There have been a number of photo-to-comic apps on the iPad over the years, but the $1.99 Halftone 2 Comic Book Creator (a sequel to the first $0.99 Halftone app released in 2011) may be the first one that's nimble enough to make the process anything more than a time-killer. While it's marketed principally as a fun novelty, it's got an easy-to-use radial menu and other intuitive tools for topping photos and other images -- like, say, your drawings -- with all the lettering, sound effects and other visual add-ons native to sequential art.
Let's be real for a second: A list of the top-grossing apps in the iTunes store isn't going to be all that fair. Your assorted Candy Crushes, casino games, and Simpsons Tapped Outs -- games designed to basically pick players up by their ankles and shake the change out of their pockets--are going to skew the results.
That makes it all the more of an achievement that ComiXology nabbed the No. 11 spot on the iTunes list of top-grossing iPad apps for 2013. Only it and the New York Times app, which was right below it at No. 12, managed to make the list without nickel-and-diming gamers who just had to have... I don't know, better candy to crush? I'm not too familiar with that game.
Yesterday DC Comics launched its new Batman: Arkham Origins - A DC Comics MultiVerse Graphic Novel app, which serves as a choose-your-own-adventure style motion comic prequel to WB Games Montreal's video game of the same name. Befitting of its status as a video game tie-in, this is a "freemium" experience. You download a free 8-page setup before reaching a fork in the narrative road and pay more (it's being serialized, you see) for the full range of story content as it's released. As a bonus, readers who pay to read halfway through the story get a code to unlock a new playable skin in the Origins game. Those who pay for a season pass get the first skin, plus an additional costume for Batman to wear.
In an interview with Wired, Hank Kanalz, SVP of Integrated Publishing at DC Comics, characterized the effort as an experiment. Financially, this model could prove to be a success -- especially with its downloadable content (DLC) incentives for hardcore gamers. Creatively? So far it leaves something to be desired.
There are a lot of great stylus and app pairing options for illustrating on the iPad, but only one can teach you how to draw Iron Man's head. Yesterday Marvel launched its free Marvel Creativity Studio app, along with an optional accompanying sold-separately stylus. Part coloring book, part sketchbook, part tutorial, part animation software, and part sticker book, the Creativity Studio is meant to give young Marvel fans the tools to create content not unlike that of Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
There's quite a few capacitive stylus options on the market for iPad (3, 4 and Mini) users, but Wacom will leverage the pressure-sensitivity of its Intuos brand starting this October with the release of the $99 Intuos Creative Stylus at Wacom's eStore and Best Buy stores. Wacom says it'll sport 2048 levels of pressure by way of Bluetooth 4.0 and the pen's tip, which like most capacitive stylus pens is covered by swappable silicon nibs. So far, the new stylus is confirmed to be optimized for use in Wacom's own free Bamboo app, along with the iOS versions of SketchBook Pro, ArtRage, ProCreate and Psykopaint.
I've been a pretty big fan of Archie Comics for quite a while now, but it's always bugged me that I've been relegated to the role of a passive observer. No matter how many comics I read, I can't warn Archie of the folly of making two dates at once, or encourage Jughead to maybe mix things up with a salad now and then. Now, however, that is all about to change, as the Archie: Betty or Veronica? game for iOS will give me absolute, godlike control of Riverdale itself!
Just can't wait for the Xbox 360, Wii U and PlayStation 3 versions Injustice: Gods Among Us, the DC Comics fighting game from NetherRealm Studios and Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, to hit shelves April 16? Do you prefer swiping motions to pressing buttons? Or are you just a cheapskate?
Whatever the case, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The iOS version of