Category Archives: Technology

Aspen Launches 350 Titles on Madefire

Madefire-AspenComic#CA9866DAspen Comics has announced the launch of over 350 new and classic titles from the publisher’s digital library available starting on October 23 on Madefire. Madefire delivers Motion Books, an interactive audio-visual reading format that combines art and sound for a new style of digital storytelling. The new titles will be available on both the Madefire iOS and Android apps for tablets and smartphones. Madefire Motion Books & Comics has been a 5-star rated app since launch and recently recognized in the iOS App Store as an Editors’ Pick, Best New Apps and Best of July (2014).

The Madefire Motion Book Tool was also recently launched to the public in July and has been continuously developed with the creator in mind. Taking static art a step further by incorporating movement, sound and depth to visual reading, the platform continues to push the limits in digital storytelling. New features have been introduced to allow for a more streamlined creative process like creating covers with a click of a button and animating art in a few simple steps. Publishing to the web has never been easier and can take as little as 5 minutes. The ease of sharing your story on a website or blog is also more fluid now with an embed code automatically created when the book is published, giving the creator control of where and how their story is told.

The first wave of Aspen Comics’ books on Madefire will cover a large variety of titles including Michael Turner’s Fathom and Soulfire, Executive Assistant: Iris, Lola XOXO in addition to a majority of the publisher’s past library of books. New releases such as Aspen’s upcoming The ZooHunters will also be available day and date on November 5. Aspen Comics plans to include titles from their all-new Big Dog Ink imprint soon as well.

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Warner Bros. Announces Static Shock

STATIC SHOCK #1Warner Bros. has revealed some of the details about its digital production unit. The unit named Blue Ribbon Content has unveiled some of its initial development plans, including some more work based on comics.

Already announced is Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, which will debut on Machinima in 2015 as well as the virtual reality experience, Batman: The Animated Series Experience. Warner Bros. has a stake in Machinima, so the project makes complete sense. Some other projects are tied into The CW, the television network that Warner Bros. is also involved with.

Today brought even bigger news, a project based on Static Shock.

The action series include Static Shock, an adaptation of the Static comic from writer-producer-director Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained).

That’s a pretty big announcement quietly put out there. Warner Bros./DC Comics was the first to announce a movie based on one of their female characters, as well as an African American character. Now we have Static Shock out of nowhere. Seems like the company that had been receiving lots of criticism is now beginning to fire on all cylinders.

Here’s more details on the comic related projects:

Static Shock — Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar nominee for producing Django Unchained) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock.

Batman: The Animated Series Experience — As previously announced, Blue Ribbon, DC Entertainment and visual effects pioneer OTOY are teaming up on an immersive entertainment experience that will see the Batcave from the acclaimed Emmy Award–winning Batman: The Animated Series brought to life via interactive holographic video for virtual reality displays. OTOY is collaborating with series producer Bruce Timm on this interactive narrative experience which will give fans the opportunity to explore Batman’s world like never before, allowing them to feel what it is like to be inside the show’s stylized universe on devices such as the Samsung GALAXY Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, and on forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays that will power future TV and mobile devices.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Demo-Graphics: The Walking Dead

Its been almost a year since we last looked at The Walking Dead‘s demographics via Facebook’s data. With the new season underway, it felt like an appropriate time to see how things have changed for the record setting show, and best selling comic book series.

For this report, we’re looking at fans within the United States that enjoy The Walking Dead in comics, television, books, games, or even the characters. We’ll also compare the latest results to those of last year. Keep in mind though, while the terms are generally similar, Facebook’s  system has been upgraded and the data returned is more prevalent and richer.

Facebook Population: Over 17.8 million fans in the US

That’s an increase of over 5 million fans since last year. Spanish speakers account for 1.08 million fans, 6.07%. That’s a significant drop from last year of about 500,000 individuals, and the percentage has been cut in half.

Gender and Age

When it comes to gender in 2013Walking Dead fans break down 59.38% male and 40.63% females. In the year since, we’ve seen a surge of female fans with their now accounting for 47.19% compared to the men who now account for 52.81%. This is close to the changes we’ve also seen for the general comic population.

facebook gender 10.20.14Below is the trend line which looks at the age and gender of the individuals together.

facebook gender age 10.20.14

Below is the raw data for The Walking Dead fans. The population has shifted slightly older compared to last year, but not by much.

facebook gender age raw 10.20.14Relationship Status

The stats for relationships has expanded greatly since last year, with many more options, so it’s hard to compare the two statistics.

facebook relationship 10.20.14And for those that like pie charts.

facebook relationship pie chart 10.20.14Education

Like relationships, education has changed a lot since last year, so we can’t really compare this year’s stats to last year’s.

facebook education 10.20.14Gender Interest

Gender interest too has changed since last year. But generally those interested in the same sex for men and women has dipped from last year.

facebook gender interest 10.20.14But how does the fandom compare to itself based on how it’s being consumed? For The Beat, I compared how The Walking Dead stacked up in comics, television, games, and books. I return to see how the gender breaks down for each.

Interesting enough, the comic fandom has dropped since last year with video games and television both seeing an increase in overall fans. Both television and comics see women make major gains, while video games continue to be the domain of men who increased percentage wise. Books remain almost exactly the same when it comes to gender compared to last year.

twd media 10.20.14

And that wraps up the latest edition of the Facebook Fandom Spotlight.

Comic-Graphics: Weekly Facebook Page Stats

It’s Monday which means a new Marketing Monday and checking out how the various Facebook fanpages have grown or shrunk over the past two weeks. After a week off we’re back and there’s been some impressive changes over the two weeks.

Overall, the pages continued to grow, this week gaining 1,818,501 individuals total, a 4.84% increase. That’s a massive increase, driven almost entirely by the generic “manga” page which saw over a million people like it over the two week period. We checked it multiple times, and something caused a massive frenzy to like the page.

There was lots of movement as far as ranks this week. Many pages hopped multiple spots. Arrows are present to indicate if a page has increased in ranking from the previous week.

facebook overall 10.20.14Manga, with its massive growth dethroned ComicBook.com for the top spot. The latter continues to buy likes, and has begun touting their page size in their “about” section on their website. What’s important isn’t necessarily page size, but instead the reach and activity of that page.

facebook new likes 10.20.14Magnetic Press jumped to the top spot with some impressive growth, almost a quarter of the page’s previous size. Manga moved into second, followed by 12-Gauge Comics, Small Press Expo, and Titan Comics. It’s been a great two weeks for small publishers.

facebook percent growth 10.20.14

Marvel Unlimited Adds Graphic Novels

This week Marvel announced the inclusion of Marvel’s award-winning original graphic novels into the already vast and expansive digital comic library of Marvel Unlimited. Marvel Unlimited and Marvel Unlimited Plus members will now be able to read Marvel’s  Ant-Man: Season One, Daredevil: Season One, Dr. Strange: Season One and more to come throughout the year.

Ant-Man: Season One brings you the origins of the original Avenger, Hank Pym – Ant-Man. In Daredevil: Season One, meet Matt Murdock, one of New York’s finest attorneys by day and swashbuckling crime-fighter Daredevil by night and in Dr. Strange: Season One experience a high-flying, globe-traveling, ghost-battling adventure from the earliest days of Doctor Strange’s training in the mystic arts!

These acclaimed tales are now included with over 15,000 of Marvel’s greatest comics – including the top-selling Age of Ultron event, the star-spanning Guardians of the Galaxy, with most of the first issues from the hugely successful and critically acclaimed All-New Marvel NOW! initiative and more.

Marvel Unlimited members can access some of the most important stories in pop culture history while online, and take twelve digital comics with them on the go via the ground-breaking Marvel Unlimited App (for iPhone®, iPad® & Android™ devices), even when offline!

Accessible through your desktop browser and the Marvel Unlimited mobile app – Marvel Unlimited is a member subscription service that gives members unlimited access to over 15,000 issues of Marvel’s classic and newer titles. More classic and newer issues are added every week – as early as six months after they’re in stores!

AntManSeasonOne DaredevilSeasonOne DrStrangeSeasonOne

Demo-Graphics: Thor

This week sees a changing of the guard as Marvel‘s Thor sees a new wielder of the mythical hammer Mjolnir. It just so happens that new wielder is a woman. With the discussion of gender in comics, both the characters and who reads comics, I thought it’d be interesting to release the first benchmark to see where Thor is now when it comes to gender demographics, and then check again in a few months to see what has changed, if anything. To get this data I looked into Facebook’s data with each line representing a specific term.

I previously looked at Thor’s demographics back in November 2013 when Thor 2 opened in theaters. Using similar terms, back then women accounted for 36.5% of the population. In the almost year since, the female population has increased, now accounting for 37.31% for all the Thor related terms.

Here are the latest stats:

thor facebook dataThat 37.31% is below the 45% women that make up the general comic fandom. It is better than Marvel’s general 36.84%, but just barely. We’ll track this though and see over the next year how this might shift with a woman wielding the hammer.

Thor_1_Cover

Dynamite Delivers a Mega Bundle Digital Comic Offer

Dynamite10thAnnivImageDynamite Entertainment is being aggressive with the expansion of its digital presence with its latest Digital Comic bundle, offering 50 of its biggest comic books for a special anniversary price of $19.93 to celebrate the founding year of its parent company, Dynamic Forces. This limited time Mega Bundle is available on Dynamite.com/digital from now until October 1st, 2014. With 10% of each sale going to The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund as Dynamite’s ten-year anniversary celebration rolls on, fans not only have the opportunity to reward themselves with a great offer, but also to support such a worthy cause.

The fifty comics included in this latest bundle include work from such high-profile creators as Gail Simone, Alex Ross, Mark Waid, Bill Willingham, Phil Hester, Kurt Busiek, Jeff Parker, and more. Ranging from award-winning covers to fan-favorite best-sellers, these are the comics no Dynamite fan should be without. The full list includes:

  • Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet #2 by Kevin Smith and Jonathan Lau
  • Red Sonja #3 – 4 by Gail Simone and Walter Geovanni
  • Legenderry #2 – 3 by Bill Willingham and Sergio Fernandez Davila
  • Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #1 – 3 by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Jonathan Lau
  • Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: War Cry #2 – 3 by Jim Butcher and Mark Powers
  • Codename Action #1 – 2 by Chris Roberson and Johnathan Lau
  • Dark Shadows #1 – 3 by Stuart Manning and Aaron Campbell
  • Kirby Genesis #0 – 1 by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross
  • The Owl #1 by J.T. Krul and Heubert Khan Michael
  • Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt #1 – 5 by Steve Darnall, Alex Ross, and Jonathan Lau
  • Battlestar Galactica: Zarek #1 – 4 by Brandon Jerwa, and Adriano Batista w/Aries Mendosa
  • Flash Gordon (2013) #1 – 7 by Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner
  • Jungle Girl #2 – 3 by Frank Cho
  • Vampirella #2 by Eric Trautmann
  • Mocking Dead #2 by Fred Van Lente
  • The Trial of Sherlock Holmes #3 – 5 by Leah Moore, John Reppion and Aaron Campbell
  • Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #4 – 6 by Chuck Dixon
  • Chaos #2 – 3 by Tim Seeley and Mirka Andolfo, main cover by J. Scott Campbell
  • Miss Fury #3 – 4 by Rob Williams
  • Pathfinder #2 – 3 by Jim Zub
  • American Flagg #3 – 4 by Howard Chaykin

This special anniversary Mega Bundle is only available for a limited time. It follows Dynamite’s addition of the Bitcoin payment system to the company’s DRM-Free digital store front, which at only a month old has already provided strong benefits to the overall comics market through consumer transition to printed material. More discount digital bundles are expected as Dynamite continues to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

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.

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.

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