:.

  • Cryptozoic Man by Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson
  • Blood Queen by Troy Brownfield and Fritz Casas
  • The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robinson
  • Captain Action Cat by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Chris Smits
  • Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers by Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, and more
  • Chaos! by Tim Seely and Mirka Andolfo
  • Chastity by Marc Andreyko and Dave Acosta
  • American Flagg by Howard Chaykin
  • The Devilers by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Matt Triano
  • Evil Ernie: Origin of Evil by Jesse Snider and Jason Craig
  • Garth Ennis’ Red Team by Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak
  • Jennifer Blood: Born Again by Steven Grant and Kewber Baal
  • Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: War Cry by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, and Carlos Gomez
  • Jungle Girl by Frank Cho, Doug Murray, and Adriano Batista
  • Justice, Inc. by Michael Uslan and Giovanni Timpano
  • Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet by Kevin Smith and Jonathan Lau
  • Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure by Bill Willingham and Sergio Fernandez Davila
  • Miss Fury by Rob Williams and Jack Herbert
  • The Mocking Dead by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar
  • The Ninjettes by Al Ewing and Eman Casallos
  • Pathfinder: Dark Waters Rising by Jim Zub and Andrew Huerta
  • Project Superpowers by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Carlos Paul
  • Red Sonja by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani
  • Red Sonja: Blue by Peter Brett and Walter Geovani
  • Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Chuck Dixon, and Chase Conley
  • The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin
  • Terminal Hero by Peter Milligan and Piotr Kowalski
  • The Trial of Sherlock Holmes by Leah Moore, John Reppion, and Aaron Campbell
  • Vampirella by Nancy A. Collins and Patrick Berkenkotter
  • Vampirella Master Series by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, and more
  • Vampirella vs. Fluffy by Mark Rahner and Cezar Razek

In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Dynamite will offer ten of its comic books at 10 cents apiece, introducing new readers to Dynamite’s most accessible and successful titles at a great value. The introductory-priced comic books include:

  • Blood Queen #1
  • The Boys #1
  • Evil Ernie: Origin of Evil #1
  • Jungle Girl #0
  • Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet #1
  • Miss Fury #1
  • The Mocking Dead #1
  • Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #1
  • The Trial of Sherlock Holmes #1
  • Vampirella #1

cbldfDynamite will also offer ten (10) free wallpapers to consumers featuring The Boys, Cryptozoic Man, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper’s The Last Temptation, Red Sonja, and Vampirella. These wallpapers can be downloaded from Dynamite’s digital DRM-free page for a limited time.

Following today’s launch, Dynamite plans to release its DRM-free comics on a weekly basis, every Wednesday, with new offerings announced via the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and website as they are made available for download. There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library.

Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.

Valiant to Release DRM Free Day-and-Date Through DriveThruComics.com

DRIVETHRUCOMICS_logoValiant Entertainment continues to shake things up, and today they have announced a partnership with DriveThruComics.com to make Valiant’s complete library (modern and classic) available as DRM-free digital files. Beginning today, DriveThruComics.com will also offer Valiant’s monthly comics titles as day-and-date new releases and will soon host Valiant’s complete catalog of single issues VALIANT_logoand collections – all in a DRM-free PDF format. This is the first time you can get their comics in this format through a digital service.

To launch this new slate of offerings, head to DriveThruComics.com now to download each of Valiant’s best-selling #1 issues for free for the next 30 days, including:

 

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