News / Arts & Entertainment

Digital Revolution Transforms Comic Books

Elizabeth Lee
LOS ANGELES  – From Superman to Batman, many Hollywood heroes started out in comic books. 

Creators of comic books say while the books themselves are not as popular as they were decades ago, comics are undergoing a technological revolution that many in the industry think will generate a new generation of readers.  

For the past 30 years, Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles has been selling comic books to adults and children like eight-year-old Evan Cray.

“I just like holding the pages and reading it,” he says.

The look of those pages has not changed much over time, but Golden Apple owner Ryan Liebowitz says now, there is something new in the comic book business.

“In the last year or so we've seen a major transition into digital comic books,” he explains.

The idea of reading a comic book on a digital device is catching on worldwide.  Comixology has more than 25,000 titles in its online store, says Chip Mosher, the company's vice president of marketing and business development.

“For the last six to nine months we’ve ranked as the top-grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes app store,” notes Mosher.

Last year the company had $17 million in sales. This year it expects sales to reach $70 million. For about the same price as a paper comic book, readers get a digital version.

The new platform has many in the industry experimenting with the look of digital comics. 

"Things can change focus within a panel sort of to draw your eye from here to here," explains Mark Waid, who created the digital comic site, Thrillbent.  He designs his work to fit the digital screen.
 
“Most screens - whether it’s a television screen, your laptop screen are that landscape format - they’re wider than they are tall.  So stop producing digital comics that don’t fit that format," he says.

Daniel Burwen, founder of Cognito Comics, features sound and motion in his spy thriller/historical fiction work, Operation Ajax. Readers can get extra historical information outside of the story if they want to learn more. 

Burwen says the virtual world allows his work to reach readers worldwide.

“If we had done this as a printed book only we’d be lucky to sell 5,000 copies," he notes. "Right there we have international distribution and we have the ability to reach a really vast audience.”

Creators of digital comics say many in that 'really vast audience' are looking for something other than violence, which seems to be the trend in comic books fueled by video games and movies.

“You could see the covers of these comic books, these don’t look like happy people," says Golden Apple owner Ryan Liebowitz. "They all have guns, they’re all out to hurt each other.”

Liebowitz says the growing popularity of digital comics is helping his business.  He offers them on the store’s website, along with traditional comic books, and customers like Dan Cray are buying both.

“There are some comics, like my favorites, that I actually do prefer having a hard copy, " Cray says, "but for a lot of them it’s just really convenient and really nice to be able to, I can read them on my iPad, it’s a really convenient format.”

Many in the industry say they hope the digital format will attract a new generation of comics readers, boosting business for both the virtual and real worlds.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."