Spectrum Pacific Publishing managing director Benjamin Slabak has announced the launch of Australia’s first digital comic book publisher, Cloud 9 Comix -- and its initial focus seems firmly on publishing independent titles and independent creators.
Spectrum Pacific Publishing, founded by Benjamin Slabak in 1996 in Sydney, Australia, developed and published over 30 computer games and moved into print publishing in 2009. It quickly moved toward digital publishing in 2010, with plans to release comic books, magazines, books, as well as casual games for iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Blackberry and Android devices.
The project's line up features titles from Italy, France, Croatia, India, Argentina, Australia, USA and many other countries, with a number of titles fully translated and adapted into English language for the very first time.
“We are big fans of the international comic book scene and we will bring a number of classic Italian fumetti, French BD, as well as titles from Asia and South America to the digital platform, starting with the iPad and following up with Android and other platforms in the coming months”, says Mr Slabak.
Cloud 9 is also backing indie creator. “We will work with and support independent comic book authors and small publishers in making their titles available to an audience that’s wider than ever before," he enthuses.
"A myriad of digital tablets and e-reader devices are slated for release during 2011 and we expect the digital comic book scene to experience a boom in 2011”.
The iPad app, codenamed Silver Lining, available now as a free download from iTunes, was developed internally by SPP and features a store-front that lists the available comics, previews of each comic, and a handy shelf feature where the purchased comics are stored and easily accessed.
SPP say the simplicity of use of the app is one of its strengths and the comic book fans will surely enjoy flipping between the pages of the many comic books and graphic novels available in the store, with a number of free ones available to download.
Cloud 9 Comix has also collected the best of Australian comic book titles under its brand and titles such as Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes (published by New South Wales-based publisher Blackhouse Comics), Vienna, Dark Nebula, Southern Squadron, The Wraith, and others, which are already available for purchase in the Cloud 9 Comix iPad store.
Explaining the decision to launching first with an iPad app, Slabak points to the quality and clarity of comics on the device. "It's perfect for comic books and it allows one to take their comic book collection with them and read them on the go.
"With most comics priced between $0.99 and $1.99 USD,' he adds, "it has never been more affordable to get back into the wonderful world of comics and graphic novels. Our catalogue offers something for everyone, with new titles being added on regular basis”.
Partners in the project include small publishers and independent studios such as Texas-based Red Handed Studios, publishers of Dynagirl; Ratti Entertainment, Chicago-based Spinner Rack Comics, Blackhouse Comics, Bangalore-based Level 10 Comics, publishers of Jump Magazine, Azure Press, publishers of Acolyte Chronicles, superheroine publisher Heroic Publishing, Cinemacomics, Urban Style Comics, Vimanika Comics and more.
SPP say their catalogue now features over 150 unique titles from all six continents. They also plan to publish in Italian, Spanish, German, Croatian and other languages.
“We're excited about launching Cloud 9 Comix and look very much forward to building our brand and reaching new audiences with much content never before accessible on the global scale," says Slabak. "This is an opportunity for independent authors and publishers to show their labour of love to the world which would not be possible without the digital platform”, says Mr Slabak.
“I invite everyone with an iPad to download our free app and sample some of the comic book titles available from us.”
• The full catalogue of comics available is on the official website http://cloud9comix.com
• Official Cloud 9 Comix promo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzDmip68u0w
• Cloud 9 on Facebook
• Cloud 9 on Twitter
• Cloud 9 App for iPad (iTunes link)