Marvel’s Online Comics: A User Experience

Noted artist Colleen Doran tries out Marvel’s digital comics [link no longer available]. She has very bad luck with them. Her motives are great:

All I know is the prospect of getting to have access to lots of comics I could use for reference for only about $5 a month without having to run a 3 hour round trip into the city to get a comic every time I had to look up some joker’s costume was too much to resist. I paid about $40 tracking down reference on the last Marvel job, and for a few bucks more, I could reference EVERY job

but the experience is lacking:

I have been unable to verify my email address at Marvel DCU (teehee) despite multiple attempts, because I get an error message every time I click on the link. Then I get an error message when I click on the link that is supposed to take me to a help page where I can complain about the error message. This is the revenge of the ghost of Jack Kirby. I am being punished for wanting to look at those ancient copies of The Eternals Marvel has uploaded, for which the Kirby estate will not be paid a royalty…

So after fiddling with my account for way too long, I never got my account email problem settled, but decided to see if I could look at some comics anyhow. Well yes. And no. I was able to get to the section to look at the comics pages. My fangirl sense tingling in anticipation, I hit the button. And waited. And waited. And waited. After waiting about 10 minutes, nothing more than the cover uploaded.

Much more at the link, including discussion of the lack of royalty payments.


3 Responses to “Marvel’s Online Comics: A User Experience”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Nov. 29, 2007: A midwinter night’s Dullsville Says:

    [...] [Commentary] Steve Bennett and Colleen Doran teest-drive Marvel Entertainment’s new online comics-rental system. (Second link via Johanna Draper Carlson.) [...]

  2. Charles RB Says:

    The publishers behind 2000AD & Judge Dredd have announced that from next year, every 2000AD will be released online (the week after the print copy) for downloading. Hasn’t been said what format it is and I’m not sure if they charge, but it’s interesting to compare to Marvel – after all, they only publish three regular titles and trades, it’s a pretty big risk to take.

    (Announcement at http://www.2000adonline.com/?zone=news&page=newsimage&choice=digi2000 )

  3. Johanna Says:

    Says they’re using Clickwheel, which according to their FAQ, provide free comics for iPods. Interesting. Although as you say, 2000AD and Marvel aren’t directly comparable.




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