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Apple bans comic book app for iPhones, iPods

The comic book blogosphere is a bit up in arms that a new app called “Comic Reader” has been banned from the iTunes App Store. The lead comic in the app is called Murderdrome which Fortune magazine describes as “a dark, bloody comic strip marked by the type of over-the-top violence.” Apple’s Software Developer Kit guidelines makes it clear that “Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind.”

Some comic fans are not happy and point to other material sold in the iTunes Store including music, videos, TV shows that could not be sold in the store if it was bundled in an app.

Community Comments

#1 J.G. Moore
August/27/2008
@ 3:00 pm

He should have just uploaded the Comic Reader app WITHOUT Murderdrome. The Murderdrome comic is not very good. The Comic Reader IS a good idea. iPhones could be another outlet for comics.

#2 Garey Mckee
August/27/2008
@ 3:51 pm

I agree the app is a great idea. Apple is trying to follow the Atari/Nintendo business lessons of the mid 80’s. Atari did nothing to enforce quality guidelines for 3rd party game developers and as a result many of the 2600 games from 3rd parties were horrible and really spelled the end for the Atari home market. Nintendo learned from this and when the NES was introduced, Nintendo enforced strict quality guidelines for developers which resulted in good product all the way around.

Apple is trying to do the same and it’s kind of a double edged sword, on one hand that sort of quality control of developers results in great content and lots of cool stuff, on the other hand when the internet is involved, you also have the potential issue of censorship coming up.

But I agree, any new outlet for comics is a welcome one!

#3 Alan Jones
August/27/2008
@ 4:07 pm

Syndicated artists like Michael Jantze seem to be doing well getting on the mobile marketing/delivery machine. This from http://www.downthetubes.net/resources/medialinks/mobile_content.html:

“Full Tilt Mobile
Link: http://www.fulltiltmobile.com
Offers US comics fans comics such as “The Norm” using Barefoot’s mComic reader technology. Comic creators get a royalty from all sales and retain copyright on theri creations…”

He’s also with uClick on goComics for their Mobile Comic Book Reader (2007: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/10/prweb557868.htm

Of course the trend in terms of presentation seems to somehow blur the line between strips per se and borderline animation, I call it simplemation. It’s all good.

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