I had an opportunity to get my hands on an iPad today when Mark at work brought his in for some Info-Tech show and tell. Steve Jobs has declared it a “Magical Device”. Arthur C Clarke once said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Well in that respect, the iPad is magic.
It’s fast, attractive, intuitive, and using it is effortless.
I played around with the Marvel Comics app (which is also available for the iPhone), and it’s pretty amazing.
The presentation is incredible. Comics look pretty much full size, and the whole panel by panel thing works really well, and may actually be a better way to read a comic.
The collection aspect of the app is really good too. It’s a nice layout, and you can easily find the comics you’re looking for.
There’s two knocks. I found the in-comic navigation a little weird. It was very hard to get back to the main menu once you’re reading a comic. Secondly, you will need a seperate app for every publisher right now. There’s no “Comics” app, well there are a few, Panelfly, ComiXology, and soon Graphic.ly, but there’s no single app that has access to all comics.
DC Comics really needs to get in gear on this. They’ve yet to announce ANY sort of a digital initiative, and Marvel is really grabbing headlines with this app launch.
The thing that will push this over the edge is the day that a consumer can buy a brand new comic the day it goes on sale in the Brick and Mortar stores. I’m not afraid to admit I’ll be one of those customers buying my comics on the couch. I’ll still buy some Hardcovers and Trades, but I’d love nothing more than to not have physical copies of comics around my house anymore. They’re a pain in the rear to deal with, and space is at a premium in my house.