Marvel today launched a "Digital Comics" initiative which will offer certain vintage content online for $9.99 a month or $4.99 a month if you stump up for an annual subscription. Among the stuff on offer is the "first original run of X-Men", and issues one to 100 of both Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, as well as "so much …
...Can't download material
I view such statements as a challenge..
I'm pretty sure that Marvel will use watermarks that identify the user, so downloading and re-distributing the images will have to remove the watermarks, which will likely reduce quality. But reducing quality is not something that usually bothers pirates, so it will probably happen.
So it appears that this is flash based and the application seems pretty good (basically a web version of CDisplay). Not as good as the online version of Ultimate Spiderman that was available a few years back (I think that site won some awards for best use of flash it was that good), but still OK for a first release.
The quality of the images isn't very high (compared to the common scan-to-jpeg downloads you can find), but what's to stop people just taking screenshots and sticking them in a torrent?
I think Marvel have missed the point here. I'd happily pay £5 a month for access to the back catalogue in a high quality downloadble format that I could take on the road (on my iPod touch for example).
Horrible interface, hard to use, poor rendering, waste of money.
I use FireFox - maybe it works better on IE.
I want to take these comics and go - not that I'm necessarily bothering the badger with downloadable super-hotties in lycra at all, no no. Honest.
It's the same old digital content / distribution / DRM argument in a new form (Ultimate DRM? Uncanny DRM?) I say let people share if they want, lock it to the player, and build a new generation fanbase for all that wonderful old classic stuff. Marvel's lawyers will probably say "lock it down" :(
Gaps in story-lines
Looks interesting, but I think I will wait until they have fleshed out their catalogue a little bit as they are not releasing the comics in order. This means you can't read an entire story-line, eg For Astonishing X-Men they have Issue #1, then skip to Issue #4, then #7 to #12
I hope this is just because it is taking time to digitise it and not intentional to force you out to buy the collection in hard-copy
'I view such statements as a challenge..'
would that be the next Alan Parsons project?
<looks for coat>
Good on IE
It looks very impressive on IE. But of course it's not as good as paper and ink.
I've not looked at it but it is normally possible to get the swf file and decomplie. this will give you either a set of files in an fla file or the url of the images if they are loaded dynamically.
I might be nested in several swf files to avoid this type of attack, but the urls of the nested files can be found
Missing the point....AGAIN
WTF!? You'd think people would cotton onto the fact that we want to download the dratted things. We want to take them home, peruse them at our convenience and not be restricted by time delays.
I LOVE comics. But I don't buy any at the moment as I don't have the space. If they were to finally start selling the recently released books, I'd buy them, as you can then burn them onto a disc to keep. (Lotsa books on a single disc, as opposed to lots of shelf space for the same number of books)
Get with the program people! There's already a comic book reader that works perfectly out there. Now if only we can get the content to purchase and read.
Oh, and quit with the monthly subs. I only wanna pay for what I read, not a monthly thing where I'm screwed when I don't like what's available that month.
Quantum Leaping ahead into the Near Future .....
"I view such statements as a challenge.."
That had me smile, Alan. ThanXXXXS. :-)
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I'd imagine some of the available flash rippers might be turned to use - but the mere fact that Alpha Flight are in there, along with the Inhumans makes it a nice use of £30 for me.
Could someone with enough cash / influence try and do this for Miracleman / Marvelman?
Among the stuff on offer is the "first original run of X-Men",
perhaps marvel might be surprised to learn that the first X-men and spiderman comics have been available online for quite a long time, in a very handy CBR format too.
@ Jason Irwin
"I use FireFox - maybe it works better on IE."
Then it's not HTML, is it?
However, I guarantee I can download it. I won't bother, but the command line is less than 60 characters.
It must go downloadable!
I would pay to read some of the old comics again, but I would want to be able to download for my money so I can go back and re-read at my leisure. I would even be tempted by a monthly all-you-can-eat download package, but only if I could download the offerings. When I bought the old comics, I didn't have to return them after I read them once, so why should it be different for an electronic format? A few years ago, I wrote to Maxwell's mafioso suggesting they released the complete back issues of 2000AD or Judge Dredd on CD-ROM - say a whole year's issues on one CD. The answer I got back amounted to "why?"....
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