Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Look Kids! Comics!

As you know from posts like this, I've been tracking down GIT's DVD-ROM collections of Marvel comics so I can legally own digital comics of the characters I love. While these discs aren't perfect, they're a terrific way of owning decades worth of comics for a decent price. According to Snell's blog post yesterday, it looks like Marvel is getting into the DVD-ROM act now as an addition to their Digital Comics Unlimited service.

In September, Marvel will issue the DVD Digital Comic Book Archives beginning with Iron Man and Hulk for $29.99. What does your $30 ($25 if you can finagle a discount) get you? Exclusive "Marvel Digital Comics Reader" versions of the first 50 historical appearances of each character plus "bonuses galore." That's 50-60 cents a comic, which isn't terrible but a far cry from the 5-6 cent price point from the GIT collections.

Personally, I'm rather torn. As Snell pointed out Sunday, the Marvel Digital Comics Reader versions are gorgeous! They are clean and incredibly vibrant in color without any of the details lost to age or paper issues. Also, I'm very curious as to what these bonus features will be. I don't really care to read company-produced bios but it would be pretty cool if say an episode or ten of the old Marvel Superheroes cartoon were put on there. I'm not holding my breath but it would be cool.

Given the reasonable price point, I may go ahead and order these. If I don't like them, then I know a couple of folks who would.


Allyn said...

I was surprised at Marvel's price point as compared to GIT's price point. I don't know that I'd pick up either of the Marvel collections, and I'm curious if they're offering creators royalties (or if it's going to be like the online service, where the message is "sucks to be you" to the creators).

(I should note that I don't believe GIT offered creators royalties, either. Why I'm on about this, I have no idea.)

September sees GIT releasing their complete Star Trek comics collection. Complete, pre-IDW, that is. Gold Key, Marvel '80, DC, Malibu, Marvel '96, Wildstorm, even the old newspaper strips. I'm pretty excited about that one. :)

smacky said...

I took your advice and grabbed the Captain America a few week's ago (instead of going to the comic show, as a matter of fact) when I saw a copy on the shelf at a comic shop. They had Iron Man too. Sounds like I should go back and get that one just to save $50.

I couldn't tell from Snell's post (maybe he doesn't know) but is there some big watermark on the Marvel DVD issues? Can the ones on the DVD be printed (sometimes a cover is just so cool you want it on paper)?

De said...

Allyn: I am all over that Star Trek collection! I wasn't sure if the newspaper strips were going to make it. Did GIT manage to pull off some kind of legal miracle?

Smacky: There's no watermark when you read the comics on your computer, but there is a tiny, non-intrusive trademark on each page. You can print out pages, which will contain a watermark. However, I'm told that it's fairly innocuous. Give it a try and let me know as I'd love to have a cover or two to hang on the wall.

Allyn said...

According to my sources, the newspaper strips are on the Star Trek collection.

My guess is that the original contracts didn't specify electronic reprint rights, as there wouldn't have been such a thing at the time, so CBS believed they could license them out for an electronic collection.

You should see the Star Trek contracts for today. You're signing away rights in perpetuity, throughout the universe, in any possible or potential distribution format. Fun stuff. :)

De said...

Oh that is beyond cool, Allyn. Thanks for the awesome news!

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