EDTECH 597 Week 5: Thoughts About Digital Comics, Harry Potter, and DC Comics’ New 52 Line

The German version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This past week, some work that I did for my other graduate course (EDTECH 501) got me to thinking about what kind of an effect that mobile apps will have on the comics industry. I was writing about DC Comics’ reboot of some of their most popular characters/ lines like Batman and the Flash (called the New 52). What’s interesting about this reboot is that not only do the characters get a make over, but the way in which the comics themselves are delivered got an overhaul. When the issues come out each week, they hit the newsstands and the cyberstands on the same day, so people who prefer reading their comics/ graphic novels on their phone or tablet can download the app for that week’s issue, which people can access by the DC Comics app.

How Far Can This Technology Take Me?

As I mentioned in my post last week, one of the questions I’m trying to ask myself as I consider the role that mobile apps will play is “How far can this possibly go?” or “What can of revolutionary effect is this going to have and can I see and foresee how far this can go?” I thought about this as I pondered the DC Comics reboot, and I was reminded of some research I did for my senior seminar class in German in my undergraduate days. I did research about the role of translation in publishing and specifically I looked at how and why Harry Potter was such a phenomenon—at least that formed the foundation for my research.

What I discovered is that several factors contributed to the explosion of the novels. Besides having the ability now to translate the books in over 67 language (and maybe counting), the other big—no huge—factor was the technology itself. The books could not have reached the dizzying heights of popularity that they did without the technology to produce them in such mass quantities.

Anticipating Change in the Publishing Industry

So, in this light, I began to wonder how mobile app development will not only continue to revolutionize popular brands like DC, but also what kind of effects will they have in general. According to Mashable, already  publishing industry experts are predicting that interactive book apps and storytelling will actually boost the publishing industry—and not kill it off as some have predicted. The reasoning is that as people become more accustomed to interactive books, they’ll actually want to buy them, leaving me to ask which series will be the next big thing. It might be one of DC’s superheroes, but it may well be something that we never saw coming—like Harry Potter.

As always, I’m posting a picture of my app for this week’s class in EDTECH 597, my version of Mole Mash.

Mole Mash…This week’s assignment. It’s not quite DC yet, but I gotta start somewhere…