Digital Comics from the Independents
There is a huge disparity between the two largest comic book companies when it comes to digital comics. Marvel has had digital comics for a few years now. Marvel has its own website for viewing older comics and newer comics for sale on iTunes. People have been wondering where DC’s digital comics are; if they will ever be available somewhere else besides your local comic books store.
What other digital comic book choices are there?
The good news is that most of the second tier companies have some form of digital comics. None of them have as many comics available as Marvel, of course, or as many ways to read them, but at least IDW, Dark Horse, BOOM!, and Image have at least one choice available.
IDW and Dark Horse have the most choices. Both have some choice comics available at the iTunes store. IDW has a nice selection of its titles, including Transformers and Star Trek. If you haven’t read the prequel to the latest Star Trek movie, get all four issues of Star Trek: Countdown as soon as you can. In addition, IDW has a few free samples (some are whole comic books) to get you interested in their books.
Dark Horse has a few comics from their most popular titles available: Star Wars, Hellboy, Terminator, The Goon, and Umbrella Academy. Besides these great choices, Dark Horse still has its MySpace page (yes! really!) and publishes four shorter comics there every month: http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents?qt=dhnl135l. They have just published their 34th issues, but it is easy to go back and look at every issue. Some stories are self-contained, some have two or three parts that are continued in the following months.
Image and BOOM! both try and entice you to read their comics by offering a small sample of their comics online to be read straight from your computer. Image (http://www.imagecomics.com/onlinecomics.php?start=20)has a long list (almost 40 comics) of first issues available. What better way to try and decide if you want to pay for an ongoing book than read the the first issue? BOOM! (http://www.boom-studios.net/) has a much smaller selection, but as a new and still growing company, I am not surprised. Hopefully their choices will grow in the future.
Right now, I do not see me changing my habits and stopping my habitual visits to the comic book store. However, I do like the other choices that are out there.