Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sign Up for Amazon’s Comics Newsletter, Get a Free Superman Comic for Your Kindle

Superman 1

The Amazon folks want you to subscribe to their Amazon Delivers Comics Newsletter, and they are willing to offer a small bribe: A free copy of Superman #1. I’m not kidding about it being a small bribe, as the comic currently retails for 99 cents, but it’s a good read, and free is free. The offer is good through July 21. Here’s what you do:

1) Click the button on the linked page to sign up for the newsletter.
2) When a pop-up window appears, check the box next to “Amazon Delivers Comics,” then click “Submit.
3) Amazon sends you an e-mail with a promo code and a link to redeem it.
4) Click that link to go to the Superman #1 catalog listing.
5) Buy it using your Amazon account, and the code automatically deducts the 99 cents from the price.
6) Enjoy your comic!

That’s a lot of steps, and I was a bit worried the discount wouldn’t come through at the end, but everything worked just like they said it would. I’m actually looking forward to the newsletter.

But what about the comic? Superman #1, by George Perez and Jesus Marino, came out in November 2011, and it was part of the New 52, a relaunch of all the characters in the DC Universe. That means you don’t need to know any backstory or continuity to read this comic, although it helps if you have read Superman or seen a Superman cartoon in the past. The comic deftly weaves several storylines: On the evening the Daily Planet changes hands, going to a Rupert Murdoch-type owner, a fire monster attacks Metropolis. As the gala evening event turns into a scramble to cover the breaking story, Superman battles the fire monster high in the sky. It’s absolutely classic Superman, made even more so by the heavy use of text boxes, which seem like a newsreel narrator announcing what is happening in each panel. The art is standard superhero-modern, hard-edged and overly detailed, but it’s very dramatic and the action scenes are handled deftly. And it’s not all Superman battling the monster, either—Lois Lane plays a prominent role, and there is a bit about her and Clark’s relationship at the end.

I read the comic on the Kindle app on my iPad 3, which has a retina display. The problem with reading comics on Kindle is that the page size is too small, even on an iPad. The comic is considerably smaller than the screen size, with a big white border all the way around. By contrast, the Comics by comiXology reader shows the page at a larger size, bringing it all the way to the top and bottom of the screen. This particular comic has a lot of small panels and word balloons, so reading it at the smaller size, even on a retina display, is a challenge. The Kindle app does allow the reader to enlarge each panel with a double tap, then swipe from panel to panel, but this particular comic may not have been the best choice, as the busy layouts don’t really lend themselves to panel by panel view.

Still, if you’re a Superman fan, this is a classic story, and it’s free. Amazon sells digital comics for Kindle, available the same day as print, and if you want to keep all your reading on the same platform, and you don’t mind the smaller page size, it’s worth considering.

Sign Up for Amazon’s Comics Newsletter, Get a Free Superman Comic for Your Kindle is a post from: E-Reader News

Archie Comics Transitioning into a Feature Film

Film-Archie Movie.JPEG-0fed7
Archie Comics have been in publication for the last 72 years and will finally be hitting the silver screens. Directing will be Jason Moore, who helmed the 2012 high school musical comedy “Pitch Perfect.” ‘”Glee” writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is going to be writing the script.

“The idea for this is to capture a very truthful, authentic coming-of-age story with these kids that includes heartache, that includes pain, that will obviously temper the fun and the hijinks,” said Aguirre-Sacasa. “It’s going to be a fun — hopefully — summer movie, but we’re not shying away from the truth and the awkwardness and the growing pains of being a teenager.”

The plans for the new Archie movie is to paint a different picture of the idealistic small town of Riverdale and to focus real issues. Many people in the movie camp want to make the movie less wholesome and have darker overtones. These sentiments are echoed by the internet community who have commonly said, “The teens of today want Riverdale High to be edgy and contemporary. They don't want to see a cliched version of Riverdale.”

The Archie franchise has not had a feature length movie before, but has had a number of animated television shows in the 1970′s. In the early 1990′s there was an abysmal television special.

In the last few years, Archie has undergone in a resurgence in popularity due to its digital distribution deal with Comixology. A new generation of readers are being introduced to the franchise on their smartphones and tablets. Recently, Archie started a Facebook Store, leveraging their 120,000 fans into buying content via Graphicly. Close to 30 issues are released every single month, and overall sales were pegged at 40 million in 2012. Archie is staying current with younger readers with the very popular series where the gang meets the cast of Glee.

"We’re thrilled with the team that Warner Bros, Dan and Roy have put together here," said Archie Comics publisher/co-CEO Jon Goldwater. "Roberto has become a prolific comics writer for us, and having Jason Moore is the icing on the cake as Pitch Perfect is one of my favorite movies." How, in the digital age, has a 72-year-old wholesome comic franchise inspired by the Andy Hardy movies managed to stay relevant? "Archie has remained extremely competitive enough to be a trendsetter in contemporary comic books," Goldwater said. "We were the first to introduce a gay character into the storyline, and that was an incredible success. We’ve had different comics where Archie was married to Betty in one and Veronica in another. But the core, the characters and Riverdale, remains part of the fabric of classic Americana."

Archie Comics Transitioning into a Feature Film is a post from: E-Reader News

Nook Father’s Day Sale: Nook HD+ $149, Nook HD $129

Barnes and Noble is running yet another sale on the Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets, and it’s the best deal yet, especially now that they come with access to Google Play. The Nook HD starts at only $129 for the 8GB model and the Nook HD+ is $149 for the 16GB model. Those are [...]

Digital Magazine Advertising to Hit 3.8 Billion by 2017

Lewis Hine - Richard Green (with hat), 5 year old newsie.  Many of these little newsboys here. Richmond, Virginia, 1911

Magazine companies have been one of the most successful segments of publishing to take advantage of the digital space. Very early on they have been able to leverage their strong brands across a wide spectrum, including paywalls, dedicated apps, and inclusion into Zinio. Advertisers are increasingly spending more money on digital properties, and by 2017 analysts expect almost 3.8 billion dollars will be spent.

The big news coming out of the annual Price Waterhouse and Cooper report on digital advertising, has overall spending to dramatically increase to $3.8 billion in 2017, when it will represent a quarter of overall advertising, from $2.4 billion in 2012. Customers who actually purchase the digital content will also increase from $275 million in 2012 to $1.4 billion in 2017.

North America and Britain are poised to generate 20% of their overall revenue from digital properties. This mainly stems from their investment in a proper dedicated infrastructure, while the rest of Europe will only see a modest 10% increase by 2017. Westerners have had a proven track record of expressing a willingness to pay for digital content, whether it be accessing the HTML5 edition or taking out a subscription on the Apple Newsstand.

The shift to digital advertising is almost proportionate to the rate the decline of the print industry. In 2008, a record 9.8 billion was spent and then fell to $7.9 billion in 2012, and it is expected to diminish further to $6.4 billion in 2017.

Statistically younger people tend to embrace digital media over the printed editions, due to the versatility of being connected to your smartphone or tablet. This demographic represents the core buyers of tomorrow and they in turn influence their own children within twenty years. Companies such as Glossi are spearheading the next generation of magazines, who are adopting a DIY approach. Anyone can take pictures, generate internet content, or write their own articles and offer them to any social or website platform.

Currently, magazine companies do not operate their digital properties as autonomous entities and they are heavily reliant on their printed editions for their articles. Likely this trend in the industry will not change by 2017, due to the failures of The Daily.

One of the largest barriers of digital advertising in magazines is the lack of a unified standard. This applies not only to metrics, with being able to monitor your data, but also the wide array of platforms. There are different requirements to deliver your media to Blackberry, Android, iOS, Windows 8, HTML5, Zinio, PressReader, Apple Newsstand, or any other 3rd party. All of these options have the entire industry in a state of confusion over what ecosystem to support and where the money is best spent. Do you continue with online advertising on their main website? Do you invest with Amazon, Google and Apple to spread your message via in-app advertising? Do you continue to spend money on the printed edition? There are many options to consider, with no definitive status quo.

Digital Magazine Advertising to Hit 3.8 Billion by 2017 is a post from: E-Reader News