Monday, June 22, 2009

Longbox - A Solution for Digital Comics?

Well, there's apparently a new system in the works, an iTunes-style system for reading and downloading digital comics coming called Longbox. The panel that goes into discussing it is located here.

It looks pretty ambitious, but some of the devices they're proposing to use this thing for in the future have got me scratching my head. While I'm perfectly happy to read comics on my computer screen, where there's space, why would anyone want to read a comic on their Nintendo DS or an iPhone? Basically that means you can't see the entire page unless you zoom out, in which case you can't read the text.

Furthermore I have to roll my eyes when they call iTunes better than winamp, since I find iTunes to be a piece of crap that I refuse to install on my computer and much prefer the simple interface of winamp.

Also I still have to sigh that they're this worried about piracy when the piracy's still going to happen. Just buy the license for the CDisplay comic reader that everyone's using already and distribute comics for it - the CBR and CBZ format is already out there and people aren't going to necessarily stop using it, though I like the idea that Longbox could have creator commentary on comics.

We'll see how this goes, though it should be noted that only two companies seem to have signed on for this thing right now. We'll know it's bigger when we see DC and Marvel on the table. ‎


Zhan said...

Actually, I've had a great time reading comics on my PSP. It's a bit weird at first but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. It's like watching a digital comic but directing it with your own hands. You still get some trouble with two page spreads and stuff like that but it definetly works.

Anonymous said...

That, or we see "Revolution of the Mask" on the list. Then we'll know it's big

Saisinkolimonadin said...

I'd kill a Marvel executive to be able to read comics on my DS. I have a CD collection of about 500 Spider-Man comics, and it's a damn annoyance to drag a laptop around just to read them (of course I can do a lot of other things with my laptop too, but really, which one would you rather take to the beach, a huge laptop or a pocket-sized Nintendo DSi?). If only the DSi would support PDFs.

Rhythm Bastard said...

I use ComicBookDS. You'll need a homebrew device and a MicroSD card. With cheap MSDs going for $40 for 8 GB, you can fit your (probably not yours Linkara ;), I mean in general) entire collection on there for not too much.

It compensates for the lack of space with the fact that one screen is the whole page, and the other screen is a zoomed in section of the whole page.

I haven't run into too many problems, since with a regular comic book I'm only focusing on one part of the page at a time.

Biggest problem is that some text is illegible on two page spreads (these are treated as one page).

But hey, it's free, and I can bring the entire run of a series with me on a road trip or the bathroom.

Mothra said...

Maybe if you use a DS or iPhone with it it'll kind of be like an old cartoon like Submariner (I think) where the panels are shown one at a time? You could flick through the panels.

Psychotime said...

Blech. It's bad enough reading any kind of book online.

I really hope print doesn't ever disappear.