New Marvel Trades on Nook (12/23/2011)

New Marvel Comics Available on Nook 12/23/2011

It’s been 11 days since the last batch of new comics got released which seems like an odd number but at a guess it is because Sunday is Christmas in the US and Monday seems to be the day many businesses are giving as a holiday. Could it be that instead of the world of physical comics, where a holiday means delayed shipments, that in the world of electronic comics we’ll have early shipments? It would be nice but it seems more likely that Marvel wanted more titles in the catalog for all the people who are about to receive a shiny new device in the next two days. In any case we’ll know if the two week release window is the general plan on or around Jan 9, 2012.

This release is fairly Spider-Man heavy gives us a little mix of vintages starting with a classic Avengers storyline in “Avengers Under Siege”. (Personal anecdote: That is the story that ran immediately before I started following the Avengers.) In a similarly dark tone we have the first collection from the recent “Dark Avengers”. Both of which I’m looking forward to reading through, Under Siege for the umpteenth time and Dark Avengers for the first.

The spate of Spider-Man titles that arrives this week continues the odd release pattern we’ve got going for most titles. Doing it right is the Ultimate line with the consecutive release of Volume 3 and continuing to make a mess of things is the release of the Civil War story (Pre-Brand New Day), the second volume immediately following Brand New Day, and a volume long AFTER Brand New Day (though previous to “Big Time” released last week), but still no Brand New Day. So for those of you keeping track that gives us the following contemporary issues of Amazing Spider-Man: #532-536, #546-558, #574-577, #648-651.

To balance the complaints about the order of release I do want to point out that at least there are digital releases and I personally find the reading experience to be quite good.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

New Marvel Trades on Nook (12/12/2011)

New Marvel Comics Available on Nook 12/12/2011

The list for this week includes a couple of firsts for the the Nook releases. First and foremost it’s the first 616 Spider-Man trades released (Ultimate Spider-Man vol 1 & 2 were much earlier) though it does show part of the problems in the release schedule by putting out books on either side of the One More Day special event without also publishing THAT story. Previous weeks have shown similar issues with the Civil War and Captain America assasination timeline and I expect that it will continue in that vein until someone can talk some sense to whatever poor intern got the job of getting this schedule together.

The second first is the inclusion of the Masterwork trades. Already owning them in physical form I am still debating if I’m going to pick them up or not though I would imagine they look as good as the modern stuff. It does at least point to some intention to publish some of the classics from the vault.

Marvel Comics on the Nook

I’ve been a Nook user since I got a free Color last Christmas and liked it enough to upgrade to the Tablet on day one (which honestly is a somewhat marginal upgrade) and also a long time Marvel Comics reader though a few years ago I had to decide financially between LEGO and Comics and then once my finances had stabilized I still wasn’t able to return to the comics because I just don’t have any space for them. So when the Nook Tablet announcement included news that Marvel would be publishing exclusively on the Nook platform I was incredibly excited.

Sadly that announcement said essentially nothing about what they would be publishing and several weeks in, some of the shine has worn off the thrill of finally being able to buy Marvel comics digitally however I can say that it has not been a total disappointment. Currently Marvel is only publishing trade collections for Nook and the selection is still somewhat small. Today there are a total of 48 items available in the special Marvel Comics section, and that includes the five new items that were the first new items in two weeks.

The pricing for the trades is decent, though probably nothing to look forward to if you have already bought any of these in print, generally maxing out at $16.74 (currently only for Planet Hulk) and as low as $5.59 for several good items. Most items are within a dollar of $10.

Users of the Nook software on other platforms should beware: These purchases are ONLY viewable on a Nook Tablet or Nook Color with the latest firmware. I’m hoping they open that up a bit some day and since I’m a Tablet owner I’m don’t have too much of a problem with it, but it really feels like a purely artificial imposition for no good reason.

The reading experience is pretty good if not perfect. The default display is a full page taking up the entire screen and the text is quite readable and the graphics come through well. If you want to see detail a quick tap zooms in for a closer look. Tilting the device into landscape mode will resize to display two pages which is handy for big spreads, though makes the text unreadable at that size. Additionally the TOC navigation is visual rather then by page number so it makes it really easy to move around.

The actual problem from my point of view is the what they are publishing and when they are publishing them. Early in the release cycle they published books on either side of the story where Captain America was assassinated without publishing the story where the assassination happened. They seem to be keeping with that kind of idiocy with this week’s publishing of Spider-Man trades on either side of the One More Day storyline, though hopefully they’ll follow up next week with that story as well. The assassination story I wasn’t as bothered by since I had already read that one in print. I have not read the Spider-Man story and so it feels a bit spoilerish to be reading what happens afterwards and I might wait till they correct that oversight before I actually crack that one open.

The initial point of this post however was to make a note of the items that are available when they are released since I can not seem to find anywhere else on the net that talks about it and figured it might be useful for someone else. I’ve been checking the store daily for awhile so hopefully will keep this up for at least awhile in some format.

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