Image Comics elbows DC aside in this week’s comiXology chart, with a bit of help from a half-price sale, but Kindle readers are bullish on DC’s new 52 graphic novels.
1. The Walking Dead #117
There are a couple of interesting things going on with comiXology’s best-seller list this week. The first nine titles are all new comics that came out this week, but number 10 is one of those Image graphic novels that was on sale over the weekend (the sale lasts till midnight on Monday, so you still have time to grab it). Further down the list, the first volume of Saga is at number 11, and another sale title, the Avengers vs. X-Men collected edition (a steal at $19.99) is at number 14.
The other thing that is truly striking is that there isn’t a single DC comic in the top ten; the highest ranked comic as of this writing is Damian: Son of Batman #4, at number 13. There were four Image titles (only one of which can be explained by the sale) and six Marvel titles.
1. The Sandman, vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
The Kindle top ten, on the other hand, is dominated by DC, with six titles, including the graphic novels that were on sale a few weeks ago and the first issue of Neil Gaiman’s new Sandman comic. That Ultimate Comics Wolverine vs. Hulk graphic novel is back at its regular price as well, after being on sale for weeks.
1. The Sandman: Overture #1
The top ten paid books for Nook are exactly the same as last week’s list, which was almost identical to the lists for the previous two weeks. The free books changed a bit, as folks took advantage of DC’s free digital-first comics—the top comic overall was Smallville #1. But either no one is buying comics for the Nook or they are buying them in exactly the same proportions week after week. Very curious.
1. The Walking Dead #117
The iBooks top ten also looks a lot like last week’s list, except that everything has been squeezed out by The Walking Dead and My Little Pony, the strange bedfellows of the iBookstore—and that Lady Mechanika comic, which is two years old, has mysteriously popped up in the #10 slot.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Verdict: 5 Stars
Fans of the author’s suspenseful legal thrillers will love this title that revisits one of the settings that made John Grisham a household name. Almost twenty-five years after the release of A Time to Kill, Grisham takes us back to Ford County and back into the fray of legal dramas.
From the book’s description, “Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.”
Critics of the book have argued that this one is “typical Grisham” and that it follows the plot lines that we’ve gotten really, really used to from him. Having said that, there are a couple of surprises in the book, as well as some unanswered questions from the first round that the author springs on us. The courtroom drama and masterful depictions of well-researched settings more than make up for any predictability in the plot, as does his handling of a fairly common plot line of an elderly dying man leaving his entire fortune to a random fringe character, in this case, his maid.
Sycamore Row is available now in print, audiobook, and ebook.
According to a story in the New York Times, author Arnon Grunberg is going digital. But what makes his project unique is the fact that he’s going digital while he writes the book…and he’s doing it with electrodes attached to his head.
Yes, rather than the typical story of an author–even a well-known and highly respected bestselling author like Grunberg–going digital with the publication process, Grunberg is part of an experiment he helped establish to monitor his brain activity while he writes his most recent novella. Even more sci-fi oriented, the first fifty readers of this project’s outcome will undergo the same electrode0based response recording while they read the finished novella.
According to the article by Jennifer Schuessler, “Over the past two weeks, Mr. Grunberg has spent several hours a day writing his novella, while a battery of sensors and cameras tracked his brain waves, heart rate, galvanic skin response (an electrical measure of emotional arousal) and facial expressions. Next fall, when the book is published, some 50 ordinary people in the Netherlands will read it under similarly controlled circumstances, sensors and all.”
The purpose of this futuristic undertaking? To try to discover the connection between creativity and the consumption of that creativity by readers. And while the researchers will work to figure out how the readers’ brains connected in various ways with the author’s work, Grunberg himself sees a more invasive approach to the project, likening this type of connection with the way retailers like Amazon invade on the reading experience via e-readers.
Amazon has officially opened a series of pop-up stores in retail malls in San Francisco. This is the first time the online e-commerce giant opened a physical location. There are a number of Kindle e-Readers and Tablets on display to give transient shoppers the ability to play with the devices and buy them on the spot.
Walmart, Target and a number of other big box retailers in the USA have dropped the entire line of Amazon branded devices because they did not want to become “showrooms” for the company. The only retailer to stock the Kindle is Best Buy, but Amazon is very concerned with the ability of customers to play around with the hardware. When you sell tablets in an online environment it is hard to get that tectonic visceral experience.
An Amazon spokeswoman said the temporary stores are in a handful of malls as part of a marketing campaign. The majority of them are only in operation for two weeks.
A few years ago we broke the news that Amazon had firm plans to open a retail store, once their new corporate headquarters was completed in Seattle. Architecture draft plans had a cafe and bookstore, where it is thought that the books Amazon publishes with their New York imprints will be available to purchase. It is unlikely we will see a full on retail store until 2015.
Amazon Opens a Series of pop-up Stores in San Francisco is a post from: E-Reader News
Comics fans tend to have strong feelings about the types of comics they like, and sometimes it can be hard to buy for them because it seems like they have everything. Never fear! Here’s the first part of our Digital Comics Gift Guide, featuring an array of gifts for comics fans who have everything, as well as those who are just getting started.
Gift Cards and Gift Comics
iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble gift cards will buy comics for iOS apps and iBooks, Kindle, and Nook, respectively, but comiXology is now offering gift cards as well. In addition, if you know a particular comic is on someone’s wish list, you can get it as a gift on comiXology or Viz Manga website: Just click on the gift-box icon next to the comic and they will take you through the steps from there.
For Superhero Fans
If you know someone who like to binge on comics, reading full runs of a story arc or a character at a time, a subscription to Marvel Unlimited will allow them to read thousands of comics without having to purchase and download each one. The library includes over 10,000 Marvel comics, starting from the very first issue and going up to as recently as six months ago, so it’s a great gift for newbies who want to catch up on 70 years of continuity as well as nostalgia freaks who want to read all the comics they had as a kid (and their mother threw away). This service was a bit clunky until they came out with an iOS app this year, which makes for a much more pleasant reading experience than flipping through the comics in a web browser and allows the user to download up to six issues at a time. Marvel makes gift-giving easy with a gift subscription option; the basic price is $69 for 12 months, and the Marvel Unlimited Plus package, which includes a shortbox, a variant print comic, and a figure, is $99.
Here’s something similar for kids (and kids at heart): The Archie Unlimited service offers over 4,000 Archie comics, with a selection that is growing every week. Right now it’s only available as part of their iOS app, but they plan to expand to other platforms soon.
For Manga Fans
Manga readers are in a class by themselves. Crunchyroll has just launched a new manga service that allows readers unlimited access to streaming manga—right now there are only 12 titles, but the selection includes Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail, as well as Ken Akamatsu’s new series UQ Holder, and more series are on the way. The manga-only premium service is $4.95 a month, and Crunchyroll offers various other bundles, including anime, drama, and discounts on merchandise. They have both iOS and Android apps.
The weekly digital magazine Shonen Jump brings the latest chapters of some of the world’s most popular manga, including Naruto and One Piece, to the small screen; new chapters are published in Shonen Jump the same week they come out in Japan. A year’s subscription (48 issues) is $25.99.
Sparkler Monthly is a digital magazine of manga-style stories from the U.S. and Canada, aimed at teenage girls and young women (shoujo manga, for those in the know). The lineup includes Jen Lee Quick’s Off*Beat, which was originally published by Tokyopop. Gift subscriptions start at $5 for one month.