In 2011, DC became the first major comic book publisher to offer their full line of comics on digital the same day as their physical copies went on sale in stores. The move was controversial, with some critics charging them with turning their backs on brick and mortar Local Comic Shops that had supported them during times both good and bad. The move however, has not seemingly affected traditional comic sales, but has built up a new audience of non-traditional readers who may not have time to venture to their LCS every Wednesday, but who enjoy downloading the same comic stories to enjoy on their portable electronic devices. Digital comic sales rose 125% from 2011 to 2012 and according to DC, so far this year, digital sales are up 35% this year over the first quarter of last year. (Other popular publishers like Marvel, Image and Archie have since followed suit by offering same day-digital releases.)
Earlier this year, DC launched yet another initiative in the form of mini-comics that appeared in digital format first, before being collected in regular comic form later, beginning with Smallville Season 11 and Ame Comi Girls, both based on properties outside the mainstream DC Universe. Smallville is, of course, based on the long running CW live action show that followed a young Clark Kent from his high school years to his early twenties beginning his career as a reporter in Metropolis. Ame Comi Girls is based on a popular line of Japanese anime-style statues DC has produced over the past few years, featuring cheesecake style redesigns of DC’s female heroes and villains.
Now DC is taking another step forward in digital releases. Or rather two. DC is launching two new digital initiatives, DC2 and DC2 Multiverse. The first DC2 title will be Batman ’66, based on the beloved live action series from the sixties starring Adam West and Burt Ward as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Dick Grayson/Robin respectively. In this case, DC stands for “Dynamic Canvases” and will feature an interactive component. DC co-publisher Jim Lee describes it as ”a symphony of notes that panels can play on top of each other.”
The DC2 Multiverse books will have a “Choose Your Own Adventure” feature, allowing readers to determine the outcome of the story by manipulating characters and story lines. The first book in that line will be Batman: Arkham Origins, based on the popular video game franchise.
DC President Diane Nelson elaborated saying:
“We think we have a deep relationship with our core fans, but different consumers are looking for different experiences. The casual fans, the fans from other media, are those that may be most interested in purchasing digital stories.”
Are you excited to go beyond traditional paper comics? Are you intrigued by interactive digital comics, especially ones where you can alter the outcome? I know I will be downloading Batman ’66 at the least! How about you? Leave a comment below!
Source: Hollywood Reporter,