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Sunday, June 27, 2010

ALA Sunday: More Digital Comics?


Did your parents save all your artwork, from when you were very little?

Sophie Crumb's parents did. So this Fall, W.W. Norton will be publishing Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist.

Starting at age 2 1/2, this book showcases her development all the way up to last year. Lots of personal history as well, so this will generate lots of press!

What else... Supposedly OverDrive, one of the leading companies providing digital books to libraries and retailers, has signed an agreement with Marvel and Tokyopop. (I heard this secondhand, that OverDrive announced this at their luncheon today.) Now, I've seen that they've offered ebook versions of some of Marvel's and Tpop's titles since April 2010. Searching the web, I see certain issues available via public libraries. OverDrive requires an account to see the entire selection of titles, so I can't see much beyond the link above. It seems that the content is available, but only for lending, not for direct sale. Perhaps today's announcement will change that. Or maybe this is just a re-iteration of what they are already doing. I see single issues from Marvel, not graphic novels, although Marvel could easily bundle them together. I wonder how much they charge the libraries?

Oh, and the scope? According to OverDrive, they serve TEN THOUSAND libraries.
And they already work with HarperCollins, Hachette, Random House, Simon & Schuster...
Stone Arch Books GNs since November 2008.
Classical Comics
ComicsOne
Capstone

A selection from last summer...

GREAT FARKING ZARQON! The graphic novel of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe! (The Queens Public Library has 151 titles under "Comic and Graphic Books"... including The Ray Bradbury Chronicles (just the modern stuff, not the EC stories)!)

Hmmm... published by childrensElibrary, a division of ibooks, which, if memory serves, was purchased by Simon & Schuster at bankruptcy? Which raises the question... if Overdrive charges a library to carry a digital file of a defunct company, where does the money go? To the original copyright holders? The creators? The copyright still exists, but do the original contract rights still exist? Or does OverDrive restrict access to the actual file? Or does that copy "sold" to the library still continue to exist just like a paper copy does?

210 titles at the Los Angeles Public Library. Faeries' Landing is one of the Tokyopop titles.


Barnes & Noble does have a business relationship with OverDrive, so it is possible that BN.com might start selling titles as they become available. OverDrive's files are in Adobe PDF eBook format, which is readable on the nook, but not the Kindle or iPad (but readable on Macs and PCs).

Of course, if sold on the nook, the image would be in black-and-white. Might the suggested retail price be less than that of the iPad app from ComiXology? Resolution and size might not be a problem, especially if it's a digest-sized book, or if one can enlarge the image. Yes, a bit unwieldy, but Plastic Logic will be selling the larger QUE ProReader e-reader via B&N which will have a larger magazine-size screen and handle more digital formats than the nook.

Developing, as they say.

Not much else in the way of surprises. Of course, OverDrive is a pretty big surprise!

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