The folks at Marvel and DC must have have gone crazy when Steve Jobs first showed the iPad. While books, movies and music have all got their own place in the digital world, the iPad is the first natural home for the e-comic. Marvel is first to the game, with its official iPad application, the Marvel Comics App.
Marvel’s app is based on ComiXology, and uses the same engine as the iPhone (and soon to be iPad) application. This allows you to view a page at a time (the iPad’s screen comes in at around 80% the size of a paper comic-book) or, by flipping into landscape mode, navigate panel by panel. Those familiar with ComiXology will know and love this feature already: it breaks down the page into individual panels and flies between them one by one.
Marvel has customized the application to make it its own, from the cover-flow browsing (just like flipping through a long-box) to the full range of titles. And what a range. Many new issues will be on sale, but back-catalog titles will be in there, too, including the first appearances of Spiderman and the X-Men. A range of free titles are available for a while at launch, but the regular price will be $2 per issue. There is also an iPhone version.
This is the kind of thing that will get me back into comics, especially if DC does the same thing, and if both companies make their entire back catalogs available. It might kill the casual, paper comic-book market, but for the collectors, it’s a boon: those mint first editions can stay in their mylar bags, untouched, forever. $0, available now.
UPDATE: There’s a Jack Kirby section! ZOMG!
Marvel Comics App [iTunes]
Press release (guess the password to read it) [Marvel]
Source: Gadget Lab