iPhones — the Final Frontier.
It’s been an interesting few years for comics, with the digitial revolution being mined by Marvel (with its exclusive online content, as well as the DVD archives of many of its comics) and DC (with its Zuda web comic contest). Even web sites with previews like Newsarama have done their part in changing the field of comics through the World Wide Web with four to eight-page previews (which, when you consider most issues are 22 pages, that’s a lot).
But what about the iPhone?
Smartphones are becoming far more than just cellular devices — they’re making the move to becoming mobile computers. So how will comics adapt?
Slowly but surely, comics are hitting the iPhone. It was announced today by Appstore that publisher IDW is issuing reprints for the iPhone of Peter David’s Star Trek series. The first of the five issues will be a rerelease of issue #13, the story known as “Return of the Worthy.” Trekmovie reports that after this run is completed, IDW will move on with other properties such as “Best of the Borg” and “Best of Deep Space 9.”
But the real kicker?
They only cost 99 cents each.
IDW is far from the only comic taking this route. Jeff Smith, long known as a guy ahead of the curve, has already released the first issue of Bone on the iPhone in October — also for 99 cents. And perhaps its no surprise that that app made Apple’s Pick of the Week.
With prices rising from many of the big companies, one question seems to be obvious: will this be a new method of distribution for comics retailers? If they can successfully work out the iPhone’s bugs — and those of you who have worked on just about any high-memory application can relate to the freezing and weird shutdowns that occassionally occur — maybe. With Apple’s stringent policies for the App Store, it’s the first technology that both promotes commerce and deters piracy… at least for now.
While I know I am particularly attached to the paper-and-staple format, if the economy keeps declining and the culture continues to move on-the-go, maybe your ubiquitous iPhone will start to become your ubiquitous comic book reader.