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NYCC ’10 | Dark Horse announces ‘bookshelf app’ that works across Apple products and the web

by  in Comic News Comment
NYCC ’10 | Dark Horse announces ‘bookshelf app’ that works across Apple products and the web

Earlier today I wondered if Dark Horse’s big digital announcement would involve teaming up with a third party to create a Dark Horse app, or if it would mean more comics being released as individual apps within iTunes. Looks like I was wrong on both counts.

Today at the New York Comic Con, as well as via press release, Dark Horse Comics announced a new “proprietary bookshelf app” that will allow users to download and read their comics for $1.49 per issue. The release touts the fact that creating their own application allows them to eliminate third-party fees, thus lowering the cost for fans and offering creators a greater percentage of each digital sale. The new app comes out in January.

Breaking down the release, here are some of the key points:

  • In addition to offering the application for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone, comics can also be purchased and read via the Dark Horse Digital Store on web browsers. I assume this means that like with comiXology, you’ll be able to buy comics on one platform and read them on another.
  • They also plan to “bundle” issues together to give folks a price break, noting that users will be able to buy a “complete narrative” for anywhere from $2.99 to $5.99.
  • Starting in February they’ll have day-and-date delivery of some titles in both print and digital.
  • They plan to offer some digital titles exclusively through retailers, noting that more details on how this would work are forthcoming.
  • They reiterated that several of their current comic apps are free this weekend in the iTunes store, including issues of Umbrella Academy, Serenity and more.

You can find the complete press release after the jump.

Offering single-issue comics at $1.49, the publisher’s new proprietary bookshelf app delivers lower prices while rewarding creators with higher profits!

October 8, 2010, MILWAUKIE, OR–Today at New York Comic Con, the publisher that revolutionized creator-owned comics announced a new and ambitious digital publishing plan that’s set to do the same for sequential storytelling in the digital medium! By creating and managing its own digital publishing program—the Dark Horse Bookshelf app—Dark Horse Comics has eliminated third party fees on its digital editions. Not only will readers be able to enjoy Dark Horse comics at lower prices, but comic creators will receive a greater percentage of each digital sale. In short, readers pay less for their comics and creators make more money.

“We are excited by the opportunities offered through this new channel of distribution,” Dark Horse president and publisher Mike Richardson said. “The comics and graphic novels published by Dark Horse will now reach more readers than ever, while creating new customers for traditional brick and mortar stores.”

The Dark Horse Bookshelf app will be available on iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. Comics can also be purchased and read on modern web browsers at the Dark Horse Digital Store. Launching in January 2011 with comics priced at $1.49 per issue—50 cents lower than the industry standard—the Dark Horse Bookshelf app will be available for download from the iTunes Store and online at To drive customers to brick and mortar retailers, the app and Web site will also include links to local comic shops.

Launching with over 150 titles including Dark Horse’s wildly popular horror anthology Creepy, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and B.P.R.D., Joss Whedon’s Fray and Serenity, Felicia Day’s The Guild, BioWare’s Mass Effect, Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy, Eric Powell’s The Goon and many more, the pricing at the Dark Horse Digital Store offers readers unprecedented value. While single-issue comics will be available at the low price point of $1.49, Dark Horse will also offer an extensive list of free introductory #1 issues. The Dark Horse Digital Store’s comic bundles will group together story arcs spanning multiple issues into easily affordable packages, allowing readers to get the three or four issues that comprise a complete narrative at manageable prices from $2.99 to $5.99. Starting in February 2011, some Dark Horse titles will feature synchronized release in both the digital and print formats.

Dark Horse also has a plan in place that will allow retailers at comic shops and bookstores to offer readers exclusive digital content through the Dark Horse Digital Store. The specifics of this plan will be announced at a later date.

To celebrate the announcement of the Dark Horse Bookshelf app, Dark Horse Comics is offering eight of its current digital comic apps completely free throughout the weekend. Comics enthusiasts can head to the iTunes store and download free copies of Dark Horse’s current Serenity, Beasts of Burden, B.P.R.D., Conan, Fray, Troublemaker, Umbrella Academy and Terminator: 2029 apps.

Fans are invited to sign up for additional news at our official website: http:///

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