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23Jan/120

What Are Ways To Read Comic Books?

Article by MIKE SELVON

Once upon a time, youngsters hopped into bed, pulled out their flashlights and settled in to read comic books, soaking up their favorite superhero's adventures. Today, iPhones, laptops and DVDs have become the new mediums for graphic novels.

Comic books DC and Marvel have created are being converted into digital formats slowly but surely. While the paper sale of graphic novels in the North American market is still a healthy $ 705 million (quintupling since 2001), there is still the desire to modernize and change with the times, just as the characters in the comic books have. Some call it "evolution," while others just call it "business." Either way, given the enduring success of the hero narrative, comic book series aren't likely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Many fans just want to read comics for free. After all, that's what the internet and peer-to-peer is all about, right? There are a few databases offering graphic novels for free. Manga comics, like Naruto, Bleach, Love Junkies, Pokemon and Vampire Knight can be found at Mangafox and Mangavolume, for instance. More than three hundred conventional classics from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Vertigo, Wild Storm and Oni can be found at Lorencollins.

Fans looking for "Golden Age" comics can find comic book series like "Tales of Horror," "Out of the Shadows," "Jumbo Comics," "Exciting Comics" and "The Perfect Crime" (with characters like Ibis the Invincible and Blue Beetle) at Comicweb. Other comics from that time period, like "Baffling Mysteries," "Strange Fantasy," "Underworld," "Famous Funnies," "Forbidden Worlds" or "Whiz Comics" can be viewed at Goldenagecomics. Additionally, for fans of DC comic book characters, the first five issues of each major series are being offered as free PDF downloads at Ugo.

Of course, not everyone feels like sitting inside to read comic books in their rooms all day long. Now fans can take their favorite comics graphic novels outside, on the bus, into the lunchroom or on break at work with Nintendo DS portable players, iPods and iPhones. "Comic Book DS" is a neat application that can be downloaded at 4colorrebellion, so that comics can be read on Nintendo DS systems.

For the iPhone or iPod Touch, fans will need the "ComicZeal" program, which can be purchased for $ 1.99 at Igoapps. To read comics on a laptop, a program like Adobe Acrobat Reader will likely be required.

So where does this take the future of comics? Marvel Comics Publisher Dan Buckley says they want people to read comic books using new formats, but they're still undertaking research to see where their time and efforts are best spent. "We're still quibbling about what the primary form of revenue will be," Buckley said, relaying that some comics can be found online for free.

"We don't want to do anything to hurt anybody in the short term," he added, meaning the independent comic book store. In general, the comic book industry agrees that the internet can be a great way for comics to gain a larger audience.

www.ted.com In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at http

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