Category Archives: Technology

Surgeon X Gets an Enhanced App

Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, has funded an enhanced comics app for the highly anticipated new comic book series Surgeon X.  The app will launch on September 28, 2016, with Image Comics’ publication of the first issue by debut comic book writer and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Sara Kenney, master artist John Watkiss, colorist James Devlin, letterer Jared K. Fletcher, and editor Karen Berger, the founder of Vertigo Comics.

First time comic writer Sara Kenney secured funding for both the app and the comic itself with a Society Award from Wellcome, which supported extensive dialogue with scientists, medics, biomedical ethicists and sociologists. Surgeon X is a medical thriller set in London in the year 2036, which asks: What if we lived in a world of antibiotic resistance and rationing, where the superbugs have won? In the series, Rosa Scott, a brilliant and obsessive surgeon takes things into her own hands and becomes Surgeon X, a vigilante doctor who uses experimental surgery and black market drugs to treat patients.

A new enhanced comic app will be available each month to accompany the content of each issue and timed to the same release, and will include:

  • Animated scientific shorts narrated by Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science at University of Birmingham;
  • Historical footage detailing the medical science of antibiotics;
  • Futuristic animations of political campaigns, commercials & news reports from London 2036;
  • Documentary interviews with the creative team and the scientists, surgeons, historians, ethicists and philosophers who helped inform the series;
  • Original music and sound design;
  • The entire comic, both in color and in stylish black and white

The Surgeon X Enhanced Comic App was created by Sara Kenney Writer/ Producer/ Director; Michael Mensah-Bonsu, Designer and Developer of Vuniiun Ltd., Simon Armstrong, Animation Director of Ticktockrobot; Oliver Kenney, Composer/Music Consultant; Marnie Chesterton freelancer for BBC, Producer of audio documentaries as well as Karen Berger and producer Duncan Copp.

The app is available September 28 in the App Store and Google Play Store for $3.99 U.S./£2.99 U.K..

surgeon x

Marvel Announces Stickers for Apple’s Messages App

The Marvel Universe dives int the world of communication with the newly announced Marvel Stickers collection, available on the App Store for iMessage for iPhone® and iPad® users with the release of iOS 10.

Your messages are about to get a lot more heroic with Marvel Stickers! With this inaugural Marvel Stickers collection, “Items of Power,” iPhone and iPad users can now express themselves creatively, become a part of the Marvel Universe, and further show off what they are feeling. With the very first sticker pack directly from the House of Ideas, you can turn yourself into Spider-Man, defend your thoughts with Iron Man’s Repulsor, SMASH Hulk’s fists when you want to show strength, channel Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamatto when you have something enlightening to say, or respond to everything with “I Am Groot!”

Make your chats Marvel!

Warner Brothers Turns in its Own Sites to Google

Warner_Bros._Pictures_introIf you want evidence as to how broken the takedown reporting system is, it’s being reported the Warner Bros has asked Google to remove its own site from search results. The reason? They violate their own copyright. At the same time, they’ve also asked to remove streaming services such as Amazon and Sky (both licensed digital movie portals), as well as IMDB.

It’s not Warner Bros directly asking for this, but Vobile a company whose job it is to submit takedown notices. The company files hundreds of thousands of takedown requests every month.

As reported by Torrent Freak, Vobile asked for the Batman: The Dark Knight and The Matrix websites be removed. Warner Bros owns both of those films.

There is some transparency to these requests as Google reports on them. They’ve requested close to 14 million urls to be removed, 1.7 million of which are Warner Bros requests.

ComiXology Announces More comiXology Unlimited Titles and Those Leaving

comixology unlimitedComiXology is adding new titles to comiXology Unlimited like the sci-fi space adventure Fear Agent by Rick Remender and Tony Moore, Mass Effect: Invasion, based on the popular sci-fi video game series, B.P.R.D.: 1946 a series set in the Hellboy universe about a mysterious organization protecting America and the world from occult threats from the mind of Mike Mignola and more, while select titles are leaving CU — the new subscription service that allows customers to explore the amazing world of comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month — all starting September 6, 2016.

In addition to the titles currently available, selections from the following great series are debuting on comiXology Unlimited September 6:

Archie Meets KISS: Deluxe Edition by Alex Segura and Dan Parent (Archie Comics)
Birthright: Homecoming Vol. 1 and #2-5 by Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas (Image Comics)
Black River by Josh Simmons (Fantagraphics Books)
Bloodshot Reborn: Digital Exclusives Edition #1-3: by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan (Valiant Entertainment)
B.P.R.D.: 1946 #1-5 by Mike Mignola, Joshua Dysart and Paul Azaceta (Dark Horse Comics)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 Vol. 1: New Rules, #1-10 by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs (Dark Horse Comics)
Clockwerx Vol. 1-2 by Jason Henderson, Tony Salvaggio, Jean-Baptiste Hostache and Izu (Humanoids)
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove Vol. 1 by David Gaider, Alexander Freed and Chad Hardin (Dark Horse Comics)
Fathom: Blue #1-5 by Vince Hernandez and Claudio Avella (Aspen Comics)
Fear Agent Vol. 1 by Rick Remender and Tony Moore (Dark Horse Comics)
Flash Gordon: Digital Exclusive Edition #4-8 by Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner (Dynamite)
The Fox #1-5 by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid (Archie Comics)
Ghost #1-4 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Sebela, Ryan Sook, and Geraldo Borges (Dark Horse Comics)
Grendel: Hunter Rose Omnibus Vol. 1 by Matt Wagner and various (Dark Horse Comics)
Kabuki Vol. 1 #1-7 by David Mack (Dark Horse Comics)
Key of Z #1-4 by Claudio Sanchez, Chondra Echert and Aaron Kuder (BOOM! Studios)
Locke & Key Vol. 1-2 and #1-6 each by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #1-3 by Vince Hernandez, Siya Oum (Aspen)
Lost Cat by Jason (Fantagraphics Books)
The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics Books)
Mass Effect: Invasion #1-4 by Mac Walters, John Jackson Miller and Omar Francia (Dark Horse Comics)
The Metabarons Vol. 1-2 by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Juan Gimenez (Humanoids)
Princeless: Be Yourself #1-4 by Jeremy Whitley and Emily Martin (Action Lab Entertainment)
Red Sonja: Vulture’s Circle: Digital Exclusive Edition #1-5 by Luke Lieberman, Nancy A. Collins and Fritz Casas (Dynamite)
Sherlock Holmes: Liverpool Demon #1-5 by Leah Moore, John Reppion and Matt Triano (Dynamite)
The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow: Digital Exclusive Edition #1-6 by Howard Chaykin (Dynamite)
Strange Fruit #1-2 by Mark Waid and J.G. Jones (BOOM! Studios)
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Vol. 1-3, Annual 2012, and #1-11 by Alex Milne, James Roberts, Nick Roche, John Barber, Tim Seeley and more (IDW)
Wild’s End #1-3 by Dan Abnett and I.N.J Culbard (BOOM! Studios)
Wynonna Earp #1-2 by Beau Smith and Lora Innes (IDW)

This month marks the first of titles leaving the program. Those titles include:

Baltimore: The Plague Ships Vol 1 and #1-5 by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden (Dark Horse Comics)
Before the Incal Vol. 1-2 by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Zoran Janjetov (Humanoids)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Vol. 1-5 by Joss Whedon (Dark Horse Comics)
Cape Horn Vol. 1 by Christian Perrissin and Enea Riboldi (Humanoids)
Conan #0-22 by Kurt Busiek, Michael William Kaluta and Cary Nord (Dark Horse Comics)
Higher Earth #1-2 by Sam Humphries andFrancesco Biagini (BOOM! Studios)
Metal Hurlant Collection 1 Vol. 1-2 by Geoff Johns, Ryan Sook, Jerome Opena and various (Humanoids)
Retroworld Vol. 1 by Patrick Galliano, Bazal and Cedric Payravernay (Humanoids)
Transformers: Robots In Disguise Vol. 1-7 and #1-27 by John Berger and various (IDW)
Wolf Vol. 1 and #1-4 by Ales Kot and Matt Taylor (Image Comics)

ComiXology Unlimited launched in June 2016.

Collect Your Favorite Valiant Entertainment Characters…All From Your iOS Device

Valiant has announced the debut of the all-new Valiant channel on Quidd, the world’s first platform for collecting and trading emojis, stickers and cards. Now, for the first time anywhere, discover, collect and trade the heroes behind the largest independent superhero universe in comics with limited edition chase sets and packs on any iOS device!

As the newest addition to Quidd‘s platform, Valiant joins some of entertainment’s most beloved and geeky franchises – including Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Bob’s Burgers, and many more – for a one-of-a-kind collecting experience that no fan will want to miss!

The app features cutting-edge artwork from some of comics’ greatest talents alongside biographies and power rankings for hundreds of Valiant’s most beloved heroes and feared villains, there has never been a better way to explore the Valiant Universe than with Quidd‘s digital collecting platform! From worldwide superstars like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Faith, and Ninjak to up-and-coming powerhouses like Divinity, Cronus, Animalia, and Lord Vine-99, immerse yourself in the most acclaimed publisher anywhere in comics today as Quidd gives you multiple new ways to connect with characters and fellow fans from around the world:

  • Multiple base sets with new, free packs added each and every week
  • Incentive chase sets spotlighting Valiant’s most wanted heroes and events – strictly limited and available for limited periods only
  • Live trading and messaging with thousands of users worldwide
  • Exclusive discounts, trivia and first-look content, available on Quidd’s Valiant feed

Download the Quidd app today and favorite the Valiant channel to discover the many worlds of the Valiant Universe – and discover the critically acclaimed, best-selling superheroes that have captured imaginations the world over from a whole new vantage point!

Road to Gen Con 2016: Boss Monster in Virtual Reality at Premieres

Brotherwise Games announced the convention premier of the Virtual Reality (VR) version of their hit tabletop card game, Boss Monster, at this year’s Gen Con, Aug. 4-7 in Indianapolis. Convention goers will be able to experience the tabletop game in virtual reality.

Brotherwise partnered with VR pioneer AltspaceVR to bring Boss Monster to the virtual table. AltspaceVR made waves in the gaming community in 2015 with their VR Dungeon & Dragons sessions, but Boss Monster VR represents the first virtual reality version of a tabletop game with complex pieces, cards, and interactions.

The tabletop game market has been experiencing double-digit growth for several years, and the population of gamers continues to grow. VR offers a new frontier for game developers, and AltspaceVR allows multiple people to be together in virtual space, which is ideal for tabletop games.

Brotherwise and AltspaceVR will demonstrate Boss Monster VR at booth #2343 during Gen Con.

The game is already available online. You can sign up, sign in, and play now. Boss Monster can be played in AltspaceVR in full VR mode using Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Samsung Gear VR. Players without VR devices can play Boss Monster in desktop mode on their PC or Mac, using an audio headset with a microphone.

Boss Monster in Virtual Reality

Demo-Graphics: The Comparisons

This week I’ve been releasing demographic breakdowns of various comic related populations on Facebook. You can see what’s already posted for Marvel, DC and Indie/Small Press general Comic Fans and Facebook itself.

But here’s a nice handy post showing off those various groups compared to each other in some handy graphs.

Gender

When it comes to women, Indie/Small Press comics outperforms the general comic population and is close to matching Facebook as a whole. The largest gap between men and women is Marvel who lags far behind.

Stats Gender 7.19.16African Americans

When it comes to percentage, comics generally outperform Facebook as a whole with the general comic fandom having the highest percentage of African Americans and Marvel being second. DC lags far behind, so they have work to do.

Stats African Americans 7.19.16Asian Americans

General Comic Fans, Marvel outperform Facebook as far as Asian Americans as a percent of the population. Marvel is the leader with about 50% more than Facebook. DC Comics is about event. Interestingly Indie/Small Press lags a bit behind.

Stats Asian Americans 7.19.16Hispanics

Across the board comics has more Hispanics as part of their population compared to Facebook as a whole. Almost all outperform by about 50% and every segment is about even with the general Comic Fandom being the best.

Stats Hispanics 7.19.16Generation

Millennials appear to be more into comics than they are Facebook when it comes to percentage. This is across the board by a wide margin with Millennials flocking to DC Comics the most.

Stats Generation 7.19.16

comiXology Unlimited Expands with New Titles

comixology unlimitedIn may, the comics world was shaken up with the announcement of comiXology Unlimited, a new service with allowed unlimited curated reading for $5.99 a month. Its been a month since that announcement and comiXology has announced the next round of new comics being added to the service.

In addition to the titles available at launch, selections from the following great series are debuting on comiXology Unlimited this coming Monday, June 27th:

Afterlife With Archie #1-3 by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla (Archie Comics)
Aliens: More than Human #1-4 by John Arcudi and Zach Howard (Dark Horse Comics)
All New Soulfire #1-2 by J.T. Krul, V. Ken Marion and Kyle Ritter (Aspen Comics)
Amy Devlin Mystery Vol. 1: Past Lies by Christian Weir, Nunzio DeFilippis, and Christopher Mitten (Oni Press)
Archer & Armstrong: Wrath of The Eternal Warrior #5-9, Vol. 2 by Fred Van Lente and Emanuela Lupacchino (Valiant Entertainment)
Bee and Puppycat #1-4, Vol. 1 by Natasha Allegri and Garrett Jackson (BOOM! Studios)
Chaos: Digital Exclusive Edition #1-6 by Tim Seeley and Jim Terry (Dynamite Entertainment)
District 14: Season 2 Vol 1 and 2 by Pierre Gabus and Romauld Reutimann (Humanoids)
El Niño: The Guayas Delta Vol. 2 by Christian Perrissin and Boro Pavlovic (Humanoids)
God Hates Astronauts #1-5 by Ryan Browne (Image Comics)
Grimm Fairy Tales: Ascension #2-5, Vol. 1 by Patrick Shand and Butch Mapa (Zenescope Entertainment)
Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #2-5, Vol. 1 by Ralph Tedesco and and Gabriel Rearte (Zenescope Entertainment)
Gronk: A Monster’s Story Vol. 1 by Katie Cook (Action Lab)
Harbinger: Renegades #5-10, Vol. 2 by Joshua Dysart, Phil Briones and Matthew Clark (Valiant Entertainment)
Invincible #9-13, Vol. 3: Perfect Strangers by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker (Image Comics)
Krazy & Ignatz: 1925-1926 & 1939-1940 by George Herrimann (Fantagraphics Books)
Legends of Red Sonja #1-5 by Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nancy Collins, Devin Grayson, Marjorie Liu, Leah Moore, and Jim Calafiore, Tula Lotay, Carla Speed McNeil, Phil Noto (Dynamite Entertainment)
Mage: The Hero Discovered #1-8, Vol. 1 and 2 by Matt Wagner (Image Comics)
The Mice Templar #1-7, Vol. 1 by Bryan J. L. Glass, and Michael Avon Oeming (Image Comics)
Mind the Gap #1-5 by Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo, Sonia Oback (Image Comics)
The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun #1-5 by Cullen Bun and Brian Hurtt (Oni Press)
Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2: Unexplored Worlds by Steve Ditko (Fantagraphics Books)
The Technopriests Vol. 1 and 2 by Aexandro Jodorowsky and Zoran Janjetov (Humanoids)
Vampirella Archives Vol. 1 by Frank Frazetta and various (Dynamite Entertainment)
The Zombies That Ate the World: In the Name of Love Vol. 2 by Jerry Frissen and Guy Davis (Humanoids)
Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1-3 by Jason Martin and Dan Mendoza (Action Lab Entertainment)

The following titles from Magnetic Press will also debut on June 27th on comiXology Unlimited:

The Adventures of Basil & Moebius #1-4 by Ryan Schifrin, Larry Hama, Adam Archer, Lizzy John, and others. (Magnetic Press)
Daomu: Complete Edition by Xu “Kennedy” Lei and Ken Chuo (Magnetic Press)
Meka #1 by JD Morvan and Bengal (Magnetic Press)
Naja #1-2 by JD Morvan and Bengal (Magnetic Press)
Luminae #1-2 by Bengal (Magnetic Press)
Poet Anderson #1 by Tom DeLonge, Ben Kull, and Djet (Magnetic Press)
Super-Ego #1-4 by Caio Oliveira and Lucas Marangon (Magnetic Press)
Zaya #1-3 by JD Morvan and Huang-Jia Wei (Magnetic Press)

ComicBlitz Expands to the Web

ipad-browseThe battle for “all you can read” comics has heated up as ComicBlitz has announced the digital platform will be expanding to a web app from its iOS roots on June 21st.

Having launched in October 2015, the “Netflix like” digital comic service had just been available to iOS users leaving Android and Windows users waiting for their turn. Now, that wait is over. The company has expanded its reach “with the launch of a universally compatible web app that operates on all devices — PC’s, laptops, tablets, and smartphones on any OS (Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS).”

ComicBlitz costs $9.99 a month with the first 30 days free. The service offers comics from publishers such as Valiant, Dynamite, Action Lab, Aspen, Darby Pop, and more.

Though the iOS app currently remains the sole native app for ComicBlitz, the company is planning to unveil an Android app in the near future.

Two key features of the app is that it “streams” comic books rather than having to download each comic, providing faster, easier reading without burdening device memory. Also content does not “rotate”, which means once the content arrives on ComicBlitz, it remains on the platform indefinitely so the user does not have to rush to complete a series. This differentiates itself from comiXology Unlimited which will have a rotating choice of comics.

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Syrinscape and Green Ronin Partner to Bring World’s Greatest Superhero Roleplaying Game to Life

MUTANTS AND MASTERMINDS Freedom CitySyrinscape and Green Ronin Publishing have announced the companies have partnered to develop custom Mutants & Masterminds SoundSets for the Syrinscape Sci-Fi app.

The first two Mutants & Masterminds SoundSets have launched, Freedom City 2525 and Space Flight, with monthly releases thereafter, each featuring a new location and encounter from the popular roleplaying game, and are playable on PCs, Macs, Android phones and tablets, iPads, and iPhones.

MUTANTS AND MASTERMINDS Space FLightWith the whoosh of passing hover cards, the whine of passing emergency vehicle sires, the beeps and buzzes of droids and so much more, the Freedom City 2525 SoundSet from Syrinscape brings everything needed for players to immerse themselves in this high-tech utopian metropolis.

The Space Flight SoundSet features everything needed for epic superhero space battles, including laser guns, freeze rays, humming electro force fields, whooshes and whizzes and a soundtrack befitting the best pulp movie.

Mutants & Masterminds SoundSets join the ever-growing Syrinscape Sci-Fi library of fantastic sounds for any sci-fi tabletop adventure, and are available from Syrinscape ($3.99/ea), or as part of the Syrinscape Sci-Fi ongoing subscription for $6.50/month.

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