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The iPad

Said to revolutionize online reading of comics and ebooks - all in living color - response to the iPad hasn't been much to write home about.


Maybe it's the size of the thing. Sure, that's the point - the size, more can be seen - both of movies (a screen size comparable to a compact DVD player) and anything else. Watching movies on the PSP? Surely it would be better to do so on a larger screen. Family photos on the phone? A 4x6 is certainly better on the iPad than a phone. But are people ready to carry around something that big? Well, why not? They carry laptops and with a variety of apps, the iPad could be just as useful. A personal access device. The pad of Star Trek the next gen made real. First the communicator, now the pad. Next the tricorder - we aren't there yet, not those scanning capabilities.

The Kindle is popular for ebooks. And books are generally formatted solely for text. Yet the iPad opens the digital distribution market further - for color, especially with specialized apps for readers. Broaden horizons, including magazines.

Despite the blockbuster theatrical releases, the monthly comic seems no more popular. Distribution is nowhere near 1970s numbers. Nor is the variety of genre. Can the iPad help? Apps exist for this purpose. Some may cry foul at the death of the monthly comic, but it need not be true. Digital comics can be daily, weekly or monthly - dependent on number of pages. A page could be released daily and at the end of the month, a full 22-page book would have been completed, ready for the next daily dose, or a few days of bonus material.

More comics, more genres, and more color would be available for the small press and smaller companies - with the selling of comics for download. Comics could be half the price they are now, and many production costs eliminated to ensure pay remains constant. Micro-payments for pages would be a little crazy, so monthly subscriptions with ease of cancellation without the hassle, would be incentive enough for many. On the go, any time, they'd always have content. Print could remain in place for collections and store distribution.

The question then, would be how to support local stores. Not Barnes and Noble or Amazon, but the direct market. Keep digital editions 3 months delayed? That is a complex subject.

The iPad is here! What will it be used for?

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