Thursday, July 01, 2010

DC Digital and the end of Zuda


DC Comics announced
about a week ago now that they were going to have their own comics App for Apple and Sony products. They also decided to have a digital comic, Justice League: Generation Lost, released in stores and digitally on the same day.

This got comic book retailers talking. Creators discussed it as well. Overall the opinion from everyone - publisher, retailer and creator was - if it can make me more money I'm all for it. However not everyone agreed that it would or could.

I personally thought they should leave the comics as comics and use the apps for DC's Zuda line of comics, which are already a web based product. Why compete with yourself? Have your online comics and your paper comics. That's been my general opinion on the whole thing. Now I see why they didn't do the app for Zuda - because DC is shutting it down. Not due to lack of success they say, but because if paper is going digital it makes sense to have everything under one umbrella. I guess mathematics will agree with that - saves on time, saves on money. They ended the competition part of Zuda anyway, so what it becomes now is just another imprint under DC, but one that isn't available on paper in your local comic book store.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. My feeling has always been that anything that promotes the diversity of the medium and it's creative talent and increases the public's interest in it is good. Web comics have been around for years now and haven't stopped people from buying paper.

However, from reading the tweets and blogs of some of Zuda's creators, it doesn't sound like their works will be moved over to the new Digital DC, but rather like their works are now gone and they have to find another way to share them with their fans. I hope this isn't the case in the long-term. There were good works available on Zuda and I'd hate to see them disappear into the ether because DC couldn't figure out what to do with them.

Here's the thing... right now it seems like digital format is this weird, interesting planet to the comic book publishers that have been in print for decades. They see it and it looks soooo beautiful, they watched it from afar for so very long.. It was far off, almost a dream, but they wanted to get there so badly. There was life already on this planet, and they believe they could join that population and thrive just as it's original inhabitants do. So they invented a variety of air ships to get themselves there. Many failed. Some got them there but then they found that they were unable to breathe the atmosphere of this beautiful place. Back to the drawing board again, they continue to try to find a way to be what they are yet reinvent themselves enough to survive on this new world. Do they belong there? Can they survive there for long? Are they even wanted there? Or must they go because their ability to exist on their home planet is decreasing day by day? Only time will tell what the future holds for these digital explorers. History has taught us one thing about exploration - not everyone will survive.

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