Buying and reading comics on tablets and mobile devices took another step forward after Apple debuted a graphic novel format category in the iBookstore. The new category makes it easier to find comics as well as to market and promote on the iBookstore, and Marvel Comics is helping to launch the new section with more than 80 graphic novels featuring its iconic superheroes.
Marvel is clearly the headline publisher for the launch—the new iBookstore section does not seem to have any of DC Comics’ graphic novels. The iBookstore Comics and Graphic Novel category is subdivided into main sections on Graphic Novels, Manga and Children’s Comics and several sub-sections such as a Recent Releases page that, truth be told, features a lot of comics that aren’t that recent.
Nevertheless, beyond Marvel, the Comics and Graphic Novel category section features comics works by trade book publishers like Disney, Random House, Abrams and Andrews McMeel and W.W. Norton as well as large independent comics houses like IDW and Image and smaller presses like Zip Comics and Top Shelf; The Manga category—with an even slimmer inventory than the nonmanga category—is dominated right now by titles from Manga University, Seven Seas/Tor and also includes Penguin’s manga biographies. The Children’s Comics section features titles from the Disney Book Group and multimedia app developer Zuuka and there’s also The Comics Page, a sub-section of newspaper comics strip collection from publishers like Andrews McMeel and IDW.
Marvel is offering the first issue of The New Avengers for free and its titles range from $6.99 (The New Avengers #2) to $24.99 (Earth X) and a variety of price points in between. The new Comics and Graphic Novels categories will allow Apple and comics publishers to highlight and market comics far more easily. Consumers can download comics of all kinds to their iPhone, iPod or iPad devices. Currently the section is featuring dedicated pages for Abrams’ Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls by Leila Lee; the late Harvey Pekar and artist Joe Remnant’s forthcoming new autobiographical work, Cleveland (Zip); Image Comics and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.
Pekar’s Cleveland is priced at $9.99, Angry Little Little Girls is $9.99. Manga pricing tops out at about $5.99, while Walking Dead titles are all around $9.99. Right now Marvel is the showcase graphic novel publisher offering a selection of more than 80 graphic novels that includes Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Vol. 1, Captain America: The Death of Captain America Vol.1, Civil War, Ender's Game: Battle School, John Carter: A Princess of Mars, Runaways Vol. 1: Pride and Joy and many more. In a release, Marvel said, “each week, more graphic novels will be added to the expanding Marvel iBookstore library.”