DC Comics Enters the Digital Age

DC Comics App Welcome Screen

DC Comics Comes to the Modern Age
DC Comics FINALLY came out with a mobile app for the iPhone and iPad… what took so long? Marvel has had their own app for a while now, before that they posted their digital content on other comic reader tools like iVerse or ComiXology (the DC app was developed by ComiXology, just like the Marvel app). Now that DC has this app they have to start churning out the content, to get as many issues out as they can (Legion Lost perhaps?).

Are DC/Apple/Marvel Trying to Kill Your Local Comic Book Store? Example of the DC Comics Buy in Print feature
DC Comics co-publisher (and superstar DC Comics artist) Jim Lee, said, “it has been a top priority that DC forges a meaningful, forward-looking digital strategy. As both a comic book creator and Co-publisher, it was incredibly important that our plan includes not only creator incentive payments, but also an innovative component that supports comic shop owners. We see digital as an opportunity to grow our entire business.” DC seems genuine in these sentiments; they even go so far as to include a “Buy in Print” button on the purchase screen of each issue. Clicking the “Buy in Print” button, will take you to a list of your local comic book stores based on your location.

Why Digital Comics Will Bring More Fans to Comic Books
Does this mean DC is looking to put an end to hard copy comics? No, individual books and trade paperbacks are a commodity, and they will always have a place among collectors, fanboys and less than hardcore comic book readers. The digital versions will open the medium up to the casual fan. The digital format will allow kids, superhero fans and cartoon viewers a less intimidating way to read a complex way of storytelling.

The App Itself
Branding examples for the DC Comics appThe app is really well done; they have all sorts of DC branding throughout the app. The icons on the app are the DC logo (my comics), Green Lantern (featured), Hawkman (free), Wonder Woman (top 25) and Flash (browse) logos. The user interface is pretty similar to all of the other comic book apps, but with a DC flair. The comics read just like the ComiXology app, so there is nothing new there, but I can’t wait to see how great these look on the iPhone 4 with the new Retina Display.

Where Does DC Go Now?
I want to see some of the strategy Jim Less talked about go into this app. I want to see not just single issues released at $1.99 a pop; I would like to see some digital trades/collections for $5.99 to $9.99 depending on the size of the trade/collection. I think DC really needs to push this application, I have had discussions in the past about how DC does not hold the same brand awareness for it’s second tier characters as Marvel, by pushing this app and getting as many issues/characters/stories online as they can DC will do nothing but add success to all of their properties, in the funny books, on the small screen and in the theaters.

DC Comics Logo

Brian Tudor