Category Archives: Technology

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Kakao Entertainment Acquires 100% Stake in Tapas

Tapas

Continuing their global mission to create super IP across multimedia platforms, the leading digital publisher of webcomics and novels, Tapas Media, Inc., has been acquired by Kakao Entertainment in a cash transaction announced today. The acquisition will expand Kakao Entertainment’s original content business in North America and other English-speaking regions.

The terms of the agreement give Kakao Entertainment a 100% stake in Tapas, for a transaction valued at $510 million. CEO and Founder, Chang Kim, will remain in his role as CEO and become a Global Strategy Officer within Kakao Entertainment. Kim will provide insight into the US Market while continuing to focus on developing IP on the Tapas platform.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Tapas is a pioneer of mobile storytelling platforms in the US and have found success in the rapidly growing mobile stories market with more than 8 billion pageviews of 96,000 original series – both webcomics and digital novels. Tapas’ microtransaction-based digital currency (Ink) empowers readers to directly support their favorite creators and stories, generating revenue for creators.  Tapas saw five times year-over-year revenue growth in 2020, averaging more than $2M per month for creators, making it one of the top 3 grossing comic apps in the US.

Tapas have spent almost a decade dedicated to developing a creator-first ecosystem with an open publishing platform and creator community. Tapas is not just a creator platform, it also produces original content with creators – content that expands into additional business opportunities including development deals in film and television, book publishing, audio, and other ancillary business. Recent Tapas announcements include Scholastic signing global publishing rights for the critically-acclaimed Studio Tapas original series Magical Boy – releasing as a graphic novel on November 2, 2021; a partnership with Zoic Studios for television and cross-platform adaptation of the AI thriller Tapas original, Mnemosyne; and Frolic Media and Madison Wells are producing a scripted podcast and developing the TV adaptation of the modern office-place romance series, Yes, My Boss!. The expanded partnership with Kakao Entertainment furthers this mission broadening creator opportunities on a global level as they are a leader in the Korean web novel and webcomic industries, with a successful track record of creating super IPs made into secondary formats such as films, TV series, games, and live performances.

Madefire is Shutting Down. Users Must Download Their Comics by the End of April

Madefire

It’s flown under the radar but Madefire has announced that they have declared insolvency. The digital comic platform entered into the process on April 7 and at some point in the past few days posted the details on their website.

With the announcement, Madefire has said users that customers are encouraged to download purchases from the cloud as future access “may be limited”. Users have until the end of April 2021 to do so.

Madefire was one of the bigger competitors against digital comics platform comiXology when they launched in 2011. Though they had some high-profile announcements, the app never really was much of a challenger filling a very small niche.

You can read Madefire’s complete statement below.

Notice

On April 7, 2021, Madefire, Inc. (the “Company” or “Madefire”) entered into an assignment for the benefit of creditors (the “Assignment”), which is a state-level insolvency proceeding similar to bankruptcy. Madefire made a general assignment of its assets to an assignment entity, a California limited liability company by the name of Madefire (assignment for the benefit of creditors), LLC (“Assignee”), an affiliate of Sherwood Partners, Inc.

Due to the uncertainty in this situation, the following actions have been taken: – All new purchases of books have been suspended indefinitely. -All publication of new books has been suspended indefinitely. -Support of and future updates to the Madefire App have been suspended indefinitely. -Access to purchased content stored in the cloud may be limited and therefore customers are encouraged to download all previously purchased content from the cloud onto the Madefire App before the end of April 2021.

Further information with regard to the process may be found on www.proofofclaims.com/Madefire.

Thank you.

There are numerous publishers who had built their digital comics app with Madefire. Archie is one of them and they have announced they’re shutting their app down as well. Below is the publisher’s announcement:

To our valued Archie App customers,

We regret to inform you that the Archie App will cease operations as of 4/28.

We realize this comes as a surprise and we are making every effort to do right by our loyal customer base. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.

With that in mind, we are working with our digital partners at ComiXology to offer you a free, one-month trial of their top-flight streaming platform, ComiXology Unlimited, where you can find our entire Archie digital library, day-and-date with its release. You will find almost every comic currently on the Archie App and more via this service, for a lower price than you paid for Archie Unlimited. To sign up, click here.

We are of course aware that many of you have made individual purchases via the app. To make up for the loss of those purchases, we are offering a free digital bundle of Archie Comics titles – including some of our best-selling collections. Some of the titles featured in this bundle include:

Best of Archie Deluxe Vol. 1-4
Best of Betty and Veronica Vol. 1&2
Best of Archie Americana Vol. 1: Golden Age
Best of Archie Americana Vol. 2: Silver Age
Best of Archie Americana Vol. 3: Bronze
Best of Josie and the Pussycats Vol. 1
The Best of Archie Comics: 75 Years, 75 Stories
The Best of Archie Christmas Comics
The Complete Sabrina the Teenage Witch Vol. 1: 1962-1971
The Complete Sabrina the Teenage Witch Vol. 2: 1972-1973
Archie Modern Classics Vol. 1-3
Archie Vol 1-6
… and more

To redeem your download link, please email digital@archiecomics.com (include the email you’ve registered with the Archie App) by June 1, and we will reply with a download link that includes the above titles and more.

If you have any questions, please let us know via the email address linked above.

Thank you for being a valued Archie Comics customer.

Other publishers whose apps were built by Madefire include IDW Publishing who we have not seen an update concerning the issue.

Graphic Audio and Archie Comics Announce Plans for Audio Adaptations

Graphic Audio has completed a licensing deal with Archie Comics. Archie Will You Marry Me?, also known as ‘The Archie Wedding,’ will be the first of several graphic novel collections that Graphic Audio will be releasing in their dramatized adaptation audiobook format.

Archie Will You Marry Me? will be available on Graphic Audio’s website store and everywhere digital audiobooks are sold in late Spring, followed by the release of the hit Archie Horror graphic novel Vampironica and the Archie relaunch by writer Mark Waid.

Graphic Audio and Archie

Heavy Metal and Golden Apple Collaborate on WonderCon VR Experience

Heavy Metal

Golden Apple Productions, the publishing and production arm of famed LA comic book shop Golden Apple Comics, is launching Golden Apple VR, a first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality space where fans around the world can connect with creators and IP, 365 days a year. Golden Apple VR launches this Friday (3/26), corresponding with pop-culture convention WonderCon, which has gone virtual this year. Golden Apple VR will livestream convention panels in a virtual space Friday and Saturday and host an exclusive VR Q&A in conjunction with legendary sci-fi/fantasy comic magazine, Heavy Metal. A post-panel Industry Mixer will cap off the events on Saturday.

When the pandemic changed the way fans engage with creators and IP, Golden Apple Comics owner, Ryan Liebowitz, saw an opportunity to not just give fans a unique, safe space to engage with their fandom, but also to fix a growing industry concern. “There’s been a problem for years where fans only have a few times and places a year where they can engage in public fandom. The aim of Golden Apple VR isn’t just to create a virtual hangout space because of the pandemic. We want to broaden the scope and reach of any convention, signing, promotion and pop culture event to the entire world.”

Instead of a handful of conventions that are often geographically inconvenient, Golden Apple VR brings “the Con” to you. Added Liebowitz, “Only 150,000 people can go to San Diego Comic-Con and the badges and hotel rooms sell out in less than ten minutes. With Golden Apple VR, an infinite number of people from around the world can meet up online. Instead of reaching a finite amount of people, cons could reach millions.”

Golden Apple VR will launch with two “environments”: one space is a scale replica of their flagship comic shop on the corner of Melrose and LaBrea in Hollywood, and the other space, accessible through a portal in the back of the virtual comic shop, is The Promenade, a virtual outdoor public gathering area, similar to what fans would experience at a physical convention. In The Promenade, fans from anywhere in the world can gather for a watch party of livestream panels from WonderCon, show off their virtual avatars, and geek out with like-minded fans.

Inside the virtual Golden Apple Comics shop, fans can peruse the shelves of comics, just like they would at their physical store. For now, fans can just touch and look, but in future updates, virtual patrons will be able to purchase physical comics and merchandise from the shop or any environment inside Golden Apple VR. Eventually, brands and creators will be able to set up virtual shops that can be open any day of the year. And environments like The Promenade can be easily re-skinned for targeted events, like the launch of the latest Funko POP! or a Marvel watch party. Liebowitz notes, “The potential is endless.”

Golden Apple VR was brought to life by Kari Dietrich from digital strategy firm, Partikle, and Big Rock Creative, experts in the social VR space and founders of BRCvr, an official Burning Man Experience, which won the firm this year’s Producer’s Guild of America Innovation Award. “When I saw BRCvr, I felt that something amazing could be started for the comic fans and industry professionals,” said Dietrich. “Together with Golden Apple, we look forward to growing the virtual experience for one and all.” Producer’s Guild of America Innovation Award this year.

Through the Burning Man VR Experience, Athena Demos of Big Rock Creative has seen firsthand the power of connecting fans in a virtual space. “At the height of the pandemic, we welcomed over 90,000 visitors into 200 worlds created by 100 artists. Since then, in partnership with Microsoft’s AltSpaceVR platform, we have seen exponential growth in reach and cross-cultural connections by adding seven additional languages, customized interactables, and integrations with passionate brands.” When it came to selecting the right passionate brand to partner with for the launch of Golden Apple VR, Heavy Metal was an obvious choice.

For Heavy Metal CEO, Matthew Medney, making the leap into VR has been a long time coming. “Both Heavy Metal and Golden Apple are in the business of magical worlds, and have been for over 4 decades. Moving from the magic of pages to VR Voids is something we’ve published countless times, in numerous variations, most notably in Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep. It is crazy to see now, all these years later, this fictional construct starting to seep into our everyday life. As I always say, all science started as fiction.” During the exclusive Heavy Metal Q&A, fans from around the world can meet and interact with George C. Romero (The Rise, Cold Dead War), Blake Northcott (SYNAP$E, Echoes From the Void), Brendan Columbus (Savage Circus) and Medney himself (Beyond Kuiper, Dark Wing).

Golden Apple VR is accessible through AltSpaceVR, the world’s largest social VR gathering platform. After creating a free account, fans can access the roster of all Golden Apple Events through the AltSpace Events tab or by going to this site. And fans without a VR headset can still enjoy the events from their PC/Mac or smartphone.

Omar Spahi embraces NFT with the comic Xenoglyphs

Omar Spahi

Indie comics creator Omar Spahi has announced that his comic series Xenoglyphs will be released in single-issue format first on Rarible.com, making it the first full comic book story released as a one-of-one digital collectible.

As a comic book indie creator embracing the emerging NFT platform and technology, Spahi hopes to change the way indie creators use technology to generate income and broaden their fanbases.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which means that unlike bitcoin, it cannot be traded for another identical token. Each NFT is a unique, one-of-a-kind piece, and if you trade it, you are trading it for another completely different collectible. It’s the one-of-one approach that makes Spahi’s plan unique, in that the rarity of the item – historically speaking – is something that is typically appealing to collectors of comics.

I strive to be groundbreaking in this space, it’s not just for myself, but for the comics community at large. There are many misconceptions about this technology and much to learn in the days ahead, but the potential rewards for creative participants on a project like this are undeniable.

Unlike the printed comic market, which usually cannot sustain a one-of-a-kind product, the NFT model allows us to offer something that is truly distinct and unique to a collector. If you just like the artwork, we will make digital prints available to anyone who wants one, but the collectible itself is limited to one.

As NFT collectibles are traded and resold, the potential for increased value only grows. This means a writer or artist can be paid on an NFT comic at potentially higher rates than through traditional channels. We don’t intend for this to replace direct market comic distribution, but it certainly levels the playing field amongst indies and corporate publishers.

We’re on the precipice of a new era of collectibles, and I feel Xenoglyphs has a chance of appealing to people through Rarible.com who have never read anything in this format before. And for those who have, this is a chance to be the first collector to own a full comic book in this format.

Spahi sees strong potential here for putting power into the hands of artists and writers. The long lifecycle and trading and reselling potential of an NFT collectible has opened up new earning opportunities, and the stakes are much higher than in physical media.

Spahi’s Xenoglyphs is the story of best friends Steven and Dom as they try to stop Anubis, the master of evil, from collecting all nine elemental stones, known as Xenoglyphs.

If someone holds a stone they control that element. For example, if someone holds the Water Stone they have the power to control all the water around them.

You can bid on Xenoglyphs at Rarible.

Xenoglyphs

Toybox and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to Develop a 3D Printing Toy Range

Toybox

Toybox, the 3D printer for kids of all ages has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to provide their customers the ability to print Warner Bros’ iconic and fan-favorite IP characters. Toy Box fans will now be able to print items based on; DC, Cartoon Network, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, Friends, Seinfeld, and classic movies such as Polar Express and Elf.

Customers will be able to buy a range of toys starting with DC’s Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman by purchasing Toybox Bolts, an online currency unique to the Toybox platform. This is a first of its kind licensing agreement with a major studio that allows customers to print their toys at home…no two-day shipping or trip to the store needed.

Toys available to print at launch will be Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman action figures with nine points of articulation, Batarangs, Batman’s Batcave computer, Batmobile, Batman disc launcher, Bat-Signal, Justice League disc launchers, Daily Planet building; with additional items to follow.

Read AWA Studios on Demand on Global Comix

AWA Studios titles

We revealed two weeks ago in our weekly roundup that Artists Writers & Artisans (AWA) Studios has made its titles accessible to readers digitally through Global Comix, a new digital reading and distribution platform. An official announcement was made today of the partnership.

In less than a year, AWA Studios has unleashed titles with an impressive caliber of talent behind them, such as The Resistance by J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato Jr.; Year Zero by Benjamin Percy and Ramon Rasonas; American Ronin by Peter Milligan and ACO; Bad Mother by Christa Faust and Mike Deodato Jr.; and Grendel, Kentucky by Jeff McComsey and Tommy Lee Edwards.

Comic book readers can now enjoy issues for free.

Valiant Entertainment Joins Forces with GIT Corp. & dDominium for Digital Collectibles

Valiant Entertainment is working with GIT Corp. and dDominium to release brand-new Blockchain digital collectibles featuring characters from the Valiant Universe. This team-up between companies will produce all-new digital collectibles and autographs for Valiant fans to own and enjoy.

The popularity of blockchain collectibles and artwork has grown significantly over the past few years, featuring officially-licensed collectibles from top sports and entertainment properties. Blockchain provides true ownership of digital goods by allowing collectors to easily access, transfer, and prove ownership independent of any single entity — even if the original producer of the collectible goes out of business.

More information about the upcoming Valiant digital collectibles will soon be revealed.

Kindle Unlimited & comiXology Unlimited See Nearly 600 New Kodansha Additions

Kodansha Comics has expanded their availability on comiXology Unlimited and Kindle Unlimited to include an additional nearly 600 manga volumes to the Amazon-powered comics, graphic novel and manga streaming services.

These additions which include volumes from manga series like Attack on Titan Before the FallThat Time I Got Reincarnated as a SlimeGleipnirChihayafuru and more, join the 400+ manga titles already part of the streaming service. On top of that, select full series, like anime-inspiring manga, A Silent VoiceInuyashiki, and Kiss Him Not Me, are now available for fans to read from start to finish. And as an added benefit fans can read many of these additions in Guided View, a proprietary technology that provides an immersive and cinematic, panel-to-panel reading experience.

Kodansha comiXology Unlimited

ComiXology Unlimited now offers over 25,000 comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. Kindle Unlimited offers over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select current issues of popular magazines for just $9.99 a month with a 30-day free trial.


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

DC Universe has Launched in the US

DC Universe Infinite

The ultimate DC Comics fan destination has arrived! DC Universe Infinite has launched in the U.S. The digital subscription service is a premium digital comic book platform and community. With the largest collection of DC Comics found anywhere, fans can now dive into over 25,000 comic books and graphic novels on DC Universe Infinite.

The app is the next iteration of the DC digital platform. DC Universe originally launched featuring not just comics but movies and television shows from the DC catalogue. Since that launch, those shows and movies have moved to HBO Max and other services.

Starting at launch, the platform will continuously add selections from DC’s iconic labels, VertigoDC Black Label, and Milestone Media, the platform will also feature new comic releases six months after their in-store releases, as well as, Digital First titles available three months after launch, and brand new comic titles exclusive to DC Universe Infinite. Additionally, fans will soon have exclusive access to DC fan events to connect with other DC enthusiasts.

Following the U.S. launch, DC Universe Infinite will begin expanding globally later this year.

DC Universe Infinite is a newly designed app with updated personalization features and an enhanced comic reading experience. Current DC Universe subscribers will not need to create a new account, as their DC Universe login will transfer to DC Universe Infinite. Fans can download comics, graphic novels and originals for unlimited offline reading on their favorite devices from a smartphone or tablet.

DC Universe Infinite Features
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