It's little surprise that discussion has been dominated today by DC Comics' move into digital distribution with the launch of the comiXology-developed DC Comics App and the availability of titles via PlayStation Digital Comics. (As an aside: It's already ranked #11 on the list of free apps available for the iPad.) Here's a selection of reactions to the announcement from comics creators and commentators:
David Brothers, at Comics Alliance: "While their first stab at day and date releases is promising, it is also going to force Marvel to make a play. The relationship between DC and Marvel in the direct market has largely been one of constant and desperate one-upmanship. This Let's Be Friends Again strip is pretty close to accurately depicting their relationship. Now that DC has one-upped Marvel's digital comics strategy by going further with day and date and pricing, Marvel is going to have to rise to the challenge. It may be a month from now, it may be around the time New York Comic-Con begins in the fall, or it may be the top of next year, but it's soon."
Augie De Blieck, Jr., at Comic Book Resources: "Out of the gate, the DC app follows the pattern of digital comics publishing admirably. Their selection is an interesting modern cross-section of popular titles, particularly ones related to recent movies (Jonah Hex and The Losers are both in there). There's nothing out of the deep back catalog here, but the inclusion of a day-and-date series is exciting and more palatable than the one Marvel is offering in coming weeks. It's a good start."
Douglas Wolk, at Techland: "If you had to pick one DC title to be sold simultaneously in print and digitally... it might not occur to you to pick a biweekly miniseries whose fourth issue comes out this week. But this is actually a reasonable trial balloon: it's safe to assume that anyone buying JL:GL [Justice League: Generation Lost] is also buying Brightest Day, so while it's a popular enough title to gauge interest in day-and-date distribution, it's not going to be the only thing someone goes to a brick-and-mortar comics store for."
Chris Sims, at Comics Alliance: "I mentioned before that Unwritten #1 is available on the iPad -- which is great -- but it's also a book that sold in print for $1.00 that they're charging twice as much for the digital version. It begs the question of why, especially when the fact remains that if they get around to doing the next four, the digital versions of #1-5 will cost $9.95, while the trade of the same comics (and bonus material) costs $9.99. There's no real incentive to get the digital version other than the convenience of having it on the iPad, especially since the trade can be given as a gift or resold at Half Price Books or a local shop to cut the cost even more."
Christian Beranek, writer and editor: "We have the keep the price of single digital issues at .99 cents or it's just not going to work, guys."
Phil Hester, writer and artist: "Biggest comics news of the day? DC announcing digital distribution royalties. Huge. If as well administered as print royalties ... wow."
Colleen Doran, writer and artist: "Part of the price point of the monthly digital fee goes to incentive programs for retailers. Better still, creators will get a cut of the fee. MANY of my clients do not pay any fees for online use. ... DC is my friend."
C.B. Cebulski, Marvel's talent scout: "Sorry, DC, but despite what your nice letter says, you are NOT 'the first to announce a participation plan for talent' for digital comics. [...] I'm not sniping at DC, just correcting misinformation that's being sent out freelancers, some who work for both companies."
Heidi MacDonald, at The Beat: "Bonus: Now we can finally read Zuda comics without that horrible Flash interface, since Flash is to Apple mobile devices what garlic is to vampires."
Larry Cruz, at The Webcomic Overlook: "I wonder, though … does Zuda play better through the iPad/iPhone app? Will the DC Comics app prove to be Zuda’s true home?"
Lan Pitts, at Blog@Newsarama: "The DC Comics app and store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is being powered through ComiXology, who is also partnered with Marvel Comics for their app, as well as BOOM! Studios for theirs. So in a span of a few months, ComiXology practically has a huge chunk of the digital comics marke … before the Longbox app has even launched. Do they even have a chance now?"