First off let me apologize for taking a break from #webcomicschat the past few weeks. A few things got in the way and I wasn’t able to make it work. I look forward to getting back on track and mixin’ it up with my tweeps. That said, #webcomicschat will be in the afternoon or late evening on Wednesdays, Pacific time. If you have any topics you’d like to discuss post them with the #webcomicschat hashtag during the week and we’ll work them in.
This week I had a good conversation with @adreanaline (You can check out her comic here). She was brave enough to stay up late and offer opinions. I started by asking for thoughts on the iPad. For a few months before and after the launch of the iPad I was literally frothing at the mouth because of all the possibilities for digital comics publishing it offered. I had a real sense of fear that I was missing the boat if I couldn’t get my work packaged and available in some form on the iPad. Since then I’ve worked really hard to find a way to do it. Some things have worked and some haven’t. What has changed for me is a bit of that initial urgency I felt. Pandora’s box has been opened. The iPad is already here… so now what?
One of the main reasons I’m in love with the idea of the iPad is the fact that to a certain degree, it levels the playing field. It allows indy publishers to sell right next to the big boys. With that said, it’s still not an easy task. Forward thinking companies have already created their own reader apps and there are a variety of comic reader apps out there vying for attention. Panelfly, Comixology, Graphic.ly to name a few. The effort involved in creating a custom reader app is still a significant deterrent for independents and most existing app companies are so busy with big publisher demand that they don’t have time to pay attention to the little guys. So where does that leave us? In my opinion the best bet is still the kindle or the ibookstore. The marketplace is broad and the formatting isn’t too difficult. The most effort required is probably optimizing your panels and images for the device. So for myself I’m focusing on those two arenas. Feel free to post your ideas and comments here as well.