Comics designed in CBR format

Interesting development on the digital comics front: a group of creators including Pierre Villeneuve and Jim Shelley have begun releasing their comics in CBR format online at Flashback Universe.

As I’m sure folk reading this know, CBR is the file format (zipped files renamed with a .cbr or .cbz suffix) used by many fans to privately exchange digital versions of old comics (and new ones!), so this is an interesting development, both in terms of a way to deliver new comics and the fact that ther creators are not concerned by digital copying of the material (there’s no DRM on .cbr files that I’m aware of)

The creative group describe themselves as a small group of creators who feel that the future of comics is the internet – but not through “klugely” Macromedia/Flash programs that
distort text and graphics, but rather with the more widely popular comicbookreader (cbr) format.

Check out the results at: www.flashbackuniverse.com



Categories: Digital Comics

2 replies

  1. John, thank you for the linkage – I see you work in the mobile phone content sector – as a web developer, I’m very interested if and when comics and phone content will become a real factor. It’s been very tempting for me to try a couple of comics in that format. What are your thoughts on phone/comics converging?

  2. Various companies are already publishing both “classic” (i.e. reprint comics, re-worked for mobile presentation) and new material for mobile. The issue is delivery: there are so many different mobile phone screen sizes (unlike the ipod, which company Clickwheel is creating comics for in partnership witha wide range of creators).

    The most popular phone models in the world have screens I would consider too small to deliver re-managed comics (128 pixels wide). So you have to decide what is the minimum size you would deliver a comic to mobile at, font considerations etc.

    For larger companies there’s still the issue of Digital Rights Management. Currently, those companies do not want to create content for a service that could see subscribers forwarding that content to many other people for nothing and losing money.

    Although there are some interesting shifts in attitudes to DRM – led by the music market, witness the non-DRM success of emusic for example – I think DRM will remain an issue for many companies, just as TV and film companies are anxious to protect their brands and product.

    That said, I’ve been pushing comics on mobile for over five years now, not just as a potential revenue stream for mobile content creators, but also as a means for comics creators to promote their work to, possibly, a new market. It’s an exciting area, I think.

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