LongBox Digital Comics Pre-Beta Screencast

After much discussion and some screenshots here and there, we finally get a look at how Longbox works with a detailed, official screencast.  Thanks to Longbox CEO Rantz Hoseley for providing this screencast which gives a super detailed look at how the application works as anticipation for it’s release builds.

This is a good time to remind the iFanbase that we have codes for the beta of Longbox and will be giving them away soon, so stay tuned about how you can win a code to access the beta version of Longbox when it’s released.

With that said, here is the official screencast of Longbox:

This is a screencast of the Pre-Beta build of the LongBox Digital Platform. This video shows off many of the functionalities of the LongBox Digital Platform, but does not show them all. In terms of ‘relative percentage’, this shows… maybe 60%? Maybe 70%?

This video demonstrates the Mac & PC Build. The handheld, eReader, and game system builds look different, but have a common design & usability with additional customizations to address the specific needs of each device and/or system.

This video was created & uploaded by LongBox, Inc. CEO Rantz Hoseley. More videos, screenshots, and news about the upcoming Beta and release will be available shortly. Enjoy!



  1. GLEE, I can’t wait

  2. So awesome guys, thanks for the preview

  3. You know, I’m still going to the shop every week, but this looks freaking awesome.  I will definitely use this to check out comics or to get things that my LCS does not get.  It looks super intuitive and really easy to use.  I’m stoked for it.

  4. Dynamic resizing of the zoom window!!

    Gets a little bit better every time I see it.

  5. I’m so excited for this. Digital comics have been a long time coming. I won’t buy all of my titles like this for a while, but I can easily say I’ll be picking up a lot more books with a pricepoint like that.

  6. The 30-40% not shown better be amazing. Cause this is just everything I can do on the internet into one big application. I can see the appeal in that, so that everything from previews to reading the comic can be available on one thing. But nothing about this wow’s me at all. This is basically itunes with a spraycan to make it look like a comic book application.

    A whole lot of flash but not substance if you ask me.

  7. Thanks for that. I can’t wait to find out how a guy can beg or plead to be one of the loyal iFanbase who gets the beta code!

  8. @TNC. What substance are you looking for that’s not there? The reader has every functionality that I can think of myself needing while reading digital comics. The dynamic zoom and spoiler free navigation are a nice touch. It even has reverse reading order for when they do manga (not that I read much or any of that, but that is kinda cool.) I like the ability to view pages either one at a time or as two page spreads and the option to "force" two page spreads to be displayed as one. The different search parameters are handy, instead of doing multiple searches you can just modify the one you’re working in. I’m sure there’s something missing, but I can’t think of it right now.

  9. @TNC So what if it’s inspired by iTunes, iTunes is currently selling 25% of ALL music in the United States.  What substance are you looking for?  It does everything I could ever want in an "iTunes for comics" app.  

    I saw on Twitter you called it a waste of (your) time, is that because it doesn’t have Deadpool on it?  I’m looking forward to being able to conveniently buy Boom, Image (and probably more soon) books.  Sure isn’t wasting my time.

  10. any word on a possible release date? seeing that they have Boom and Image on there makes me really excited cause then I can get caught up on Irredeemable, Chew and Walking Dead!!

  11. @Anson17: I’ll grant you the spoiler free navigation is a nice touch. But those little boxes are so small, how can you get spoiled on something the size of a penny on screen? The manga function is something I will never use, unless their format is how comic book publishers want you to read them in the future. The two page spread option shouldnt be an option, I would like to read both sides of the book like I do in real life. Not have it an ‘option’. There is an in depth search parameters but why would I need to go in depth when I just type in ‘Incredible Hercules’ (just as an example)?

    Nothing about this was anything that makes me go ‘Wow I’m going to get this app in a hurry!’. Again it’s everything you can do on the internet already and the way you read a comic looks the same as in Marvel’s digital attempt. I want a full on view on how big these comics are going to look if/when I read them. That’s the biggest test. If they are too small for me to read then this app has no chance.

    With the ‘flash’ part. I mean this video focused on so many obvious features and mundate stuff as well. He literally showed a button for the ‘return to previous page’ feature. Oooo!!!

  12. Do we know what boosk will cost for this?

  13. I’d prefer it just ran exactly like CDisplay.  That is all.

  14. @gobo: It’s wasting my time because, beating a dead horse here, it has everything I could do online.

    Wanna search for comic book news? I’ll just go to newsarama or the actually cbr website.

    See previews for upcoming issues? Tons of websites for that.

    Read your favorite mainstream comics on digital format? I could do that….well no where right now. Including Longbox 😛

  15. @zombox The suggested price point is $0.99 an issue, and so far all announced titles are at that price

    @Jim I’d like it to be able to load full screen when reading like CDisplay and ComicBookLover, and I imagine it probably will, but if not at least this zoom function will help somewhat

    @TNC Why on earth would you want LESS options than more?  I like reading one page at a time and then switching to two pages for spreads when I’m reading so I like the option.  I’m sure you can just leave it on or set it to be 2 pages by default.  As for why I’d want an in depth search, you’re right I wouldn’t use it much for searching for a specific title but I would definitely use it for checking out like "Jonathan Hickman" and seeing some stuff he’s done that I haven’t read.

  16. I like the idea of being able to pick up issues here and there that I don’t want cluttering up my house.  The functionality of the comic reading app doesn’t seem to be terribly ground breaking but the collection of content, the ease of use and the digital delivery of the product is all terribly cool.  I will definitely be checking it out.

  17. @TNC. I stressed the search function because I think it’s a great way to find books that you wouldn’t normally read. It looks like you can just go off on tangents from titles you already enjoy and find others that might interest you. There is life beyond Marvel and DC.

    I guess I’m just not sure what you’re looking for in an app that’s a reader. 

  18. I have to know! I have to know. I can’t help myself.

    TNC: what do you want to see happen here? What will finally bring you peace? Do they have to quit and promise not to put Longbox out? Why will you not stop? What scares you about this so much? What would you like to see instead? 

  19. @Anson17: I’m just not suckered into this whole ‘revolution’ like 99.9% of everyone else. Nothing is making a last long impression for me to go fully digital once this hits the full version. If comics were to suddenly go all digital (which would be impossible but go with me here for a sec), then I wouldn’t have a problem using Longbox. As it stands, as long as I have the option to physically buy my comics then I will never have a need for this. Unless something major were to change my mind.

  20. I finally get this thing. This will be a great thing for guys who read mostly in trades, and just use issues to find the good stuff, and to dabble and try things out. It don’t beat the print though…

  21. @TNC Aggregation is the buzzword of the day. Waste time? You could open AN application and check previews, CBR news and buy/read comics.  Or you could navigate to each of those resources on your own.  It seems like streamlining the process is a step in the right direction.

  22. I think it’s best if we all ignore TNC when it comes to talking about Longbox.  He hates it, he’s bitter about it for some reason, you won’t change his mind.  Just leave him alone to sulk in his corner.

    What got me more excited for this than anything else??  The "Spoiler" icon that appears in pages you have yet to read.  I love that idea!  But one question, can you reset it?  If I have a friend over and they want to read the comic too, is there some way to reset the spoiler icon so they can expierience the comic the same why I did?  Not a deal breaker, just curious.  What a great time to be reading comics.

  23. Seriously.  The dude has made up his mind that he doesn’t like it, and there’s nothing anyone can say to change it.  And why would you bother?  Most people are excited about this as a viable option. 

    Does anyone feel the abiding need to convince TNC to use this?  Is there an ultimate point to that?  Getting sucked into that is a waste of time.

  24. @zombox – I believe its $0.99 a title.

    @Jim – CDisplay took some getting used to for me, I have a feeling a) this is a customizable display settings that can be made to emulate CDisplay more closely and b) could also be broken in and eventually viewed with equal endearment.

    Well, this looks great. Excited for the beta launch. *crosses fingers*

  25. @drake That’s an interesting question!  I feel like they probably hve thought about it, I remember reading that there’s a system to by a discounted second copy of a comic you own on Longbox for a friend so they’ve definitely got the idea of sharing in there somewhere.

  26. @TNC words like "suckered" go a long way toward implying the the 99.9% of people you aren’t agreeing with are idiots in your mind that are simply being caught up in the hype machine surrounding this.

    I’ll probably use it to find back issues if they’re available.. or check out things I’m relatively interested in but can’t justify the 3 or 4 dollar investment to "try" something out for a week.   The 99 cent price point makes that pretty convenient. 

  27. @siraim: If I have the options to go on websites, then why would a preview function for Longbox excite me?

    @Jimski: I’m not scared of this new ‘revolution’, I just don’t see what the hub-bub about it is. Okay so it’s a new way to read comics. Whoopie! There’s already a clone of it coming out (comixology.com’s version) and there will be dozens of duplicates once this app hits. It’s original now but it won’t be once it actually gets released.

    I just don’t understand why with this topic; you guys hate me dizzing on it. It’s my opinion to hate it and I have not been a child about it. I’ve given reasonable reasons why this video has done nothing for me. It’s not like I’m typing: O my Godz! Dis App sux!. I’m just giving practical reasons why this isn’t going to blow everyone’s mind. It just seems like everyone is sucked into this app without even getting a sample to trying it out on your own. If I see a good percent of everyone siding it isn’t the next form of comic goodness then I’m going to scream.

  28. @ottoBott what I’ve found when using comic readers on my mac is that I use the built-in GUI zoom on my mac more than I use the zoom features within the application.  I haven’t found a zoom widget in an app that makes me happy.

  29. @TNC – I think you’re trolling at this point. People have a right to be excited about this if they want to be.  You made your point.  You’re shitting in cornflakes as it were.  Unless you have somthing new to add, your point is sufficiently made.

  30. @josh: But you guys just hugging and squeezing to death isn’t trolling!? You guys just repeating over and over and over again about how you love it isn’t getting out.

    Hell you do an article on this every single week! I’m not the one trolling on this topic.

  31. Could anyone tell me what the current list of publishers on board with longbox is?

  32. We’re allowed to promote the things we’re excited about on our website.  There have been exactly 3 articles.  We get nothing for this, other than the satisfaction of supporting a product we believe in.  We want people to talk about it, and it we want them to be able to.  Please stop spoiling the otherwise positive atmosphere.  If you’re not interested, move on.

  33. I would like something like this just to catalogue my current ‘print’ collection, but aside from that, I’m totally opposed to digital comics.

  34. @gobo-Hmmm, I could easily see myself buying discounted copies for a bunch of people.  Hell, even total strangers!  If there was a gift option and you could have friends on longbox, imagine how awesome it would be to start the program and see that good old drake gave you a copy of Ultimatum #1!!

    Also, has it been stated whether older comics will be available on Longbox?  Not just stuff released a few months ago, I’m talking about maybe all of Astro City or Hama’s G.I. Joe run.  Would be great to get to read stuff that I am continually reminded that I should check out.

  35. What impresses me when I see the app in action is the fluidity with which you can flip pages or switch from mode to mode. I’ve been reading a lot of Marvel DVDs, and while I love the overall experience Adobe’s interface can get pretty tedious in a hurry. I never thought I would develop muscle memory around hotkeys, but they broke me. To shift from one page to the next, from single page to double page, and then to be able to change the size of the zoom window to boot is just heavenly to someone who actually reads digital comics and knows what year it is. And of course, anyone who has actually moved out of his mother’s basement and had to carry all those floppies up a flight of stairs will tell you: it’s time to stop filling the house with floppies. A hard drive is much more suitable.

    I looove the cover browsing features. As it is now, any time I’m looking for a comic on my computer I have to know what the issue number is. When’s the last time you could remember the issue number something happened in? The fact that it can read those .cbr files some scalawags have and turn them into cover-browsable morsels is just icing on the cake.

    There is one thing about Longbox I am very unhappy with, specifically that I do not have it right now. Give it to me.

  36. @thisisegan Boom, Archaia, TopCow, NBM, Shadowline, Dabel Brothers, and independent creators (Hickman, McKelvie, Brandon and others already confirmed) will be able to submit their books to be on Longbox as well

  37. @thisisegan – They’ve been a little intentionally vague about the actual list of publishers. That’s why there’s not an official list.

    @ActualButt – You mean you don’t want them to exist? Or you just don’t want to read them?

  38. I don’t see myself using this, simply because I’ve always preferred physical copies over digital (never downloaded a movie, never bought an entire CD off iTunes, etc.)  That being said, it looks like an awesome program/service for people who want everything digital.

    There’s something about having longbox after longbox in your garage… Sure, it takes up a lot of space and all, but as part of my father’s day gift for my dad I got out all of his longboxes, sorted and catalogued everything.  I think I ended up enjoying it more than he did because I got to flip through my dad’s old comics and see what he was into and some of the lesser known things that were happening in comics around the late 80’s.  I just don’t see the same nostalgia/excitement coming from scrolling through menus.

  39. Or @gobo is more informed than me. This is entirely likely.

  40. The screencast looks pretty much like what Rantz demo’ed in San Diego. It was pretty impressive when I saw it there. I still have some small concerns with how much I’ll read on a screen, etc., but it’s safe to say I’m excited about this. For me, however, it’s the pricepoint and the digital reader that are the make-or-break habit-changing break-throughs. I think a color Kindle or this rumored Apple Tablet/Reader thing are going to be game-changers for me. But as an "iTunes" like store, player, and distribution mechanism, I’m quite pleased with what I’ve seen.

  41. @drake I imagine (if I’m not crazy about the feature’s existence) that there’ll be some kind of limits on buying a copy for a friend to prevent someone from wholesaling comics to everyone

  42. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Just a note. A wave of positivity isn’t trolling. It’s a good day. It’s basically what people are aiming for when they want to be happy. 

    Thanks for the closer look at things, Rantz! Looking forward to trying it out! 


  43. It really doesn’t seem like they’ve fixed any of the display issues that have been a part of "digital comics" since Cross-Gen slapped PDFs on their Web site way back when. So far, only Zuda have come up with an effective reader that is shaped for the wide-screen on most modern computers. I hate to toot my own horn, but I wrote a paper about this not too long ago, and it essentially boiled down to reshaping the page for the computer page. Let alone the fact that you’re switching form a Light On to a Light Through medium. Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see any mention of adjusting lightness/darkness or contrast internal to the program. It’s important, especially with scans of art, that there is a separate way to enhance the light. 

    I don’t know. I’m not excited for this. I feel like I should be. Call me a luddite, but I like having the book in my hands. I’ve never finished an e-book, I doubt I’d end up using this at all unless it suddenly became the only way to buy comics. 

  44. @josh Heh, thanks.  Boom/Top Cow were announced at Heroes and the others at San Diego.  Plus Rantz has been hinting at all sorts of other people getting on board.

    Everyone always ignores the best point of it though, without Longbox (or something like it) there will be no more Phonogram. A successful Longbox means more independent creators who a) don’t have to have second jobs and b) don’t HAVE to work at Marvel/DC to pay the bills

  45. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    For anyone following my continuity, you know that I have books stacked up on furniture made out of other books. I look forward to the digital transition where I don’t have to go hunting for a book or worrying about my floorboards collapsing beneath me. 

  46. @PraxJarvin There’s definitely something great about holding a book.  I’m probably one of the biggest fans of Longbox on here and I’m still going to be buying plenty of trades (hopefully with the oft-mentioned voucher system) and the ability to have books on both Longbox and in floppy form is the best of both worlds. No one will have an excuse for not trying a book anymore at $0.99 (and maybe free for the current $0.99 priced books from Boom?) you can pick it up and see if it’s good or not without any serious expense.

    This will hopefully be a massive boon for non-Marvel/DC books and a good way to get them into the hands of non-comic readers who don’t want to go into a dedicated comic shop.

  47. @Paul – Amen, brother. Some folks may not be at that point, but lemme tell you guys: I’m 37 and I have probably close to 60 boxes of comics. That’s RIDICULOUS. It’s impossibly inconvenient to find ANYTHING.

    I don’t need a digital comics experience to be better than paper comics. I’m willing to go for a slightly different reading experience because there are HUGE conveniences to digital comics. 

    It’s a bit different, but I’m experiencing a huge musical renaissance because I have all my music in a digital format and I love the convenience and control I have over my music collection through iTunes, my desktop and laptop, my various iphones and ipods… convenience and control I never had with CDs.

  48. I think something that excites me the most about this is I will still be at the store ever week, but this definitely opens my purchasing power to a wide array of stuff I would maybe never try because of the access and the price point.  That’s pretty awesome for the biz if you ask me.

  49. ….I like it that he has Jonathan Hickman’s other series on there.

    Positive? 🙂

  50. I can’t wait to get to the point where I don’t have any more single issues cluttering up my life.

  51. @Josh – I know I can’t stop them from existing, but I just feel that comics are something that should be held in your hand and read. Something you can lend to a friend, or fill up a bookshelf with. I might try the first issue of something, but a free digital preview of the first 6 pages would do the same job, and that’s already a wide practice. I will certainly not be paying for digital comics, but it sounds like I’d be able to use this software to read the Miracelman comics I downloaded as a bit torrent. But at the same time, as soon as Marvel reprints those, I’ll be buying them (probably in Omnibus form).

    Bottom line is, I’m opposed to them existing, but trying to stop that is futile, so I’ll say I’m opposed to reading them.

  52. I still plan on picking up trades of books that I really enjoy.  If it comes with some sort of voucher, I’ll be all over that shit.  Fact is, I only see my trade collection growing because of this, which is a good thing.  The only thing that will shrink will be my collection of longboxes. 

  53. @drakedangerz – exactly my philosophy as well.

  54. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Jimski’s turned me around on the whole issue of tangible comics. It’s easy to be romantic about the value of art as a physical thing. Tactile is great. Scent is great. But in the end, it’s a fetish. It’s harmless until you look at the questions of economy and environmental sustainability. We will be sacrificing the comic-as-art-object, but it’s not such a big loss. Especially when you consider all the trees you’ll be saving. There are so many other benefits too. I love the feeling of paper, but if the price of paper is keeping potential new writers and artists and stories from seeing the light of day (and it is) I’ll be glad to see a change in the way we get our comics. 

  55. @Paul: I feel so dirty now….

    I said it on twitter but maybe if I had a dozen or more longboxes; I’d understand more of the appeal for this.

  56. I can’t wait to give this a shot. If it is half as good as it seems from the screen cast I will gladly give these folks my money. Think of it, if Longbox succeeds then others might want to start their own digital distro service and that can only mean good things for us.

  57. @Paul-Plus, what keeps people from purchasing the story as a trade after reading the singles on Longbox?  Nothing.  It will still be entirely possible to hold the artwork in your hand.  That’s mostly why that particular arguement about digital comics is lost to me.

  58. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @drake – I’d rather own the cheaper digital issues and one bound copy of a comic arc (at a discount) than own the physical single issues and the bound edition. 

  59. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @drake – You’re also describing a flaw in the consumer, not a flaw in the application.

  60. I am excited for this.

     1) I will buy more comics.  trying an issue or subscribing to a series for 99 cents! you can’t beat it.  there are many books i would love to read but can;t because 2.99 and 3.99 gets to be too much.

    2) Instant gratification!  No more having figure out the time to go to the LCS.  Since Marvel and DC aren’t on Longbox yet, i’ll still go, but this will tied me over for a few days.

    3) No more clutter of single issues makes me and my wife happy.

    4) Discounts on trades and subscriptions.

    5) I honestly like the digital comic experience.  Software like http://comicrack.cyolito.com/ makes reading comics digitally enjoyable and easy.

    I can’t wait for the Beta. 


  61. @Paul-True, but most of the consumers that are against the idea use that arguement.  I was just trying to point that out.


  62. This looks pretty cool,but for me, I like to buy things I can physically hold in my hand. I did a month of digital comics from Marvel, and it’s ok, but my eyes tire quickly from reading books off the computer screen. As long as they continue to print comics books, that will be my preferred format.

  63. @crazychris Tell your eyes to man up!!

  64. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Gotcha. I misread your last sentence.  

  65. that being said, I’ll definitely use this to try new books.

  66. so profoundly looking forward to this…

  67. This thread is terrifying.  I hope Mr. Hoseley is able to take the nonsense in stride.

    I would love to have the opportunity to take part in the Beta.  The product looks nice, but I echo PraxJarvin’s concern about how the book fits and works with the screen.  However, I’m not sure the Longbox folks really have any control over that.  It seems like a publisher issue.  

    @PraxJarvin – Could you provide a link to your paper? I’d like to take a look at it.  

  68. Thankyou @gobo and @josh. I have a feeling I"ll be giving a lot of Boom a try when I get my hands on this.

  69. @Paul Of course there are the strange cases like me who only own decades old vertigo series in trade and trade waits only three series. 😉 Everything else I own is in issues. Is it a fetish? Perhaps. However, aren’t we just trading one for another? We’ve created a whole new culture around a little portable box that can contain many different media forms. The shift to digital for music has worked because music isn’t tangible. Sure you have the CD and liner notes, but the music itself exists in the ethereal sound waves. Taking out the physicality of the CD doesn’t change the way in which you engage with music. Taking out the physicality of the book or comic book changes how you interact with the text. They’re small, maybe not even noticeable, but they do exist. And I would argue they contribute to the resistance of digitizing this media. Now, things like Longbox and the Kindle are helping to change perceptions of digitizing books/comics but there haven’t been the long strides forward like there have been for music. 

  70. I am excited about the possibilities that Longbox presents, but I remain cautious because of the number of publishers signed on.  This is great for books that fail to meet Diamond’s minimum issue order quantity.

    @Paul: I think your solution would be my prefferred method.  $1 issues with some sort of opportunity to purchase the collected physical copy.  Doesn’t save on space in the long run, but at least it would be an option. 

  71. @stuclach My harddrive crashed in June and I lost all my files, so I can’t post it to a site. I do have a physical copy of the paper, but it requires me transcribing it to get it online. Once I get my thesis finished, I’ll happily post it though. Thanks for the interest.

  72. @prax, you said it all man

  73. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Prax – Read my comments again. You’re forgetting some things I said about the well-being of trees and money and more writers and artists being able to distribute their stories and support themselves. I didn’t say it wasn’t somewhat of a compromise for those reasons you said. I actually did the complete opposite by saying it was. 

  74. When reading digital comics.. i rotate the image 90 degrees, blow it up t full screen and then hold my MBP like a book.  it makes for a heavy virtual comic book, but if/when we get a decent color e-book reader or useful tablet computer, i’d happily pick one up to enhance my reading experiences on a computer. 

  75. @PraxJarvin – Take your time.  I’ll read it when you get a chance to put it out there.

    Good luck with the thesis.  That was a stressful time for me (My first daughter was born as I was getting into the nitty-gritty).

  76. @Prax — except… not really. You read a book with your eyes. Touching and smelling the page are tactile functions, but they are NOT part of the story. So the story is absorbed via the eyes in the same manner that music if taken in through the auditory canals.

    Yes, it’s trading one form for another, but there are distinct advances in the digital form. Once everything is DATA, you can manipulate it in so many new ways. I would never argue that an MP3 sounds better than something on CD or vinyl. But I don’t mind MP3s because I think they sound fine (and music snobs would disagree and that’s their right) and because I can manipulate that data in so many different and convenient ways. So, I think reader technology will improve until the screen, but I also think the readers will changes his/her habits and become accustomed to reading off of a screen.

  77. To Paul’s point about creators being able to distribute their stories: Has LongBox revealed anything about the process behind this? I’d be very curious to read the contracts. 


  78. Until Marvel is involved, I’m not at all interested.

    I do love digital comics though, read hundreds of Marvel comics on DVD ROM.  If they offer a lower price, and get Marvel, I’m in.  X-Men Utopia is a comic I’d read digitally.  Mostly  skimming, cause it’s not that good.

  79. @daccampo Except that they are. 😉 I’ll refer you to Marshall McLuhan and Walter Ong for better explanations of it, but they both posit that the tactile nature of holding the book is just as important as what’s on the page. For McLuhan, it’s even more important. The nature of any medium shapes the way you interact with its content. Indeed McLuhan calls reading a tactile medium. (He also says that Comics are tactile because of their origin in the wood cut). As well, reading something with light reflected off of it, light on, is better for your eyes than reading something with light cast through it, light through.

    I can’t deny that converting things to data make them easier to manipulate and that is cool. But really, that means next to nothing to me as a consumer.

  80. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    That’s the spirit! Narrow your horizons! 

    Where’s the emoticon that indicates a wince?  

  81. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Prax – Yes, but the trees and the money and the ability for indie creators to, ya know, create…

  82. So, what specifically does holding the book communicate to me that I’m not getting otherwise? Is that what transmits the smugness?

  83. @Smasher No details have been revealed but many creators have said that selling the same # of books on Longbox as they do in print they’ll make FAR more money.

    @KickAss Why are you so adamant against trying new books from different companies? 

  84. @Prax There is definitely a difference between reading a book and reading it on a screen, especially pure text (I find the difference far less when it comes to comics), but for me that sacrifice is nowhere near a big enough issue to keep me from enjoying the convenience, selection and knowing creators will be able to eat better that something like Longbox will provide.

  85. Intrigued by the potential cost savings.

    If for every week you buy would a $3.99 comic you replace it with a $.99 digital copy instead, by years end you end up saving $156.00.

    I’m putting my savings toward a bigger TV and lasik surgery 🙂

  86. I’m super excited at the possibility of being able to read my Longbox comics on (a hopeful) HDTV through Xbox Live or the WiiWare

  87. @PraxJarvin The creators of the art aren’t aware of "how" their material will be published, are they?  It didn’t enter into their creative process beyond knowing the dimensions of how they should frame their pages.  I think the discussion of digital comics vs physical comics will end up in the same realm as digital audio vs vinyl.  Both options will exist if required and everyone will end up with choice.

    I’m am neither an audiophile nor a bibliophile, so real/digital comparisons based on fidelity are lost on me. I will still buy comics that I really enjoy in physical form if they’re available and I’ll dabble in new comics in digital form. 

  88. @Paul I’m not arguing that there aren’t possibilities in it. Indeed, I’m all for it. It’s just not for me. As for Trees and money… Comics have within the past 5 or so years, switched to a higher recycled paper percentage than most novels. As well, while it costs money for a truly indie creator to get a book published, any of the publishing houses in comics – from largest to smallest – will tell you the main cost of comics is to pay the creators and not for paper or printing. 

  89. So for self publishers largely shut out of Diamond now, this is a viable possibility.  Most of those type don’t get paid in the first place, because the printing costs are too high to make a profit.  This is another avenue.  I’m excited about that.

  90. @Prax That’s true for non creator owned comics, the MUCH smaller runs of independent books means they can’t make the savings on scaled that DC and Marvel do. 

    Jamie McKelvie and others have specifically said that they can’t afford to make books on paper anymore with the current market size.

  91. Yeah, I will likely just be using LongBox to try things and buy things I’m on the fence about, until my LCS shuts down. Not that I hope it ever will.

  92. This discussion is blowing my mind O_0

    @Gobo-The idea of reading a comic on my HDTV is amazing.  I know it’s supposed to come out on Xbox Live, but is WiiWare supporting it as well?  Haven’t heard about that one yet.

  93. @Prax — Oh, I’m familiar with McLuhan (though not Ong), but I don’t necessarily agree. I do agree there is something about holding a book, and I do agree that it DOES have an affect on the experience. But I don’t necessarily agree that it actually affects the reading of the STORY itself. Am I making sense? I see a distinction between a human holding paper and a human holding a screen, but not in how they take the story into their brain.

    Now, to be clear: I DO understand the difference in passive meda like film and TV and that of a book. I do understand that that processing of information is different between those things. But we’re not talking about that (and that may not be your point, but I just want to be clear). But with a book vs. an eBook, you’re still interacting. You move at your own pace, you turn the "page," etc. So that doesn’t change. The biggest difference would be the screen vs. the paper. Here, unlike TV or film, the eBook is TRYING to copy the reading experience.

    Now, I do NOT deny that reading paper is better than reading a screen. I definitely agree with you there. But I’m looking forward to the fact that e-reader folks are (from what I’ve read) making great advances in e-ink and technologies that do a lot to mimic paper, AND the fact that I feel this is an acceptable sacrifice and it is not as bad as folks think it is. After all, I spend all day at a computer screen, and I’ve become rather accustomed to it.

  94. Lest anyone think I’m downing the Kool Aid, I’m not in love with the design style of the interface.  It’s a little too… Tron for me.  I’d like it more with a sort of OSX app aesthetic.  But that wouldn’t stop me from using it.  I bet you’d be able to re-skin it at some point anyway.  And there’s a new market for people…

  95. @drake What I’ve read is that the Wii is actually more likely than Xbox Live but everything aside from Windows/OSX is unannounced and just vaguely "in the works".

    The problems with the iphone and xbox live is that Apple/MS will take a cut of every sale made through the system which eats into the profits so they have to figure out if it’s viable or see if they can come to an agreement with them to minimize the cut or something

  96. I forgot about the Wii possibility! Comics on my living room TV would change the game into yet another game. It’s like the more we talk about it, the more I have to look forward to.

  97. @Gobo- I’ve read tons of independent books.  Just not interested if they don’t have Marvel books.

  98. My LCS very rarely gets extra books that aren’t from the big companies, so I miss out on trying new stuff all the time. They will only order an issue, if it’s presold, basically you signed up to buy it via previews. I’m the type of person that would rather flip through a book before I pick it up. So I think this would be ideal. Especially if a series doesn’t really get good for several issues, you read the current, and you don’t have to go back issue hunting or wait for the trade, you just buy them in Longbox and read them instantly. Just looking forward to being able to pick up the stuff I can’t seem to get from the LCS without a prior commitment.

  99. @KickAss Why isn’t it interesting to be able to read all your independent books on Longbox, you can still go buy your Marvel books. Why does it have to be all or nothing?

  100. Ok, I’m actually going to try and answer questions (because I’m crazy like that)

    @SteenAR – Current release date is October 2009.

    @Zombox – Most single issue titles will be $0.99 Publishers across the board have been fine with this.

    @Jim – There is a ‘no frills’ option, that turns off the page animations and the UI shell so you are just seeing the pages.

    Also – the UI is skinnable.

    @drakedangerz – Hadn’t thought about having a ‘reset spoilers’ option, but it’d be easy to do.  Hmmm, excuse me, gonna go talk to the programmers. BRB. Also, yes archival material will be a part of the catalogue as well as current material and there are suggested publisher guidelines for the composition/percentage of archival-to-current material released.

    @thisisegan – I think Gobo covered most of them, there are a few more publisher announcements coming up in the near future.

    @PraxJarvin – We’re currently dealing with the content people want to read (i.e. comics that are out in print), that is created on a portrait aspect ratio as opposed to landscape.  For ‘first run’ content done as periodicals on LongBox, then moving to print collections, I see a high likelyhood of creating using a landscape aspect ratio, since they won’t be restricted to the standard format that most retailers prefer to rack in terms of format for a monthly book.

    I’ll try to answer more questions later…

  101. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    If I’m to understand KickAss correctly, he wants Marvel to jump on board so…he can skim through a book he doesn’t like? I read the comment three times and I swear that’s what it said. 

  102. Thankyou @RantzH. Love hearing stuff from officail sorces.

  103. @RantzH-Thanks for the answers!!  They all fill me with glee.

  104. @RantzH – Thank you for taking part in this discussion.  I think you are giving the kinds of answers we want to hear.  Keep up the good work.

  105. @Paul – maybe $0.99 is the perfect pricepoint for just keeping up with continuity so you’re not lost when the book gets better?

    Seriously, that’s something Marvel and DC should be considering.


  106. @RantzH Thank you very much for your answers. 

  107. @RantzH, thanks for addressing the questions, very much looking forward to this being available.

  108. @Josh the interface kiils me too, it screams Winamp circa 1997. That said, I look forward to it as a whole.

  109. Well, cool!  I don’t mind trying it out a few times just to see how it fits me.

  110. @josh it reminds me of the kind of interface that you see in comic games too. Freedom Force, COH/COV and Champions Online all have that same "comic"y interface.  Very glad @RantzH came by to confirm that the UI would be skinnable.

  111. How many of you will on longer buy any paper comics. this looks awesome but I couldn’t imagine only reading comics in digital format. I love the way paper comics feel, smell, look, but a way to read comics that is cheaper and doesn’t take up space in my house to cool to resist.

  112. @adickhead I can’t imagine ditching physical comics at any point. What will I do when a storm rips through, my devices have no juice and I want to read a comic to pass away the time?  

  113. Just to clarify, before I head off, I am definitely willing to check it out. And may even use it for stuff like Muppets from Boom. But I just don’t see it as my primary source of comics.

  114. I really do hope that the Linux version will be available day one. I’m quite interested in Longbox.

  115. It looks neat i like the idea of losing my stacks of singles. but i still like the feel of paper. i could get used to reading the singles digital and get the trades/hardcovers of the stuff i like. i really hope the all the companys get on board, cause i rather not have to multiple accounts and programs for digital comics.

  116. @adickhead I will buy every (monthly) comic through Longbox (or the like) exclusively.  I’m ready to go all digital for monthlies right now.

  117. The UI is skinnable. It did not even occur to me that that would be a Thing with people, but even that has already been considered.

    My only regret about going to San Diego was not getting the chance to buy this man a meal. But I suppose I’ll be sending plenty of money his way soon enough.

  118. I think digital comics will help the industry. people can get their self-made comics read without paying for printing and more people I think will try comics if they can just get them from the internet. I will never go full digital but I will try longbox. I know people who still buy CDs. I know people who still buy LPs for that matter. so I don’t think it is the end of paper comics.


  119. I could have introduced you.

  120. I know! I didn’t think about it. I was too busy gawking at Castle Grayskull.

  121. @Paul- I find X-Men Utopia mediocre.  So I’d give it a test run on this system.  Not hard to understand, don’t keep re-reading the statement.  *Wink!

  122. @adickhead: I am ready to never have to touch a new single issue comic book. I will still buy trades and collections, however.

  123. So Marvel and "many other big names" are now connected with Playstation and the PSP for digital comic distribution, how do you think this will affect things?

  124. @adickhead – what Conor said. Although with the caveat that before I do this, I need the right reader. A color Kindle or some kind of Appley Tablety thing. 😉 I won’t go full digital if my main reading time would involve sitting in front of a desktop screen. I need something that can handle the portrait-style format well as well, as most comics will still be produced in that style.

  125. @Tex I think it’ll potentially bring in new readers, but I don’t see it being much of a problem for LongBox. I have no desire to read comics on my TV or my PSP. Those form factors just don’t work for me.

  126. @daacampo portability will be a big factor in the success of this product…. and the PSP isn’t going to be that device.  My iPhone is too small for me to enjoy comics on.  I need something at least netbook-y in size that can nicely display a comic.

  127. @Tex it really doesn’t. We don’t require exclusives, and it doesn’t affect any of the discussions ongoing. 

     I started writing about 5 different things after that, but it all goes into NDA-territory, and I can’t do that.  So. Hard. Being. Quiet. About. Shit.

  128. @Daccampo: My sentiments exactly.  I do think that there are some format implications though.  Whilie artistically limiting, if the comic was designed for digital consumption on the iPhone (for example) an artist could design panels specifically for that device.  For example I think a 9 panel page could be executed perfectly this way.  Like I said, this is just an option to developing some sort of reader.  I don’t think I could read my books on a computer screen after staring at one for 10 hours a day at work.

  129. I will not read digital comics until that is the ONLY way to get them. So until Print dies completely, make mine material!

  130. You made your point.

  131. I’m totally willing to drink the Kool-Aid on this. GIMMIE!


  132. Agree that the UI still needs some visual work, but the potential for this thing is great.  I’m really looking forward to giving this thing a spin.

    @ActualButt – I totally prefer print as well. Comics is not music. But if I can preview a book for $0.99 as opposed to shelling out $3 or $4 for an issue, why not?  Then start picking up the trades (which is what I read anyway).

  133. If it’s cheaper than print with the same selection, I will switch in a heartbeat. Then for the really good stuff I’ll get trades.

  134. I wonder how, if at all, this will affect the look of a comics page. Will artists start using the format to play with layout in ways they may not be able to in print form?

  135. @PraxJarvin the color quality will be superior to printedcomics.  They aren’t scanning issues in, they are coming right out of the publisher’s digital process (at least from what I understand)

  136. @broderboy: It’s true. The review PDFs that we sometimes get/see are beautiful compared to the printed editions.

  137. I’m with @conor – this could be a first step towards me buying way less paper single issues and way more trades.  I buy weekly because I love taking part in the discussion of comics every week, but I prefer reading and owning trades.  If it becomes possible to buy from all the pubs on Longbox, I can easily see myself keeping my comics budget the same, buying all my single issues digitally, and buying trades and collected editions of my favorite stuff with the saved money.

  138. Digital comics cannot come quickly enough for me. 

  139. More answers and/or comments…

    @NaveenM – I’m curious in what regard (concenring the UI).  Aside from the ‘style’ aspect (and sorry Josh, I grew up on Tron.  Tron is my life.  That’s a joke. Really.).  I’m not asking that to be snarky at all, I’m genuinely curious.  The style/look aspects, and the "I don’t want ANY UI" aspects I totally get, so when someone has concerns or issues with the UI aside from those, I’m genuinely interested in learning what they are.  We *do* try to listen here at LongBox Central…

    @beatdisciple – Already happening. There are a few creators who plan on ‘leading’ on LongBox, and going to TPB/HC after the story is complete.  In those cases there has been a lot of discussion back n forth on page size/format/etc.

    @broderboy – as Conor commented, yes, for current titles there is no ‘scanning’ involved, the output is direct from the digital layout files.  From a creator’s POV, you can’t get much more WYSIWYG (unlike print where there is a difference between what the creator sees on the screen (most of the time) and what ends up coming off the press)

    and thank you to everyone for the enthusiasm and excitement.  I can’t wait to get this is everyone’s hands.


  140. Please give Mr. Hoseley as much feedback as you can while you have access to him.  That is how you can help create the poduct you want.  If you don’t like something, tell him why and what you think would be better.  This is essentially extremely focused market research.  Quality goes up as interaction increases.

    That you again, Mr. Hoseley, for caring enough about the quality of your product to be here. 

  141. This seems much Slicker than I thought it was going to be. I dig the magnify feature much more than i thought I would.  This would be very cool to take a chance on samll press books.  i just still have a great deal of reservations in reading any digital content.  I tire of staring a screen after awhile and like the fact that I can take a prose or comic book with me into a quite space and not be chained to some type of screen or keypad for a while.

  142. @Rantz Speaking of the UI, I’m just sort of anti anything that doesn’t fit in seamlessly with the look and feel of the OS.  I’m sure you’ve seen me gush enough to know that it’s not going to stop me from using it but as soon as there’s an OSX skin I’m going to be installing it.

  143. So question…this will be available for Canadians right?

  144. That’s a really good question, and could depend on gobo’s very life.

  145. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    That would have to be classified under tragicomedy. 

  146. @RantzH – Good to know you’re open to the end user. I’m amazed at how many software developers aren’t that way. To the point: actually, my problem with isn’t with the UI layout, it is more with the color scheme. Customization or a set of choices might be nice, at least in a 2.0 version.  As to the overall UI, it looks ok, but I’ll have to try it to really be able to give crits.


  147. I have fully accepted that it won’t be available in Canada for another 5 years.  The only plus to this…is that all the bugs should be worked out by then.

  148. Oh it had better be available in Canada right away… I’m really hopeful since we’re all on the same system as the americans when it comes to comic shipping, it’s not like there’s any weird localization stuff like there was with Music.

    Admittedly I’ve had waves of panic about a canadian release every time we talk about Longbox.  I feel like Luthor must feel thinking about the possibility of the new Batgirl being named Terry McGinnis

  149. This is getting me more excited for digital comics, hopefully i can spend less on issues and finally pick up some trades i’ve been meaning to buy for eons.

    Does this mean that every book image puts out will go digital as well or will only a select number go digital? (ignore me if this has already been answered) 

  150. @shenanigans I think when it comes to non-topcow image it’s up to the creators themselves to put their comics on.

  151. @cenquist – we’re in final paperwork stage to deal with the launch regions.  The current plan is to launch (barring complications) in North America (including Canada), the UK, Australia, & NZ, as well as a possible couple of others.  Expansion to other regions within a year of launch (such as the EU, etc)

    @NaveenM – I know what you mean (RE: Dev attitudes). I’ve been doing software dev for 16 years as it still amazes me how many developers don’t take their users into account, or get so caught up in their own design or ideas that they forget the users.  Thank you for the UI feedback, much appreciated.

    @Shenanigans – We’ve announced Image creators that have signed on, and there are more publisher announcements upcoming. (How’s that for answering without answering? 😉 )

  152. I can’t wait. I don’t need all the doodads and stuff. Just a reading window, a list of what I own and a list of what I can buy or subscribe to.

  153. @Rantz You have just made me a very happy man.  Nice to see something launched simultaneously in Canada for once.

  154. I didn’t realize the creators had that much control over how their books are published, just thought the company took over everything once a story was given to them. 

    Its great that I will be able to get it in NZ, because I’m heading back home next year and will be mostly likely be a full stime student, so every dollar i can save the better. Hopefully issues will cost .99 NZ cents (crosses fingers)

  155. This looks great and I’m looking forward to it, but the real limitation is that it’s not very portable. Handheld devices are great but not for reading comics. Laptops on busy transit systems are not the smartest idea either. Until someone releases a good colour e-reader, Longbox won’t be able to beat the portablility of a physical comic. 

  156. I don’t think this is about supplanting print comics, as opposed to supplementing them.

  157. Apparently Marvel just annouced they are going to put their comics on the PSP too.

    So we have comixology.com doing their own version of Longbox. Now we have Marvel doing a portal version of their digital service, almost the same way as Rantz put it.

    This is a legit question I wanna ask: Do these copycats make you nervous? Or do you think people will ignore these options and go straight to you? I really want to know cause I haven’t heard him discuss his competition that has appeared in less then 2 months.

  158. Here’s the link to the Marvel news I just found. Sorry, forgot to post it on my original post.


  159. @TNC: He discussed the Marvel thing in these very comments.

  160. @conor: Ah Okay, let me read them

    (reads his comments) And he says it doesn’t effect them?

    What? You have Marvel and potentially other bigger name companies in talks with the (arguably) the largest electronic conglomerate in the world. Sony could do so much with Marvel comics now that they are linked digitally. PSP is a great start; but then they could hit the PS3, they could provide Marvel a better way of showing comics online, the digital world is their oyster!

    But Rantz thinks it won’t effect him? I understand he wants to keep hush on aspects of his product and be indifferent to competition knocking on his door. But this is something you can’t ignore. If Marvel mixes up with Sony, what’s next? DC, maybe Image wants to get into that if they are a better partner, manga corportations (like VIZ) could team up with Sony. This is huge!

  161. @TNC: I’m betting he has a better idea on how is business is run and what their strategies are than you do.

  162. @conor: So you have no problem with this announcement? That Longbox will be okay while Marvel hits it up with the big boys?

    You can’t ignore this or just brush it to the side. This could be a serious blow to this application and I can’t imagine people are going to stay loyal if the big publishers are going to go all out.

  163. There were men in expensive pants with Rantz.  They had 3 letter titles that started with C and ended with O.  Do you think they’re checking this thread and getting worried?  I bet they are.

  164. @josh: I bet those guys are seriously pissed right now.

  165. Or they’re smart and prepared businessmen who didn’t come up with a business model bereft of the concept of competition.  If you’re putting together a business, and you don’t plan for that, and think your product will win in the end, you wouldn’t have succeeded anyway. 

    Not everyone has a PSP, but almost everyone has a computer.  That’s a bigger potential market right there. And if it’s product that they don’t share, it’s not really competition.

  166. @josh: You don’t think Marvel won’t get their comics onto PS3’s or work with them to make their online format more accessible? You don’t think the big companies will over shadow the indie man with Rantz? Sony could advertise the hell out of this deal and make it worth for everyone to try out this new system.

    A whole nation with Japan could be using Marvel’s application within a year or two. 47 million people across the globe has a PSP. That is more then enough people to market and make a bigger profit then Longbox. Rantz will have to work hard to get people onto his application while Sony has, at least, a good 1/4th of their costumers on board. As a business view, this is not looking good for Longbox.

    On the other side, people will still go for Longbox for the indie comics and maybe manga. It’s probably something that could work for the application but they will seriously need to think of something quick to fix this situation. Maybe get DC on their side so they can have a battle going there. Like a Pepsi-Coke type of competition going. 

  167. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Are you wearing a Napoleon costume by any chance? Do you have charts, and are they tacked directly to the walls? 

  168. How should I respond to the above post?

    A) Passive agressive joke

    B) Go insane

    Can’t have a serious business discussion on this topic. Just can’t do it.



  170. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!!!!

    P.S.  Longbox will be massive amounts of sweets.

  171. It’s like being at a party, and everyone’s chatting and having a good time, and then one dude comes in and starts trying to convince everyone that they’re not actually having a good time, and it’s all for nothing, and then he gets mad at everyone for not taking him seriously.  And it happens twice a week.

    You can feel free to keep trying to poke holes in the success of this business, but if you don’t care about it, I can’t see, for the life of me why you’re still putting in the time and effort.  Your comics are all going to be exactly the same way they were.  

    I can only speak for me, and I don’t have a PSP anymore, so i don’t really care. Not a game changer for me in the least.

  172.  I’ve tried comics on the iphone and it kinda sucks, comics on my laptop is cool due the size being similar to a actual comic, but what about comics on a giant tv? Has anyone tried it, does the art get better or worse?

  173. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’m stumped on the comics on a TV thing. Optimal viewing distance tends to dictate where you put your furniture. You won’t be able to read the page from your couch, so you end up standing or sitting on the floor directly in front of the TV? Some kind of portable tablet seems like the optimal choice.

  174. I can tell you this.  Comics on my TV?  I don’t want that.  If others do, bully for them.

  175. @TNC-I think that the PSP app will go over as well as the iphone app.  And nobody seems to really like it because it is too small.

    And I actually doubt them getting to the PS3 platform because there isn’t enough $ in it for Sony.  Unless they option the Spider-Man franchise out to Sony’s movie studio for a greater length of time.

    That much having been said, I cannot wait to see comics on my big-ass LCD TV!!

    Also (even though it has been said) getting a discount on trades based off of what I have already been purchasing would be sweet.

  176. Ohhh, my beloved LCD TV? I’d be all over that. The pages would be the size of a mini-fridge. I’d just stand in front of them like an imbecile.

  177. Chairs with wheels attached solves the issue of moving the couch.  But if TV use isn’t your bag, that’s cool.  I like having the option, though.

  178. The thought of having a huge double-page spread of a giant black lantern Spectre up on my TV is damn near magical.  Add in a bowl of ice cream and footy pajamas and I’d call it heaven.

  179. I could be in a minority obviously. I’m OK with that.

  180. Don’t artists draw their layouts quite large anyway and shrink them done into comic size? So in theory the art would be better. Hurry up and give me longbox so i can hook it up to my tv!!

  181. Ok, let’s say that computers don’t exist.  There are NOT close to 2 billion (at last estimate) installed Mac & PCs worldwide.  Game systems are the ONLY form of digital entertainment available to you. So, stats, then…

    14 million installed PSPs + 10 Million installed PS3s worldwide. (47 million installed… jesus, Sony wishes)

    vs. almost 40 Million XBox 360s worldwide

    vs. close to 70 million installed Nintendo Wiis worldwide + double that number for DSs.

    Those are INSTALLED numbers, not ‘shipped’.  Not sitting in warehouses or stores waiting to be purchased… those are consoles and devices actually PURCHASED.

    Notice in all of our mentioning of "supporting game consoles", we’ve mentioned various consoles, but never Sony PS3? (or for that matter, PSP) There’s a reason the majority of ‘star developers’ (Rockstar, Square, Konami, etc) that used to be PS-exclusive or lead by a year with PS before appearing on other platforms AREN’T doing so anymore.  They either aren’t on the platform at all, or they do multi-sku simultaneous launch.  TNC you can be loudly skeptical, to the point of being abrasive and rude, but it doesn’t change my previous statement.  It also assumes that any digital comic-related announcement that comes out these days is a surprise or shock to me.  Both the games industry, and the comic industry is very very small and everyone knows everyone (or is seperated by one degree)

    Also, as we’ve said many many times, none of our distribution agreements is exclusive. So again… it doesn’t affect our ongoing plans or business discussions.  As Josh noted, if you do business in a reactive sense… trying to play catch-up, and freaking out when something comes out you get… well… the majority of crap that is out there.  You spend a few years doing the biz dev ahead of time and planning out your launch, your one year expansion, and your market growth accounting for 100+ different variables over 5 years, with projections and options for 10?  That’s a bit of a wiser approach to take.

  182. 99 cent comics + less physical copies clutter.  This cannot come sooner.  Can’t wait.

  183. I could tell because of the expensive pants.

  184. I don’t care about the lack of marvel. My monthlies are a unch of independant books + a few Vertigo titles. I’ll pay 2.99 for my Hellblazer and madame Xanadu.

    And then go to Longbox and buy FOUR BOOM BOOKS for what I would have paid for one physical Boom book!

    And independant creators! And all of these smaller publishers that I know of but have never seen a book of theirs in the store?! I CAN BUY THEM NOW AND ReAD THEM.



  185. The pants never lie, Josh.

  186. I’m not wearing pants.

  187. Conor, would you please take this seriously?

  188. Sorry.

    *kicks a can*

  189. It is written somewhere that a man must wear pants in order to be taken seriously?  Tell that to Hawkeye.

  190. Well… here I go:

    @PaulMontgomery – reread some of your responses. Just adding fuel to the fire. Relax. Making fun of a member is not a good way to sustain a community.

    @Josh – venting about a member on a thread is adding a ton of fuel to the fire, especially when it’s done by an operator. Also the operators’ tone and behaviour shows other members how far they can stretch the "be nice to each other" rule (of sorts). The operators of this website seem to have looked away when posts that as far as I can tell, contradict the website’s purpose or nature were posted, because they feel the same way or are simply worn out with extinguishing fires.

    I of course have no insight into your lives or thoughts, and this is a crude and very public way to criticize, and who am I to speak? I realize all that, but this situation seems to escalate and it seems like the end will be TNCs banning from the website or a forceful "resignation". Also it seems there will be a new status quo where members can insult each other, and that won’t end well.

    Please everyone (and yes, I’m assuming the role of the saint which doesn’t fit me at all – I know I’m a hypocrite), reread your posts and other people’s posts. Are you sure that’s a wise way to act? Couldn’t this have been done less publicly? (I realize the irony) .

    It’s shit like that that made me quit. iFanboy is deteriorating, and you can throw at it Einstein level material and it still won’t  be a place I want to be in. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe I’m being rude or insensitive. Maybe I’m being a dick or the only guy that doesn’t see that you’re right in your actions and words. Maybe I’m stepping over my boundaries. But I felt it needed to be said. 

    This website holds great  intelligent people, great daily content, and caters to a lot of people and helped a lot of people. I’d hate to see it end or change shape. We could all use a drink right about now.

  191. The argument is well over. Let’s keep it to Longbox, please.

  192. @conor – it isn’t. People hold a grudge, and people get bitter over time. It’s escelating. Do I have to make a movie? I have stage fright.

    People don’t forget and they won’t start a fresh page based on the topic and thread. It still boils. As many people in this website once said – there are people behind those avatars.

  193. Okay, seriously, move on. This isn’t the forum.


  194. @Josh – They WERE very expensive pants.

  195. I’ve read a few comics using my TV as a computer monitor. They looked amazing but I had to sit on the floor right in front of the screen in order to read them. 🙁

  196. I’m eagerly looking forward to this. As an expat American, this seems like a good way to still keep up with issues and avoid shipping expenses. Then I can just collect the trades which look so much nicer on the shelf.

  197. I really don’t tihnk that reading them on the TV is going to work for me, but they’re sure as hell going to look nice on my 24" iMac, so I can’t wait for this to come out.  I have a PSP and an iPhone, and I just can’t see them as a medium for serious comic reading. The iverse stuff is well presented on the iPhone, but just not how I’d prefer to read them long term.  I would also love it, if someone came up with a nice touch screen tablet for me to read my books on, doesn’t need to be e-ink, because I don’t need a battery that lasts 5 days.

  198. I’m definitely going to try it on my TV at some point, especially since I remember hearing it won’t cost extra to play something I already bought on the 360 or Wii

  199. Based on what I am seeing in the "Archie gets married" thread, it looks like Archie will be the deal breaker.  Will Longbox carry Archie comics?  The world waits with bated breath.

  200. If this is covered by the screencast then apologies, but I’m not at home until the weekend and can’t view the video until then.

     Is Longbox going to be US-only or will I be able to use, buy and download without restriction in the UK? PLEASE be international!!

  201. @GimpTactics, @RantzH addressed it earlier, here’s what he had to say.

     "we’re in final paperwork stage to deal with the launch regions.  The current plan is to launch (barring complications) in North America (including Canada), the UK, Australia, & NZ, as well as a possible couple of others.  Expansion to other regions within a year of launch (such as the EU, etc)"

  202. @GimpTactics~  Rantz covered this in an earlier post, but he said:

    "We’re in final paperwork stage to deal with the launch regions.  The current plan is to launch (barring complications) in North America (including Canada), the UK, Australia, & NZ, as well as a possible couple of others.  Expansion to other regions within a year of launch (such as the EU, etc)"

    In regards to the Marvel PSP thing, it doesn’t seem readily exclusive to that system alone, and the details of the deal don’t indicate the newness of the comics that will be coming out.  It could just be access to the digital stuff they already have up, and Sony is going to price the comics (which means they will probably charge through the nose).  And not everybody with a PSP will buy the comics.  

    Make mine Longbox! 

  203. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @GimpTactics – Rantz confirmed up above a ways that Longbox will be available in the UK at launch. North America, UK, Australia, NZ, plus a few others. EU within a year. 

  204. @GimpTactics It was stated above that they will be launching in the UK as well as NZ, Australia, and North America (including Canada.) I’m assuming it will be abround a pound per comic. I can’t wait 🙂

  205. Are self-published/indie publishers going to be available through Longbox? Or is it just for established publishers with a "name"?

  206. They said there would be a process to indies to submit their stuff to Longbox

  207. I haven’t been able to afford to buy comics regularly for nearly five years now. Longbox will change that, and for that, I am very grateful and excited. Will I still buy the ocassional single issue(s)? Sure. I still buy CDs, but mostly I buy my music digitally. So for me, it’ll be the best of both worlds. And you can bet that if I download something on Longbox that I love, I’ll be buying the trade eventually so I have that sweet physical presence on my bookshelf.

  208. Is it just me or does that interface look real nasty. I am not opposed to the idea of digital comics but someone needs to work on their UI that looks cluttered confusing, overly flashy and a bit tacky. Hasn’t won my vote at this stage but time will tell, this is only a beta.

  209. @mike A few of us have commented on the UI but it will be skinnable so hurray!

  210. Sigh.  I might as well go ahead and have my laptop grafted to my body.  I’ll have a stand attached to my chest, like the ones for handless harmonica playing, only bigger.

  211. @Rantz You mentioned DS before, I remember you saying it wouldn’t be on the DS because of colour palette issues, does the DSi have a better palette and so it’ll only be on the new ones?  Did you find a workaround?  Or were you just posting general Nintendo numbers?

  212. didn’t see this in any of the comment.  Will new comics still be released on Wednesdays?  New comics on wednesdays is like having a friday in the middle of the week.

  213. go to bed for a few hours and miss all the fun.  The recently announced Marvel/Sony deal doesn’t affect me in the least. I’m not reading comics on my PSP or my TV.  Of course, if I got two 70" TV, and mounted them on the wall vertically so I could see two pages of comics in portrait mode… that would be awesome.  excuse me.. I’ve gotta go get my front room ready for that…

  214. I’m beyond excited for this. 99 cent titles alone have me feeling all warm and fuzzy about the money I’ll save each week. And not having the headache of getting to my shop, only to find out that one title I was looking to pick up was sold out already, etc.

  215. @ProjectX2 – On a Hi-Def TV, it looks amazing.  I warned my wife that many hour may be spent laying in bed reading comics on the big screen TV in the name of ‘research and application analysis’ On standard def. TV’s yeah… it’s a bit more of an issue since the resolution is so low.

    @NaveenM – As noted, there is a submission project for indie/self-publishers to submit their books to be carried on LongBox. Details on the process and procedures will be released towards the end of the year.

    @ultimatehoratio – Hmmmm, I think we’ve just identified our first piece of LongBox merch…

    @wayne2001bc – we’re discussing that with publishers now.  New comics will be released on the same day every week, but we’re still going back and forth on which day of the week that is, since we have to have the majority agree on that.


  216. Oh, missed this…

    @gobo – The DS has palette and memory restrictions which would prevent the ‘one stop’ publishing to all platforms, but the DL capabilities and expanded memory capabilities of the DSi change that a bit. The point was more that Sony is not the 800 pound gorilla it once was.

  217. If this is as good as it looks, I would definitley be inclined to start buying comics weekly again.  I have been trade waiting for years and would be excited to be more on top of the current storylines and discussions about them.  Bring it on.  October is the same time as my birthday.  Coincidence?  I think not.

  218. I may have missed this I tried to reread through the thread but gave up searching and this may be a very stupid question for I am not technical savy but since you can download this through medians like the Wii to my TV can one use a DVR or TIVO to do the same.  I love using my TIVO to download webcontent right to the tube could this be done with Longbox?

  219. I can’t wait to try the beta.

    I’m going to try most of everything on there. 

  220. @Oand18 for the current ‘set top boxes’ (such as cable companies digital cable boxes with DVR capabilities and tiVo) no.  They do not have the necessary hardware to make it possible.  There are some that are ‘in development’ that would make it possible, but no cable or sat company has stated plans for rollout for these devices.  I think you *will* see set top boxes capable of handling it inside of 7 years at the longest, but it depends on how much heat the competition on platforms such as FioS puts on cable and sat companies to have a competitive edge/supply more capabilities.

  221. Is it just me, or did @ultimatehoratio’s comment get redacted?

  222. nevermind, It was clearly just my computer.

  223. This is really going to hurt comic shops. A million posts on this topic, and only like 2-3 passive mentions of "shop" as in "I’ll still go to the shop". Yeah, but you won’t buy as many single issues.  Some of you guys are even saying you won’t buy ANY single issues anymore. So that leaves trades–and we all know that comic shops don’t discount trades anywhere near to the % that amazon does.

    Do you realize what iTunes did to music stores? Think Tower Records. Think Sam Goody. They don’t exist anymore. You can say that illegal downloading contributed to their fall, and you’d be right. But it was LEGAL downloading that really caused them to crumble. Record stores had their biggest years in history from ’99 to ’02 or so, at the height of Napster’s reign. Then iTunes came along and sucked up 25% of the market.

    I’m not for or against digital comics. The thing I don’t get is that, if you guys really want them–DUH–you can get every comic digitally for free anyway, if you really want to save money that badly. Either way, the comic shops aren’t getting money, whether I download a comic illegally for free or download one legally for a dollar–that dollar I might choose to pay will not to go comic shops (yes, I know it goes to the company and theoretically to the creators). Personally, when I really want something, I’m happy to pay $3 or $4 or $5 for it–no problem–for a physical copy. But I have elitist quality-controls built in my brain, so I don’t end up buying 20 comics a week, so clutter isn’t really a problem for me.

    I’m not saying this ap is stupid or whatever. I can see the point of digital comics. I also understand that lots of people want to do things legally. But I don’t see it as such an innovation. I know for sure that a ton of voices I hear voicing excitement for LongBox are people who, six months ago, said that they would never download (illegal) comics because they didn’t like to read comics on a screen. Nah, you guys are just obedient legal beagles.

    The effect of this on comic shops, though. That’s what’s getting lost in the discussion.

  224. Hmm, we could kill less trees with Longbox. That’s a way to garner a totally different market, Hoseley, you and your PR team could have a little two-pager in greenpeace center saying:

    "Producing this little booklet costs nature valuable trees. With Longbox this could’ve been thwarted, then we see a shot of Dr. Doom raising his fist and screaming: "If not for Mother Nature, than fight at least for LATVERIA!" (sponsored by the souls of the dead trees.)

    Anyway, on a serious note, will europeans have a chance to use Longbox to buy the american comics directly, if they don’t want to read the localized ones? Or will Longbox be restricted to those the US until the contracts have been sealed with the european distributors?

  225. @flapjaxx – Personally, I don’t download comics because I don’t particularly want to risk getting caught.  I don’t have a problem with reading them on the screen.  Even if the risk of getting caught is quite low, it still exists and I am willing pay 99 cents an issue to avoid taking that risk.  I am a risk averse individual.

    A simple bit of math: If the risk of getting caught is 0.001, then the penalty would only have to be $1000 or more to make the expected cost associated with downloading the scan higher than the actual cost of buying the comic from longbox for $0.99.  We both know the cost would be greater than $1000 if I were to get caught.

  226. I don’t want to steal comics without paying for them.

  227. @Spooky: Asked and answered in the comments.

  228. Is this hosted anywhere else? YouTube perhaps? Can not get to the Vimeo site.