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CrossGen schedules ‘Comics on the Web’ version 2.0

by  in Comic News Comment

Official Press Release

Even though Comics on the Web is not even one month old, CrossGeneration
Comics
has announced its plans for version 2.0 of its popular Web comics
subscription service, with an even more robust set of features and options
aimed at giving users the best possible comics reading experience on the
Internet.

Currently, version 1.0 is live on a number of Web sites and portals, and
works with any PC or MacIntosh computer that uses the Flash 5 plug-in.

Currently scheduled for release in August of this year, version 2.0 will
expand the basic capabilities of Comics on the Web version 1.0, while it
also branches off higher resolution options for users with greater
bandwidth. Functional improvements for release 3.0 are currently in
discussion and will be released later this year.

The features being implemented for this version include, but are not limited
to:

* Low bandwidth/High bandwidth versions – This will provide a higher
resolution product for users with high-speed connections (at no extra
cost!), while still maintaining a version that’s easy to use for 56K users,
ensuring the widest possible audience for Comics on the Web.

* Black and White Ink versions – This will show readers what the art
looked like before CrossGen’s colorists got a hold of it. It will provide an
interesting perspective for those who currently enjoy comics as well as new
readers, while at the same time emphasizing the amount of craftsmanship a
colorist brings to CrossGen’s comics.

* Balloon on/off – Sometimes, you just want to look at the art (both
black and white and color option support), without any captions or balloons
to get in the way. It’s also a great tableau that demonstrates the
storytelling abilities of CrossGen’s artists.

* Multiple language selection – As most CrossGen fans know, CrossGen’s
entire line is licensed for publishing in France, Belgium, Italy, Mexico,
Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and now
the former Soviet Union countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova,
Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,
Kyrgyzstan, Turkmen, Litva, Latvia, and Estonia. Soon, CrossGen will have
language translations for the CrossGen Comics published in those countries
and by year’s end, will begin implementing those translations in the early
chapters of Comics on the Web. Eventually, readers from around the world
will be able to read CrossGen’s stories in their own language.

* Accessibility-friendly balloon control from keyboard – “Mousing
over” the word balloons is a great standard functionality, but for folks who
need to use the keyboard more than the mouse in order to reduce the impact
of repetitive stress injuries or other physical limitations, keyboard
control is another option CrossGen feels is necessary to provide to users.

* Chronological Order Display (COD) – CrossGen Comics on the Web is
all about choices, so in version 2.0, readers will have the choice of
reading their issues in individual titles as they are laid out now (Scion
#1, Scion #2, Scion #3, etc.), or they can start the CrossGen epic at the
very beginning and read each issue from across all the titles in exactly the
order they were released. In Version 2.0, readers will be able to start at
the very beginning of the CrossGen universe, with CrossGen Chronicles #1,
and then move into the numbers ones of our first four titles, reading them
in the exact order that they were released chronologically. One of the
features of reading CrossGen’s stories in this manner is the discovery of
the little continuity “Easter eggs” that our creators have left in many of
the earlier issues of our line, and continue to leave periodically as the
CrossGen epic evolves. By reading the stories as they were released, certain
pieces of that puzzle become more apparent. Even if you’ve read every issue,
reading it in this order will help the over-arching backstory of the
CrossGen Universe unfold in an entirely new way.

* Lite player option for older systems – While all of us would LIKE to
have speedy computers and fast connections, many of us do not. So, CrossGen
Comics on the Web will be implementing a streamlined version of the
interface that reduces the memory intensity of the comics for those who have
baseline computers or for those users who like to multi-task and run many
programs at once.

“When we introduced Comics on the Web version 1.0, we were looking for the
widest possible audience,” said Tony Panaccio, CrossGen’s Vice President of
Product Development. “We didn’t want anyone to be limited in their ability
to enjoy Comics on the Web because they didn’t have $5,000 for an optimum
computer and $100 per month for a high speed connection. Comics on the Web
was created to be affordable to the masses, so we struck a baseline
resolution for the images and created a technology solution that was aimed
at the primary standard modem speed 56K and RAM baseline of 16 megabytes. As
a result, people with high-speed connections who are spoiled by
high-bandwidth eye-candy currently get the same baseline resolution as a 56K
user. We know that the high-end folks want high-end resolution, and we
always intended to provide that in version 2.0, but we didn’t want to launch
with it outright to the exclusion of everyone else.”

CrossGen schedules ‘Comics on the Web’ version 2.0
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