Wednesday afternoon I popped round to Paul's house for a quick chat (and a couple of headache tablets) and I saw a demo of MurderDrome, the first iteration of a new comic application for the iPhone.
There have been a few comic reader apps for the iPhone/iPod touch out there, most notably ClickWheel Comic Reader which gives access to a lot of content produced for 2000AD.
The Murderdrome iPhone comic demoed to me that day had a few very startling and fresh ideas.
The content was perfectly sized for the high res (160 dpi) screen of the iPod touch and iPhone. The side-side swipe of the finger moved from page to page but the UP-DOWN swipe of a finger took you through the content on that page. It removed colour, then inking, then brought the images down to the base wireframe. You could see the process on how it was made. You can, at a touch, remove or re-add speech bubbles and there are other settings (greyscale etc) which I didn't have time to play with.
Paul (art, letters, colour) and Al (writer) have collaborated to make Murderdrome specially for the iPhone/iPod touch screen. The code was written by Philip Orr who you'll also recognise as one of the names behind infurious. Watch Phil's Blue Pilot for some very interesting developments soon.
See the Youtube video for more
The business model is simple. Aiming for a $1.99 price for a standard comic (equivalent to 22 pages in a standard American size comic), Apple take 30% of the money as their commission. InfuriousComics take 10% and the remaining 60% goes to the creators. Seem harsh? Not so much when you hear tales of how much comic creators get when their comics are sold - sometimes they have to sell in excess of 9000 copies just to break even - even if carried by a major publisher. This new model would mean creators get paid for every book they produce. If you sell 200 copes, you get 60% of cover. If you sell 3000 copies you get 60% of cover. That's a lot better than the rates offered in print.
MURDERDROME has been banned from the App Store for breaking rules about content. Please view the video and show some support for content being made available on the App Store by commenting on the article here.
You'll also find links to other coverage of this cool new application.
Why is this relevant to LateGaming?
Apart from my association with Paul and Philip and subsequent involvement in InfuriousComics, there has been discussion about using their cool reader technology to build 'decision tree books' or as we used to call them 'Choose your path' style books. That has interest to me!