As Amazon gives away a free digital comic every day, legendary writer Alan Moore has flipped the switch on Electricomics, a new open source app for showcasing and creating new strips.
The scribe behind "Watchmen" and "From Hell" has now thrown the might of his not-inconsiderable beard behind Electricomics, which will feature new work from established writers and artists and offer an open source toolkit for aspiring digital comic creators.
"With Electricomics," says Moore, "we are hoping to address the possibilities of comic strips in this exciting new medium, in a way that they have never been addressed before."
"Rather than simply transferring comic narrative from the page to the screen," Moore explains, "we intend to craft stories expressly devised to test the storytelling limits of this unprecedented technology. To this end we are assembling teams of the most cutting-edge creators in the industry and then allowing them input into the technical processes in order to create a new capacity for telling comic book stories."
Built by developers Ocasta Studios and bankrolled by the Digital Research & Development fund for the Arts, Electricomics will feature new work by four-colour figureheads such as Garth Ennis, Nicola Scott, Jose Villarrubia, Colleen Doran, and Moore himself, revisiting the legendary strip "Little Nemo" in the new 1930s-set "Big Nemo."
To get an idea of what digital comics are like, comic app Comixology -- recently bought by Amazon for an undisclosed sum -- is giving away 20 free digital comics on a daily basis. Comixology is also giving away a free funny book every day until 14 June.
Comixology became the most popular app for downloading comics to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device by paying for them through iTunes or Google Play. That meant paying Apple and Google a cut for being the middleman between you and your comics.
Comixology's new owner Amazon is having none of that: before you could say "Holy ruining things for readers, Batman!" Amazon yanked the in-app purchase option. Readers must now buy comics separately and sync them to devices from the cloud.
The free comic giveaways are presumably designed to sweeten the pill of the extra faffing about required to read Comixology. Things started well, the first available title being part one of Batman tale "The Black Mirror" in "Detective Comics" issue 871. But -- of course there's a but -- you can only download the day's comic, so you have to go back every day or you've missed out.
Today's title is "My Little Pony: Pony Tales Vol. 1", so it could be a good day to introduce the young'uns in your life to digital comics.
Comixology also contains a number of free comics available every day, typically first issues and samples to give you a taste. The free comics feature characters from Superman and Captain America via Planetary and Scott Pilgrim to the Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.