Thursday, 12 February 2015

Nobrow go digital with new comics app -and free titles

It seems to be only a matter of time until most comics publishers offer a digital service, and British publishers Nobrow are the latest to unveil their very own new app. Whilst Nobrow have specialised in print comics and art books for the past 5 years, with the quality and care in production and a focus on the book as a print object becoming synonymous with their name, that same level of attention and detail has been configured into the development of their digital comics reading app. Currently only compatible with iPad, the app is available for free to download on iTunes as part of an introductory period (today is the last day it will be free; tomorrow the normal price bracket will be set), and   allows the reader to browse, sample, and purchase from a range of  Nobrow titles, which can be collected and managed in a ‘My Books’ section. 

The app also has a special 'layer' feature, which lets the reader 'strip back' pages to show process, remove colour, see roughs and black and white work, and extra content. I don't read comics digitally, but I think one of the things that publishers need to look into is what digital can offer that print can't, and building and making that a singular experience of its own, instead of a straight transference, something Nobrow seem to be looking into: 'We have an in-house team that have worked very hard to bring the Nobrow Comics app to life and developed the special features we hope will make it unique. The jump into digital is by no means a replacement of our efforts in printed books. We will continue to work on and champion the very best in print, but we felt that it was time to step up and embrace the exciting possibilities that digital platforms can offer.'

The app was announced  in late January, before officially debuting at Angouleme, and Nobrow will also be staging another demonstration of it at ALA Midwinter in Chicago.  In the meantime, I'd really urge you to take advantage of that free download offer while you can- it also extends to books, with Luke Pearson's Hildafolk (the first book in Pearson's award-winning Hilda series), Mikkel Sommer's Obsolete, and Jon McNaught's Birchfield Close all available to download for free- but today is your last chance to take up that deal.  It's not a case of serving up weaker titles for free either- those are all excellent, excellent comics. 

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