Kindle DX: A Digital Comics Platform?

Kindle DXAmazon has announced the Kindle DX, a new version of their e-book reader with a 9.7-inch screen. Unless I’ve got my numbers wrong, that makes it larger than the standard manga page, though not quite as big as the standard American comic book page. And it’s only 1/3 of an inch thick, comparable to a typical trade paperback.

This could be the first e-reader device suitable for simply taking comics formatted for the printed page and transferring them to a tablet. No need to break it down and show one panel at a time like most iPhone or Android comics. No need to zoom and pan. Just transfer the whole page.

Sure, it’s only black and white, but there are plenty of comics produced in B&W, or reformatted for printing in cheap collections like Marvel Essentials or DC’s Showcase Presents series.

Imagine 30 years of Justice League of America or Spider-Man in the space of the latest trade.

The only drawback is the steep price tag: at $489, I’m not picking one up anytime soon.

(Cross-posted at K-Squared Ramblings.)


13 thoughts on “Kindle DX: A Digital Comics Platform?

  1. Gurgie

    >>The only drawback is the steep price tag: at $489, I’m not picking one up anytime soon.

    The black and white issue is a real problem IMHO. And the pricetag.

  2. Kelson Post author

    *facepalm* I didn’t think about DRM — I was mostly thinking in therms of technical capability…but yeah, I’d bet Amazon’s going to DRM anything sold through their store.

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  4. Tim

    “The only drawback is the steep price tag”

    Well, that’s not the *only* drawback. Since it’s a vertical page, then 2-page spreads would be a little awkward: would you view one half at a time and pan between them, or turn it sideways and view it all at once but smaller, or something else?

    Also, the “next page” button is on the right, so if you’re reading manga, you’d be hitting a button on the right to go left, which would be a little weird.

    They’re not *significant* drawbacks, especially compared to the lack of color, but they are drawbacks.

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  6. MangaFan

    There are still multiple problems:

    * the manga experience of having 2 pages visible at once
    * full color manga, some volumes start with several full color glossy pages
    * manga like the new Appleseed Prometheus releases which are larger area-wise then the standard Tokyopop, how would that translate?

  7. Kelson Post author

    As far as color pages and size go, manga is no worse off than American comics that are initially printed in color and then reprinted in black-and-white at a digest size (though usually it seems to be one or the other).

    But you’re right on the double-page spread issue. That’s something I hadn’t thought of.

  8. John

    Well if you just visited the Kindle DX page on you would see it has an accelerometer and can be turned width wise to display things wide screen which would probably accommodate the double pages in mangas. also it resizes the image to correctly fit the screen so I don’t see why there would be any problem displaying a double page.

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  10. Ziggy

    Well, I think is a great advance. Soon there will be a color version, and will be cheaper, as always happened. This is great in my opinion.

  11. Mike W.

    Yah know, even with the smaller Kindle I could easily see myself utilizing the thing to read comics. In fact with the ability to download Kindle books right to my laptop I don’t see why Amazon doesn’t take full advantage of the format (full color and all) and start on the e-comic book thing. I would be hooked!


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