Dark Horse Comics announced Tuesday that beginning December 14, nearly all of its titles -- including graphic novels and collected editions like trade paperbacks -- will be released digitally the same day that print versions go on sale in comics shops and bookstores. The scheme, which has been much anticipated by digital comics customers and industry commentators, applies to the vast majority of comics published by Dark Horse (approximately 98% we're told), but some will be left out on account of digital rights issues. Prices for single issue comics will range from $0.99-$1.99, and "digital trades" will be available for $2.99 to $7.99.Presently available on the Web and on iOS devices, Dark Horse Digital is distinct from other publisher's digital comics solutions in that it was developed and is maintained completely in-house. ComiXology is behind the branded digital comics applications for publishers including DC, Marvel and Image, and along with Archie Comics (via iVerse), all of them have also moved (or announced plans to move) to a same day digital model. Dark Horse's announcement brings most of American comics' major comics publishers to more or less the same digital playing field, and the implications for existing customers, new readers and traditional direct market comic book stores will be topics of even greater interest going forward.

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