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Digital Comics Store for PSP Coming in December

Digital Comics Store for PSP Coming in December

This December, you will be able to purchase and download from over 1000 digital comics on PlayStation Store (on the PSP and Media Go). Weâ??ve partnered with one of the leading comic publishers, Marvel Entertainment, to bring you the biggest names in comics, including Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Now you are able to view graphic novels for bite-sized entertainment on demand and on the go.

This is probably limited to the bigger players for now, but I suspect that some of the syndicators are looking at this as well. This looks like a way to make a static comic* more interactive than merely showing it on a Kindle or the upcoming tablet PCs. With the game buttons there’s an opportunity to control the advancement of the comic from panel to panel in different ways. A series of strips that cover a particular story arc could be bundled into one ‘comic’. Then they could be linked together in ways that create a journey for the reader, sort of like the levels in a video game.

*Not that there’s anything wrong with a static comic, but if print is dying then we’re witnessing new technologies arise to take it’s place and this could be one of them.

Community Comments

#1 Ben Rankel
August/24/2009
@ 1:09 am

Alas, from what I’ve read/heard this feature will not be available to Canadian PSP users at the initial launch due to copyright issues.

#2 Ted Dawson
August/24/2009
@ 8:33 am

This is surprising news. Commenting on moving to digital, a high-up at DC recently said if print sales were to drop 20%, it would make print comics unprofitable.

I’m sure comic book companies share the dream of newspapers… If they can figure out a way to go all-digital, they’d save millions in production costs. The problem seems to be that they’re jeopardizing their current products instead of doing what one should do with a new medium… creating new content for the new medium.

#3 Ted Dawson
August/24/2009
@ 9:04 am

Is print really dying? Book sales in 1988 were about $12B, and last year they were $40B. Even taking inflation into account, that doesn’t appear to indicate an industry in the death throes.

For newspapers, the rate of decline has been 0.5 percent to 1 percent since circulation peaked in the mid-80s. On the other hand, in 2006 newspapers averaged a profit margin around 25%; the oil industry was around 10%.

Comic book sales are in fact in serious decline. The comic that has help up the best in the past 20 years is Archie Comics Digest. The obvious difference between this comic and other top comics is its distribution. It’s been available at the grocery check-out counter. All other comics are practically non-existent in the real world.

I guess it’s easier to make a deal with Nintendo than Wal-mart. But I don’t see much evidence to show that print is a dying media. What I’ve been seeing for fifteen years is tons of people sabotauging their own print medium trying to go digital.

Maybe comics will ultimately be a successful digital product. But I don’t think it will have been due to the weakness of print. Print is what has SAVED the comic industry during the past fifteen years, with graphic novels, which have also helped save libraries by getting kids interested in books again.

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