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DC Comics Goes Digital on iPad, iPhone, and PSN

The wait is over: DC Comics announced their plans for digital comics distribution today, with comics now available on the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, and the Playstation Network. Their partners include not only PSN but also Comixology, where they will have a DC Comics storefront in addition to their own DC Comics app, and digital comics will be made available on DCComics.com later this year.

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The pricing for each individual issue ranges from 99 cents to $2.99 although $1.99 will be the “default” price for a the digital version of a typical comic, as DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee told ComicsAlliance in an interview today. DC also announced that it will compensate creators or both old and new comics for digital sales in a way that mirrors their royalties for print comics “One of the key components of our digital strategy is making sure that the talent who created these awesome stories that comprise our backlist are compensated fairly. It’s calculated slightly differently, and not to get into specifics, but the amounts that will be paid are commensurate to our traditional royalty plan for comics in print,” said Lee.

DC Comics also announced plans for a retailer affiliate program through Comixology that will invest a portion of their digital revenue into initiatives that support comic book retailers, presumably to help assuage their concerns about the impact of digital sales on traditional comic book shops. “As both a comic book creator and Co-Publisher, it was incredibly important that our plan includes not only creator incentive payments, but also an innovative component that supports comic shop owners,” said Lee. “We see digital as an opportunity to grow our entire business.”

The initial release will offer content from DC Comics as well as their Vertigo, Wildstorm, and Zuda imprints, including selected coming from titles like “Batman: Hush,” “Green Lantern: Rebirth,” “Planetary,” “Jonah Hex,” “Superman/Batman,” “Fables,” and the first issues of “The Unwritten,” “All-Star Superman,” and “Sandman.” Over 100 comics from DC’s library will be added to the library each month, While most of the currently available content comprises previously released comics, today’s release also includes “Justice League: Generation Lost” #1, a day and date release of the issue that is scheduled to hit shelves in comic book shops today.

There will also be several free comics available for the launch, notably several “Batman: Black and White” stories — including fan-favorite tales by Neil Gaiman and Bruce Timm — the first installment of “Bayou,” the first webcomic series published by Zuda, and a 10-page preview of “Superman” #700, which launches a major new story arc called “Grounded” by J. Michael Straczynski.

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