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Marvel Comics Now on Mobile Phones

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Surprise, surprise: Marvel Comics are offering their comics on mobile phones… just not in the USA.

In an October 20th press release, Marvel announced a partnership with Danish animation studio Campfire A/S to use Campfire’s “CATOOZ” system to add some sound effects and animated word balloons to the comics and put them on cell phones in Europe, starting with Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Individual issues will be downloadable for 1 Euro with or as part of a subscription package for 5 Euros.

This would follow Marvel’s established pattern of testing out consumer ventures in Europe, far away from the screams of US comic store owners who generally perceive any offering outside of their market as a threat to their livelihood. Remember, marvel.co.uk was the selling to the consumer in the UK before shop.marvel.com turned up stateside.

Bear in mind that Europe is a bit ahead of the game in terms of cell phone technology and usage and that CATOOZ wasn’t invented for Marvel. It appears a Danish comic called “Kurt Dunder” is already on the platform.

If you’re looking at this from the perspective of the US comics industry, this is likely best viewed as a pilot program. If all goes well and the kinks get worked out, figure something similar will hop the pond in 12 – 18 months.

The books in the demo on the CATOOZ website include the Planet Hulk run of Hulk, Astonishing X-Men, the Warren Ellis “Extremis” reboot of Iron Man and Millar’s Spider-Man run, so we might not be looking at terribly current comics here, but we also have a hint of how Marvel might handle new releases digitally: Something along the lines of $1.50 for a single issue, $7.50 for a bundled subscription (depending on the where the Euro-to-Dollar conversion rate was sitting when the plans were finalized - currently, it would be a little lower, but the Dollar’s up against the Euro in recent days).

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5 Comments

  1. Hahahaha! Finally european marvel fans have their revenge. This cartooz thing is really cool, just dwnldd it on my cell phone from http://spiderman.getcatooz.com/default.aspx?lang=en-US and even if the suffix is US it seems to only be available for Nthrn Europ.

    Spider-Man looks really cool on the cell, no doubt bout it. Using the cell functions like sounds and vibe is pretty sweet too. Now Im gonna try out x-men catooz to see if theyre just as good. Anybody know how many episodes theyve got? Thanks.

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