A New Downloadable Venture Forward?

iFanboy announced this week that Graphic.ly will begin offering Marvel's comics, not just for viewing, but for download and not just to mobile devices, but to desktops as well.

Could this be another step toward the fabled 'iTunes of comics'?

An application is now available for download to both Windows and Mac computers on Graphic.ly which can access a database of comics files available for permanent download to a personal computer upon successful payment of a set amount for each individual comic.

That does sound a LOT like iTunes' model of: permanent download of a music file, with paying per song.

According to iFanboy co-founder Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick), these comics files will be automatically available on your iPhone or iPad's Graphic.ly app... you know, if you have all that jazz too. This means that the files are compatible in at least some sense, but I suspect I wouldn't be able to read my old CD-ROM-store-bought-PDF-files in the program. -sad face-

HOWEVER, much BETTER and MORE IMPORTANT are the community features the service claims to have which I assume are designed to put people enjoying similar comics in touch with eachother as well as allow a user to recommend comics to their 'Friends', either personal or digital, i.e. comics social networking. Of which there is very little. This would effectively be a kind of 'Ping for comics'. Making the service, in at least one way, up to date with what iTunes offers its users.

[via Newsarama]

However, nothing has been said about day-and-date release, but nor has the announcement said anything about exclusivity.

In other words, you may see Marvel (and then perhaps DC at a later date) opening digital desktop publishing of their comics to other services such as Longbox and Panelfly, but you are still going to be making those weekly trips to your local comics shop unless you want to be limited to six-month-old comics.

~ @JonGorga

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