News / Arts & Entertainment

Digital Revolution Transforms Comic Books

Comic Books Go Digitali
|| 0:00:00
X
Elizabeth Lee
August 21, 2012 8:39 PM
From Superman to Batman, these Hollywood heroes started out in the comics. Creators of comic books say, while the books themselves aren’t as popular as they were decades ago, comics are undergoing a technological revolution that many in the industry think will spark a new generation of readers. Elizabeth Lee has this report from Los Angeles.

Comic Books Go Digital

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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”