Friday, April 11, 2008
The Marvel Comics Digital Library is a proprietary database that charges, $9.99 a month or $60 a year for access to a huge amount of digitized comic books. Unfortunately, Marvel Inc. doesn't provide information on the software, technology, or processes they used in digitizing these records. I checked out the free portion of the site and found that comic books are being provided for in adobe formats, supplying rich and colorful views of comics, that can be zoomed in and out of, and paging that allows flipping quickly. However, some of the viewing manipulation tools could use tweaking as they aren't as fluid as they could be, allowing an auto-zoom into panels would also be beneficial.
Their weekly free samples can be found here:
Their metadata provides information on the story, colorist, writer, letterer, and other contributors to the comic. Additional information on original publish date, characters in the book (not always listed), and a social star-rating are available too. While Marvel offers some recent comics, they do not digitize or offer the latest. This would obviously affect physical sales. Moreover, their intended audience is anyone wanting to read back-issues, origin stories, milestone issues, and not wanting to pay the large amount it would take to obtain these titles, even in trade paper back form. Marvel does a good job in supplying a great comic book collection and easy access, however it can not replace up-to-date monthly collections. Should physical sales dwindle, monthly subscriptions to new titles every month may become the digital book revolution.