When Amazon’s Kindle Fire color tablet was announced Wednesday it was assumed that selling content for it would defray the low cost compared to the iPad. And so the very first content exclusive to the new tablet has been announced—100 of DC Comics’ best selling graphic novels will be available exclusively for the Kindle, with more to come.
Initial offerings includes Watchmen, the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, which has more than a million copies in print; it has never been offered digitally before. The rest of the line-up includes such perennial favorites as The Sandman, Fables, Y the Last Man and Superman: Earth One. The digital Watchmen is available for pre-order now and sells for $9.99, half the print price. These 100 books represent only the initial roll-out; more titles will be announced as the Kindle Fire becomes available in November.
ComiXology, the publisher of the leading comics app, and other digital providers have already been offering DC’s periodical comics; however digital versions of the print collected editions have been unavailable until now. “We’ve learned from the success of DC Comics – The New 52 that making our graphic novels available whenever and wherever our readers want is critical to the future growth and health of our publishing businesses–both in print and digital format,” said DC’s co-publisher Jim Lee in a statement.
Yet to be revealed: what format the books will be released in. The Kindle versions of Watchmen and Superman: Earth One are listed as 11KB downloads— a number far too small for a 416 page book. On the Amazon product page for these digital comics is the following description: “Graphic novels come alive on Kindle Fire with Kindle Panel View. Double-tap on any region to see it magnified. You can also swipe forward or backward to be guided through the panels in the author’s own sequence for an immersive reading experience.”
Comixology’s calling card is their “guided view” system which does just that – and Comixology was prominently featured in the initial Kindle Fire promotional materials, making a team-up sound very ikely indeed.
(Additional reporting by Todd Allen.)