rallamajoop: (Deadpool)

(Originally written for tumblr, posted here after it got a bit lengthy for that, with a trimmed down version over on tumblr itself)

So, the first comic I’ve had any real interest in rushing out to buy new in the last couple of years is coming out on the 20th October [insert obligatory Deadpool & Cable: Split Second plug here] as a ‘digital first series in Marvel’s Infinite Comics format’. Given that all my past experience with ‘digital comics’ has generally begun with either an ebay listing or a bittorrent link, that’s a lot of terms I haven’t really seen outside the odd X-Axis review. Now, however, I’ve got a title I want to see do well, and that means both buying it the minute it hits the stands and convincing as many others as possible to do the same. Obviously, this was my cue it was time to take one for the team here and investigate exactly what ‘digital first Marvel Infinite’ means, in terms of what they’re selling us and how.

Digital distribution channels have come a long way in the last few years, but can still be a little impenetrable to the newcomer – the release calendar on the Marvel website doesn’t even seem to cover digital-first releases, and that’s before you even get into comiXology versus the Marvel store or Marvel Infinite vs Marvel Unlimited versus a half-dozen other marginally different ways of selling you basically the same thing with a few different restrictions. What existing Internet guides I could find to this morass appear to consist largely of puff pieces or reviews of one particular service, frequently long out of date. Time to do some independent research.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve signed up for no less than three different distribution services, picked up as many free titles as were available, and spent roughly $12 USD. Time and effort were by far the greater expenditure, and that much I can share for free. What follows is a quick overview of your options for (legally) getting hold of a digital copy of a Marvel comic. Some of this will also apply to buying digital comics from DC or any other distributor, but I haven’t looked that far into finding out how non-Marvel-related alternatives compare. They’re out there, but not covered here.

Let’s start out with a quick glossary of a few key nouns.

comiXology: The main online distributor for digital comics. If you’re looking for a short answer to ‘how and where do I buy [comic title X]?’, this is what you’ll want. (more detail)

Marvel Store: Basically comiXology again, but with only Marvel comics available. Exists mostly for marketing reasons, not much to recommend it over the parent service. (more detail)

Marvel Unlimited: A library-like subscription-based service granting you unlimited access to a large back-catalogue of older comics for a flat $9.99 per month fee. Great for archive binges, not so great for access to new stuff. (more detail)

“Free” Digital Copies: Many Marvel print comics now come bundled with codes that will give you access to a complimentary digital copy for no extra charge. You’ll have to wait a couple of months to get hold of a digital-first issue this way, however.

Marvel Infinite: An imprint covering a subset of Marvel’s digital releases, specifically for comics written to take advantage of features that are only available in digital format. Unrelated to Marvel Unlimited, despite the names.

Guided View: Guided view is a reading option for digital comics which will take you panel-to-panel in a preset sequence, rather than just dumping the whole page on your screen at once. Nice when it works, just annoying when it doesn’t – fortunately, it’s usually possible to turn it off. Much of Marvel Infinite exists to make best use of these sorts of features.

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More detail on all of those under the cut )
rallamajoop: (Deadpool)
Because there's quite possibly someone left here watching me for the C&DP goodies who hasn't followed me over to tumblr/AO3, a crosspost: I wrote new Cable/Deadpool fic for Yuletide! Two of them, in fact (well, one longer fic and one 24-hour ficlet hammered out at the last minute)! Links go to AO3, as I'm well out of the habit of posting to LJ first nowadays. Feedback equally welcome either here or over on AO3.



What Happens on Providence
Summary: Wade has a very, very serious complaint to make about the management around these parts. Trouble is, Nate might just have a solution.
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 6889



CablePool: A Conjoined Situation
Summary: Nate really should have foreseen this becoming a problem.
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 1536
rallamajoop: (Deadpool)
When I originally wrote my Who's who of Six Pack post, I meant to include an entry for Vanessa – who was never strictly a member of the team, but got lots of scenes with them and played a comparably significant role in both our heroes' backstories. I eventually took her entry out, not because I'd changed my mind but because I have such a soft spot for her that her entry was getting large enough for a whole post of its own. This is the finished version.


Detailed bio + a little editorialising )
rallamajoop: By addygryff @ LJ (Cable)
Addendum to my post about Vanessa Carlysle. Her story arc in the Nicieza's original run weaves its way through the early X-Force issues (#1-24), the first arc of Cable (#1-4) and Deadpool's first solo mini (The Circle Chase #1-4). Though it hangs together surprisingly well as a whole, the relevant parts of X-Force #20-24 amount to only a page or two per issue, with the rest taken up with unrelated stories about the main team. Nevertheless, those pages do do a lot to put events from both Cable and Deadpool's early solo series in context (and are lucky enough to be after the end of Liefeld's run, so the art is much less eye-bleeding than it might have been). To save others the trouble of tracking them down, I've uploaded just the relevant pages here.

Shenanigans, starring Copycat, Tina, Domino, Deadpool, Grizzly, Hammer and Cable-as-Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Comic )

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