Saturday, July 25, 2009

The eMusic for Comics

Longbox Digital, the new application by founder Rantz Hoseley that’s widely expected to really open up the digital distribution channel for comics in a commercially viable way, has been largely referred to as the “iTunes for comics.”

Now, if I interpret this article from Comic Book Resources correctly, it seems that’s not accurate at all.

If all goes well—and it certainly seems like these people know what they’re doing—then Longbox won’t be the iTunes for comics at all. Rather, it will be the eMusic for comics.

More precisely, it will be the eMusic for comics, prior to eMusic’s recent Sony expansion.

So far, according to CBR, the publishers that have signed on for Longbox are Boom! Studios, NBM Publishing, Dabel Brothers Publishing, Archaia Comics and the Image Comics partners Shadowline Comics and Top Cow Productions.

There’s no Marvel or DC Comics, so the majors are still leaning back to see what’s going to happen. And, more to the point, there’s no IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics or Image Comics proper yet, and no Oni Press, Top Shelf, and so on.

So, evidently, not all “independent” publishers are convinced yet, either.

None of which has to be a bad thing, of course.

Again: This sounds good, and I’d very much like for something like this to succeed, because it would open all kinds of possibilities to comics and the people who make them.

And, of course, Longbox Digital says right away that it won’t try to tie you to some proprietary software or hardware restrictions that would grant them de facto dictatorship over the kinds of formats or devices it supports, like Apple and Amazon are still trying to do. That’s always a very big plus.

So, all told, I’m really, really down with this, guys.

Don’t screw it up.

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