Comic books arrive to Google Android!
Independent publishers like PAPYRUS COMICS and its release MISERY DEPOT pave the way for a new and healthy distribution model for comic books: moving to mobile devices like Apple's iPhone or Google Android powered mobiles.
On February 18th, 2009, Papyrus Comics released its international hit Misery Depot for Google Android. In less than 36 hours, the comic was downloaded 3100 times, which is the number of monthly units that a comic must sell to be in Diamond's top 250 titles.
Misery Depot for Android is free and licensed under Creative Commons, and may well be the first Creative Commons comic for any mobile device. The license allows readers to copy, share and remix the comic, giving them control and involvement that traditional distribution has failed to offer, and that ultimately readers expect.
Misery Depot is no stranger to mobile phones. It was recently made available for Apple's iPhone and iTouch by its own fans, who embraced the Creative Commons license in which Papyrus Comics distributes its releases. "We were excited to learn iPhone and iPod Touch users could also read Misery Depot, but we felt that a direct port didn't seize the opportunities of the medium. We tried to fix that with our Android release.", says Hermes Pique, Misery Depot's writer and Papyrus Comics' Director.
Indeed, Misery Depot for Android is basically a new comic, adapted to seize the opportunities of the medium. Mobile comics are a new breed of sequential storytelling, where the reader has to focus his attention on a smaller area, and has control of the pacing. "The techniques are different. If the reader is more involved with each image, should we use less panels to tell the same story? The distribution is different as well. Should be release comics in brief installments so users can download them through 3G, or assume wifi is more popular? Everything is new and exciting, and we're more than happy to be there at the beginning."
Papyrus Comics expects to release an adapted iPhone version of Misery Depot in the near future. Their next comics, scheduled for the end of this quarter, will also be distributed through a variety of formats and devices, of which mobile phones are only a part. Their projects populate P2P networks, can be read online, can be downloaded in PDF, CBR and CBZ, and are available in half a dozen languages. What about traditional distribution, namely print? "8 hours of development and 25 dollars gave us 3000 readers in a day and a half. Is it really worth the effort for publishers like us to concentrate on a stalled model? Our goal is to maximize our audience, and while I would love to hold our comics in my hand, right now paper is not our priority.", concludes Pique.
About Misery Depot
Misery Depot is a free mystery/science fiction comic written by Hermes Pique and drawn by Juan Romera, intended for mature audiences. Released on late 2008, the comic now garners more than 10000 readers worldwide, as it has been translated to Spanish, French, Portuguese and Catalan by its own fans. Misery Depot is available for download at http://www.miserydepot.com and the Android Market (search: misery depot).
About Papyrus Comics
Papyrus Comics is the first e-publisher of Creative Commons comic books. Its goal is to maximize the audience of comics by embracing digital distribution, and translating/adapting its projects into as many languages/formats as possible. Three new releases are scheduled to be released in various languages and formats at the end of the first quarter 2009. For more information or general inquires, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.