- Posted by Johanna on July 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Here’s one way to be sure that your digital comic program gets attention: give them away. In large numbers.
During the four days of the San Diego Comic-Con, Dark Horse will give one person $500 of digital comic credit at 10 AM each day in a raffle.
Dark Horse Digital launched at the end of April earlier this year. (Originally planned for January with issues at $1.49, the release was delayed and repriced.) Once a user creates an account, they can read comics in any web browser or via an iPad/iPhone app. (The iPad seems to be their preferred method.) They’ve been promising an Android application since launch, but it hasn’t appeared yet.
There are currently 32 free offerings, representing some of Dark Horse’s best-known titles, including Hellboy, The Terminator, and The Umbrella Academy. The store also includes manga, with Lone Wolf and Cub and Bride of the Water God. Dark Horse’s strength is their discounted bundles, making it easy to buy the equivalent of trade paperback collections for miniseries. Most issues are $1.99, with four- or five-issue bundles (or graphic novels) at $5.99. They have a New Releases section, or a weekly newsletter that notifies users of what’s been added. Dark Horse is also unique in offering exclusives through comic stores, although participation is not widespread.
Like most other online comic stores, you don’t own what you buy; you only rent (license) the issues, and they could be removed at any time. You also have to be connected to read the comics; they’re not downloadable. Plus, some of them omit some of the print content. Likely due to licensing issues, some Dark Horse publications (most obviously the Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics) aren’t yet available.