Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009 edited
    As some of you may know, LongBox was officially unveiled to the public on Sunday at HeroesCon. Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and it's especially exciting to us because the amount of details we've released at this point are very much the 'tip of the iceberg'

    We should have the digital video of the unveiling panel this week, but until then, check these out...


    Forbidden Planet

    Keiron Gillen

    Noise to Signal


    Twitter Reaction...
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    Noisrot and I are keeping a very close eye on this.
  1.  (6217.3)
    Part of me wants to bring up the usual nostalgia whinge about how we have to buy comics to save the stores or whatever, but the truth is I’ve become one of those people who just waits for trades (and sometimes buys them from Amazon to save money). So I welcome a service that will allow me to pay the minimum amount possible to read weeklies and monthlies while I wait for my trades.
  2.  (6217.4)
    I was at HeroesCon for the unveiling and I've got to tell you, I'm totally fucking impressed and excited about this. The CBR article sums it up pretty nicely. Also, they might be calling it a beta but what Rantz showed off was incredibly smooth and complete...I'm sure there's still work to be done but I don't think there will be rage-inducing bugs that you get with some betas.

    The biggest question in my mind is whether Marvel and DC will support the .99/issue pricing model. If not, then it becomes a question of what I would pay to read certain titles. Right now there are many Marvel/DC titles that I don't read because I don't want to pay $3 an issue, and inevitably I end up reading about the storylines online and forgetting about the TP altogether. Frankly, I think I'd still stay away from them if they were $2 on Longbox.

    A few questions for Rantz, when he has a moment:

    1) Will Longbox be available outside the US?

    2) I know that there's a rating system involved to prevent minors from seeing mature content and that sort of thing, but will Longbox encourage/support extremely graphic material? Let's say someone's got a comic that no publisher will put in print because it's too obscene/vulgar/sexual/whatever. Will a comic like this be able to find a home at Longbox? To be clear, I'm not talking about a comic that contains this material just to push people's buttons. A graphic adaptation of American Psycho comes to mind as an example where the graphic content would be necessary to the story.
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    1.) In the midst of the various country hoop-jumping to make this happen, and have it be a '2 way' street. This will not be a short discussion, and we will likely have to launch without international (or with limited international) support. Our goal is to make this happen as quickly as possibly.

    2.) Because of the ratings lock-out fo 'sub-accounts' (such as parents would make for their kids, we will support graphic material (Black Kiss was used as an example in the demo for a reason). There's been a lot of work that's gone into the structure of that since the last thing we want is to have an initiative aimed at creating a true 'mass market' for comics, and then have someone in Peoria flip out because their kid saw something 'unfit'.

    and thanks for the kind words, they are much appreciated, and I'm glad you liked the demo/unveiling.
  3.  (6217.6)
    Oooh, just thought of this: integration with Netflix so that I could view comics through my Roku box. Just a thought. Deals with Microsoft and Nintendo would be huge though, given the install bases of the two consoles and all.
  4.  (6217.7)
    So very excited about this. Especially the bit where Publishers can offer discount vouchers for subscribers who also want to buy the trade.
    Longbox is pretty much the only thing that could stop me from tradewaiting (well, that and Casanova, which I can never wait for).

    Hoping it launches in Australia with or soon after the initial release.
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    Rantz, have you figured out how access to the service will be granted? Will the new writer/artist with a book still want to go through a traditional publisher, or will there be more of a 'general bazaar' model, where anyone can put up their book?
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009

    Established publishers and self-publishers at launch. New 'self-publishers' will be able to participate about a year or so after launch. (since we do all file QA and per-file compatibility checks, there's not an economy of scale to doing so prior to that) There are criteria, guidelines and the like, as well as a vetting process to ensure that anything on LongBox is of professional quality (which has nothing to do with style, approach, genre, etc.) Details on this process will be announced around SDCC.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    One more, io9, which mostly points and comments on the CBR interview, but hey, they're talking about it.

    As stated previously, very excited about this, and the unveiling hasn't done anything to dampen it (I'll be quickly bumping against the 3-device limit, but I can live with it). Assuming everyone jumps aboard and isn't stupid in their pricing, I'm probably looking at shifting upwards of half a dozen titles to Longbox, and starting in on at least as many that I've not been picking up.

    Talk of the voucher plan seems rather vague so far, is that going to be something where Longbox/the publisher will send out a coupon for use at my LCS (helping to keep up my business with them), redeemed purely online as a direct order from the publisher/affiliate store, or some combination of those?
  5.  (6217.11)
    Longbox looks amazing! I can't wait for it to go live.
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    Ha! Took the question right out of my brain, Jon.

    Glad to hear that there will be some kind of vetting/quality filtration process applied to self-published work. The range of paper comics already available can be daunting enough to even a seasoned collector, so a deviantArt/Lulu-style free-for-all would likely escalate the problem and frighten away potential new readers.
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    I'm keeping a close eye on this. As someone involved in creating and releasing a self-published indie comic later this year, it seems a very exciting possible new market to me.

    ATM, as we are pretty much doing it all ourselves, most likely including printing etc, we'll probably be limited by our budget. This could open up a whole new line of revenue for us, and get the comic out to a much larger audience.

    As such, I'm watching for anything mentioning the service for any details about if indie publishers can get involved
  6.  (6217.14)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    <blockquote>Purchasing a comic through Longbox will allow a user to read it in three “iterations,” meaning on three different machines or devices.</blockquote>

    What happens after the user runs out of devices?
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    It almost sounds like Longbox will become its own publishing house, further down the road. This is pretty damn monumental. Well done pulling it off.
    • CommentAuthor/
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009 edited
    @ tcatsninfan - Agreed. Having this on Xbox Live would be amazing. There's a precedent (of much smaller scale) for it too, seeing as how they put the Watchmen motion comic up on their Marketplace when the movie was released.

    They've announced plans to integrate Twitter and Facebook into their online service (and they've already got Netflix, as you mentioned), so they could use this as well, couldn't they?
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    I think a very important part of making digital comics a success will be to market OUTSIDE our usual market group. Giving out free downloads through videogames, tv show ads, hulu ads. Anything to bring in more people. Also using ads like wowio did to bring in more revenue for the creators would be good.

    I was a bit confused though. Would I be able to use CDisplay to read the comics or will I HAVE to use the program they featured to view it. They mention it and say atleast some can be but can they all be used with the program?
  7.  (6217.18)
    i support this for spreading the medium and helping out areas where print is too cost-prohibitive, but i really dont want the books i love to go digital only. thats my only real concern with this.
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    while single issues sales keep going down, trade's seem to be opening us up to a larger audience with their ability to get into major book stores and being able to be sold on amazon. Sadly I don't think single issues will last for more than another decade.

    We'll always have our trades though so its not like we won't be able to hold it in our hands
  8.  (6217.20)
    i really dont want the books i love to go digital only.

    As opposed to those books going away entirely? Because I think we're reaching that point now.