Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fantagraphics Launches All-Print Kickstarter and First Digital-Only Graphic Novel


Fantagraphics is probably the leading publisher of independent and art comics in North America, in terms of sheer numbers as well as quality. They are the longtime publishers of the Hernandez brothers’ Love and Rockets, Daniel Clowes’s Ghost World, Linda Medley’s Castle Waiting, archival editions of classics from Peanuts to the works of underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, and a host of other high-quality work, both new and old. And right now they are heading in two interesting, if opposite, directions.

One is that they have turned to Kickstarter to raise $150,000 fund the next season’s publications. Fantagraphics was brought low by a sad situation: One of their founders, Kim Thompson, was diagnosed with lung cancer in the early spring and died in June. Thompson edited their European graphic novels, and his death meant that Fantagraphics had to cancel 13 books, a third of their planned Spring/Summer output. “Our fixed costs stayed the same —because they're fixed— but the income 13 books would've generated was lost, disrupting our cash flow, and leaving us in a tight spot,” the Kickstarter explained.

What’s interesting about the Kickstarter is that there are no digital rewards. Most of the premiums are signed copies of books or posters, and it’s true that Fantagraphic books are beautiful objects, with high production values, but at least one person has commented, and I would second this, that a digital bundle could attract more pledges. Fantagraphics publishes their work digitally via comiXology, and if they could arrange for a couple of digital bundles, or direct downloads, that might broaden their base a bit. Not that they necessarily need to, as the Kickstarter is up to almost $130,000 as I write this, as many backers have opted to pre-order books they might have bought anyway—but with the added frisson of the creator’s autograph and the satisfaction of helping a publisher that has built up a lot of loyalty over the years.

On the other hand, Fantagraphics also announced this week that it is releasing its first digital-only comic: Violenzia, by Richard Sala. It’s the story of a woman who charges through the world, guns blazing, and leaves a trail of death and destruction. The publisher describes the comic as “a blast of pulpy fun” with retro overtones; it’s due out on November 20 but can be pre-ordered now. Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds told Tom Spurgeon that Sala has been interested in digital publishing for some time, and this seemed like the right project: “I believe he proposed Violenzia to me originally as a 24 or 32-page digital one shot — it eventually became 50 pages — and it was just a perfect opportunity for both of us to experiment with a digital-only release.” As for why it’s digital-only, as opposed to digital-first, Reynolds said he wanted to focus on the marketing challenge of getting potential readers to find the comic in a digital format, and he added that this doesn’t necessarily mean that more digital-only comics will be forthcoming.

Fantagraphics Launches All-Print Kickstarter and First Digital-Only Graphic Novel is a post from: E-Reader News

Top 10 Apps for Android and Blackberry 10 for the Weekend


Welcome to another installment of the Good e-Reader Top 10 Apps for Blackberry 10 and Google Android! It is the weekend and its time to allocate sometime to discovering some of the great new apps that have either received a major update or just came out. Like always, these links are often valid for only one week and then you will need to search for the name of the app using the search bar on the top right hand corner 

Crunchyroll Manga for Android and BB10 - The Crunchyroll Manga app provides users with unlimited access to a variety of the hottest manga emerging from Japan! As soon as it hits newsstands in Japan, Crunchyroll Manga users can read the latest from hit titles like Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, and Space Brothers.

JumpCam – Friends Video Camera for  BB10 - JumpCam is a free app that makes it easy to create collaborative videos with friends! Just start a video and invite others to add their own clips. JumpCam instantly stitches everything together into a single, beautiful movie.

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star for Android - Amidst a civil war in a galaxy far, far away, the Emperor is building a Death Star level by level, and he needs your help. Intergalactic war is expensive, and space stations are, too. Do you have any idea how much it costs to build one the size of a moon?

bitmado for Android - Download bitmado and enjoy an endless supply of the world’s hottest wallpapers! They change all the time and you also get cool battery life saving technology.

Call of Duty for Android – The Call of Duty app provides a new mobile experience designed to work hand-in-hand with Call of Duty: Ghosts and provides several personalized features during and beyond your play sessions.

Swype Keyboard Free for Android - New Swype is even more powerful and personal! Get it today! This trial version is good for 30 days. Swype is all about YOU. Whether you're a fast tapper, exact typer or a Swype Ninja, get ready for  a better, faster keyboard experience that gets smarter the more you use it. Swype pays attention to the way you input text and creates a personal language model that follows you from device to device. Swype – the world's most powerful keyboard.

Trailerpop: Trailers & Trivia for Android and BB10 - Play hundreds of thousands of trivia questions while watching over 20,000 movie trailers. Who was almost cast as the iconic Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate? How many movies have Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino worked on together? From The Wizard of Oz to The Matrix, Argo to Key Largo, there’s something here for everybody to enjoy.

WatchESPN for Android and BB10 – Lots of new features with the 2.0 update! The free WatchESPN app lets you keep up with your sports anytime, anywhere on your Android phone and tablet. Watch live games and studio shows with 24/7 access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews and ESPN Deportes. You can also watch on-demand clips of the latest news and highlights.

Indigo for Android and BB10 – This is a great app that allows you to buy items and books right in the store. Hook up your membership card and scan it digitally and quickly scan products for reviews or inventory.

Eversnap – Get Friends’ Photos for BB10 - Eversnap is great for anytime you’d like to collect photos & videos from friends and family, For example: Groups, Events, Weddings, Trips, Birthdays, or many times just to share private photos & videos between family members and close friends.

Top 10 Apps for Android and Blackberry 10 for the Weekend is a post from: E-Reader News

Satirical Newspaper The Onion Goes Strictly Digital

newspapersAfter twenty-five years of providing satirical headlines, articles, and features, some of them meant to take a stab at politics or religion, others simply intended to be pointlessly funny, The Onion will no longer be available in print.

According to an article on the move to digital by Lynne Marek for Crain’s Chicago Business, the paper has been slowly phasing out some of its print markets for some time, reduced finally to being available on paper in only three US cities. Most of its readership has been consuming the content online.

While this type of transition often has industry watchers concerned about the state of publishing in its various forms, this move is actually quite positive. Marek demonstrated that The Onion had already been receiving a larger portion of its revenue from its digital advertising, with only two full page ads printed in the most recent paper edition. Other newspapers around the country that are currently experiencing this level of upheaval and shift can take a lesson from this example, if they’re willing to.

Following the final print edition in mid-December, The Onion will shift its focus to building its online presence and on its video production arm of the company.

Satirical Newspaper The Onion Goes Strictly Digital is a post from: E-Reader News

Upstagram – live photos from a tiny house floating over Paris

This is just gorgeous. A hand-made, tiny version of the house from Pixar’s Up, a bouquet of helium balloons, a Raspberry Pi, and Paris.

This beautiful bit of hackery uploads photos to Instagram as it flies over the Paris skyline. Valentin Squirelo, one of the founders at HackerLoop, an innovation lab based in Paris and San Francisco, mailed me to let me know about the project; you can read more at the HackerLoop website. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the build, and some more which the Pi sent to Instagram – look out for the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur.

C&R And ValoBox Set Up New eBook Gifting Site

gift ebook

For those who'd like to gift an ebook, there is a new site that has come up and is worth a look. The result of a partnership between Constable & Robinson (C&R) and e-book service ValoBox, will allow users to buy an ebook and then send it to anyone they wish to via the site. The service is unique in that it is not tied to any of the specialized ebook reading app that we know of. Instead, recipients will be able to read the books via their browsers itself instead of an ebook reading app. The books can be read on a PC, smartphone or a tablet device after having downloaded the same on the host device. Further, the books can be read even in the absence of an active internet connection.

“Sharing newly read books and favourite authors with friends and family is what readers love to do. Our partnership with ValoBox, through the IC Tomorrow Digital Innovation Contest, will now allow readers to do just that in a way that is personal, not digital; enthusiastic, not algorithmic,” said Rob Nichols, digital and communications director at C&R when speaking of the latest development.

There are about 2,000 titles that are on offer from C&R that can be picked up. Constable & Robinson can be counted among the oldest publishers that is still operating under its original name, having been in operation since 1795.

Anna Lewis, co-founder of ValoBox too is excited of the venture saying, “Digitisation has made books more accessible than ever, but some of the magic associated with gifting and sharing those reading experiences has been lost. You can hand someone a paper book without giving them instructions on how to open it, or worrying if they have the right reading device. This partnership with C&R has given us the opportunity to address this and match both the thoughtful process of giving a physical book and the delight of reading one.”

C&R And ValoBox Set Up New eBook Gifting Site is a post from: E-Reader News