Comic book publisher DC Comics has announced deals with the three major digital book retailers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple, to add its monthly titles to their stores. Although the brand already has a healthy library of eBook versions of its graphic novels and trade collections available on those stores, this will be the first time it will release all of its regular titles for purchase outside of a dedicated application.
The news comes as DC Comics' Hank Kanalz, senior vice-president of digital, revealed to Tech Crunch that sales of digital editions are up 197 per cent year-on-year (for Q3). That doesn't mean that sales of print editions are waning - they too are up year-on-year, by 12 per cent - but it shows a significant rise in popularity of reading comic books on computer, iPad, other tablet devices or smartphones.
The share of print/digital media varies between 90/10 to 60/40 per cent from title to title, Kanalz said, but when you consider that some of the top brands, such as the Batman books, regularly sell between 50,000 and 150,000 print editions in North America alone, the digital copies could bolster those figures greatly.
Digital editions aren't for everyone, of course. Comic book legend and Image Comics co-founder Todd Macfarlane told Pocket-lint at the beginning of the year that he was no fan of the medium, although he could see why some like it for convenience sake.
Kanalz also admitted that many writers and artists far prefer print. "I still think print rules the roost as far as storytelling goes," he said.
DC Comics is yet to announce when its first titles will be available on iBooks, Kindle and Nook, but we expect them to arrive soon.
Are you a fan of digital editions of comic books? Or do you still buy the print copies? Let us know in the comments below...