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Monday, September 10, 2007 

Comics on cellphones

An article on how there's comic books coming to publication specifically on cellphones. It's an interesting idea, but something tells me that, for now, it's independent properties that are going to be published there, and that mainstream ones won't be in such a hurry to arrive.
Mobile comic books are still in their infancy in the U.S. - uClick says it's grown to about 55,000 readers a month in the first year of offering its GoComics service.

But it touches on two strengthening trends: Comic book creators looking to leap to the digital arena, where production and distribution are cheap, and the demand by wireless providers for data-rich applications to drive future revenues.

"Obviously comics have a pretty large following," said David Oberholzer, associate director of content programming for Verizon Wireless, which offers GoComics along with competitors AT&T Inc. (ATT) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) "You want to mimic what's out there already and have that on your deck."
Do comic books today have a big following? That's a good question, and as usual, when you take into account all the things that could lead to their undoing, you know that they might not. But the AP, presumably trying to provide superficial encouragement to go read them without knowing clearly if the stories offered are good or bad, doesn't seem to be concerned about that.
For $4.49 a month on Verizon, or $3.99 a month for AT&T and Sprint, subscribers can view nearly a dozen different traditional comic books. There's also a separate subscription service for Japanese comics called manga.

The comic books range from well-known names like "Bone" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," to up-and-coming books, such as crime noirish "Umbra" and Hindu folklore-inspired "Devi." The comics site adds new chapters or issues for each title every week.
The above suggests that the comics that are turning up on cellphones soon are just some of the independently owned products, Ninja Turtles included. While Marvel has put out a few online samples (excerpts?) of their comics, and DC may have done the same with some of theirs, it doesn't sound like they're coming to cellphones that quickly.


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