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G.I. Joe: Battleground Launches Shipwreck’d PvP Event

GIJOE_app store iconDeNA’s G.I. Joe: Battleground action card battle mobile game based on the original G.I. Joe universe is releasing a new in-game player vs. player (PvP) event today called Shipwreck’d that runs through August 29, 2013.

After the Joes successfully decrypted the Cobra data obtained by Snake Eyes, they learned a frightening truth. Cobra-La is still alive, active, and seething with anger and hatred for G.I. Joe. In response to this grave threat, Joe teams from around the world have scrambled to launch various assaults against known Cobra intel centers to obtain information on the whereabouts of Cobra-La. One such perilous mission involves Shipwreck and a team of commandos finding their way onto a Cobra submarine. A close quarter firefight breaks out on the sub that threatens to blow up the nuclear powered titan with all combatants still on board.

Players can take up a side as Joe or Cobra and fight against other Squad Leaders. Will you side with Cobra to protect Cobra-La’s nefarious plans, or will you go with the Joes to unravel and put an end Cobra-La’s comeback?

Download G.I. Joe: Battleground for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices for free at: http://mobage.com/games/g-i-joe-battleground

 

Shipwreck-EPIC

VIZ Media To Release Art For Hope Digital Art Anthology In December

Official Press Release

Innovative Art Book Created In Partnership With Autodesk To Benefit Japanese Disaster Recovery; Exhibit Of Artwork Also Takes Place In Las Vegas At Autodesk University

VIZ Media has announced the upcoming debut of ART FOR HOPE, a limited edition digital art book anthology created in partnership with Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to benefit Architecture for Humanity. The anthology will be available for a limited time, from December 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012, for $4.99 through VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App for iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch. 100% of VIZ Media’s net proceeds will support Architecture for Humanity’s ongoing disaster reconstruction efforts in Japan. To learn more about these rebuilding projects, please visit: www.ArchitectureForHumanity.org.

Each of the 40 artists participating in the ART FOR HOPE anthology used Autodesk® SketchBook® digital paint and drawing software applications in some way to create original pieces for the anthology. The artists, both professional and amateur, hail from around the world and from diverse fields, and range in style from the realistic to the fantastic, each illustrating the theme of “Hope.” Notable contributors include Eisner Award and Harvey Award winner Rob Guillory, Harvey Award winner Lark Pien, muralist Sirron Norris, and MAMESHIBA artists Jorge Monlongo and Gemma Correll.

Selections from ART FOR HOPE will also be exhibited at the Autodesk annual user conference, Autodesk University, taking place at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, NV from November 29th to December 1st. Access to the exhibit is free to the public within the Creative Studio a unique hands-on space to celebrate the creative spirit and showcasing a variety of Autodesk software and products. More information on the exhibit and conference is available at:

http://www.sketchbooknews.com/news/creative-studio-art-exhibit.html.

VIZ Media and Autodesk are very proud of and grateful to the following artists for their contributions to the ART FOR HOPE digital art anthology:

Janet Alvarado                                   Don’t Lose Hope

Asuka 111 (Patipat Asavasena)          Hope

Azure                                                 Untitled

Greg Baldwin of CreatureBox              Sheltered

Alan Bay                                            A Little Piece of Hope

Drew Blom                                         Calvin Hedge and the Iron Golem

Steve Boura                                       Bright Future

Carsten Bradley                                 A Wish for You

Matthew Britton                                 Regrowth

Veronica Casson                                 The Guest Room

Geikou Chen                                      Rainbow Bridge to Tomorrow

Gemma Correll                                   Pierre, le Chat Français

Kalii Delarosa                                     The Rainbow in the Rain

Conrado Hernan Villa Gil                     Untitled

Dave Guertin                                     First Flight

Rob Guillory                                       Hope

Rodolpho Langhi                                A New Sunrise

C. Lijewski                                          Light Side of Dark

Chris Lui                                            Birds of a Feather

Holly Mongi                                        Good Morning, Friend

Jorge Monlongo                                  The Sprout and the Bean

Brian Muelhaupt                                 Ojizo-sama

Shaun Mullen                                     Kodama (Tree Spirits)

Susan Murtaugh                                Enduring Beauty

Ray N.                                                Deliverance

Joe Ng                                               Rise Above the Storm

Sirron Norris                             Kibou

Jacques Pena                                     Love

Luis Peso                                            Gathering Hope

Lark Pien                                            Wishes, Dreams

Kyle Runciman                                   Ready to Roll

Francesco Salvati                               DEAR HOPE

Janet Shaw                                        The Hope of Japan

Brad Silverman                                   Dancing Dragon

Joseph Strachan                                 Flight of the Phoenix

James Turner                                     Never Give Up

Colie Wertz                                        Sea Turtle

Pinar Yalcin                                        Beam of Light

John Yandall                                                One Little Sign

Jim Zub                                              Seed Starter

For more information on the ART FOR HOPE project, please visit www.VIZ.com/artforhope.

For more information on VIZ Media digital initiatives, please visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps/.

Graphic.ly, iOS 5 and Newsstand Could Be a Raw Deal For Comic Book Fans and Publishers

This week saw the latest update to the Apple operating system dubbed iOS 5.  The latest software update brought numerous software improvements and new features like the magazine subscription feature called NewsstandGraphic.ly, one of the numerous digital comic services out there was quickly to hop onto the latest technology.

Graphicly is proud to announce that many of its leading digital comics titles, including The Walking Dead, Invincible and Irredeemable are now available on Newsstand, a key feature of the newly released iOS 5. By working with leading publishers, including Image Comics and BOOM! Studios, Graphicly is making it even easier to subscribe to some of the best comic books on the market.

Utilizing Newsstand in iOS5, Graphicly is able to deliver comics directly to readers without the need for downloading additional applications and searching for titles. Now readers can easily browse for and subscribe to their favorite titles in the Newsstand, and have new issues delivered to their devices immediately. New titles will be released the same day as print and delivered seamlessly to users. This is a bold new way for readers to discover and enjoy stories, making it easier than ever to never miss an issue.

“The leading publishers and creators understand that developing a relationship with their fans is the most important thing,” said Micah Baldwin, CEO of Graphicly. “Newsstand ensures that relationship continues and grows each time a comic is released.”

The titles launched on the Apple Newsstand, powered by Graphicly, and available immediately include such hit comic books as:
• The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard from Image Comics
• Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen, from Image Comics
• Irredeemable by Mark Waid and Peter Krause from BOOM! Studios
• Invincible by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley from Image Comics
• Morning Glories by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma from Image Comics
• Near Death by Jay Faerber and Simone Guglielmini from Image Comics

Graphicly has partnered with the top publishers to ensure individual comics are released for purchase on a regular schedule.

It’s that last part that gave me pause.  Let me highlight it:

Graphicly has partnered with the top publishers to ensure individual comics are released for purchase on a regular schedule.

That’s a rather odd item to throw into a press release and why is it important?  Here’s how the service works.

  1. Purchase the App – this is new.  While old comic book programs were free and PDFs on iBooks is free, the apps right now.  As you can see, currently that’s $2.99 out of your pocket JUST FOR THE APP.  Though Irredeemable from BOOM! Studios is listed as $1.99 for the APP.
  2. There’s a $1.99 a month charge (yay cheaper than print) and back issues are available without $1.99 and just with the initial $2.99 purchase.  But there’s mention of $8.99 for bundles.  That’s a bit confusing right there.  So, what’s included in a bundle?  Not quite sure but it sounds rather odd.
  3. Each month, you will be charged another $1.99 for the newest issue and you must cancel the subscription at least 24 hours before the end of the current period.

So here’s where I see this all going bad with the current production habits of comic book publishers and how comic book digital readers may get screwed.

  • A publisher misses a month – remember that quote about them working the make sure issues come out on time?  That $1.99 monthly auto-charge is why.  They miss a month, tough shit, as a reader, you’re charged.  Now, they can fix this by always being a month behind to “bank” an issue.  But, if 11 issues come out in a year, you’re still missing out on one and there goes your $1.99. – Loser – Customer
  • Currently there is no way to “own your purchases” – remember, most digital comics are licensed.  You want to use that new HP tablet, no porting the purchased comics for you! – Loser – Customer
  • A publisher double ships – there’s now no incentive for a publisher to release two comics a month.  They’d lose out because all you’ve purchased as a customer is the $1.99 a month. – Loser – Publisher
  • Special $1 issues – A publisher decides to sell a comics for $1, congrats you just bought it for $1.99. – Loser – Customer
  • A steal at $1.99 – Comics today are a bit more than $1.99, remember DC holds the line at $2.99.  So will all of these be cheaper? – Loser – Publisher, Winner – Customer
  • A series is cancelled – Do I still have to pay $1.99 a month to access my comics?
  • Yet more apps to manage – More apps = more space. Each time an app service is made for a specific company or series, I die a little inside – Loser – Everyone

The terms of service for Graphic.ly even muddles the idea of subscriptions further.  From their website:

Certain Products may be available for download on a subscription basis. A subscription includes all currently available (if any) and future issues of a Product (“Subscription”). Not all Products may be available by Subscription. We will charge you the full price of a Subscription when you subscribe. Such Subscription is non-refundable; except that, if a publisher delivers fewer issues for a Subscription than specified through the Service at the time of your payment transaction), we will credit to your Account an amount equal to the pro-rated price of the Subscription.

So, do I get the back issues with the App purchase?  Seems like a bad deal for publishers.  And what’s with the mention of $8.99 and $9.99 bundles in the description of the App?  Though the terms for BOOM!’s entry for Irredeemable is different, with no mention of back issue bundles.  Looking around a the various Apps available, some mention the amount and others don’t.

While I applaud the overall move and quick implementation of the new technology, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered.  We’ll be following up with Graphic.ly at New York Comic Con this weekend to hopefully get answers.

iHip Marvel Headphones – Tinny as Iron Man


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Marvel Captain America HeadphonesI went on a bit of a kick picking up some headphones this weekend with Marvel branding from iHip.  The headphones look pretty cool and there’s two types, one with Captain America and the other with Iron Man.  For $10, I said why not, I can show off my geek cred as I listen to music and read comics on my iPad.  And the packaging sucked me in with a great cover to a Captain America comic.  Boy, what a waste of $10.

These headphones have to be some of the worst I’ve ever listened to music with.  It was as if the music was being piped through a tin can.  It was distant, missing the surround sound excellence I expect from an Apple product.  The packaging says “noise isolating,” I just didn’t think it was the music I was trying to listen to.  It also says “engineered for quality listening,” this is clearly a lie.  “Engineered for a lacking musical experience” is more like it.

Marvel should be embarrassed they’ve put their name and brand on such a piece of shit product.  I’m angry at myself for dropping $10 on it and being sucked in by cool packaging.

Do yourself a favor and avoid these at all cost.Marvel Captain America Headphones BackMarvel Captain America Headphones Back Close UpMarvel Captain America Headphones Front Close Up

Almost American