The 2009 New York Comic-Con was the first time anyone outside of the dev team, or affiliated groups (such as investors, attorneys, advisors, etc) had gotten any details on ‘The LongBox Project’ outside of my random, cryptic muttering on Twitter, or the early preview/interview done by Laura Hudson for Publishers Weekly months ago.
It was also the first time anyone had seen it actually up and running on a computer. There were many reasons for that... the key one being that, there are a whole lot of people claiming that they have ‘The Answer’ to the issue of digital comics. The Holy Grail is in their possession. Etc, etc. I know what everyone is working on, and I know where the truth and hype diverge, and frankly after 15 years of working in software development, I’ve learned that even if you hold great confidence in what you *think* you have... it is FAR better to keep your mouth shut until you have bug tested, market tested, and user tested the living hell out of it, before you say ANYTHING.
Thus it was with LongBox.
Until we (The LongBox Group) were 100% confident in the state of the software and business model... that it could be shown to anyone, anywhere, anytime, with no setup, without caveats or excuses, that we’d keep our nose down and keep fairly quiet about it.
Said approach was amply rewarded last week. 42 meetings in 5 days, with many, MANY publishers, creators, and license holders. The reaction across the board was overwhelmingly positive. As we are in ongoing discussions, negotiations, contract deals and so forth with publishers, I can’t tell you *who* we met with, but I can tell you that the results of those meetings exceeded in many instances our ‘best case’ scenarios. In multiple meetings we were told by publishers, ‘this is a game changer’ for comics. As a result of the meetings at NYCC, our development and launch timeline is being reassessed and possibly moved up to meet publisher demand, as well as the accelerated rate that LongBox has been developing.
I can’t go in to a lot of detail at this point due to said negotiations, as well as strategic marketing plans, but I can say this...
LongBox is coming soon.
LongBox is not a web-browser version of digital comics.
LongBox is an ‘all-in-one’ solution for the secure distribution, sale, and enjoyment of comics in digital form.
LongBox is structured to create a uniquely appealing experience that does not deviate from what makes comics... *comics*
LongBox provides users with an affordable method of buying comics.
LongBox believes that ALL genres, styles, and approaches to comics are important and necessary for the growth of the market.
LongBox believes that it’s critical that all content offered is of the highest quality
LongBox ALSO believes that it’s critical that users have a wide and diverse catalogue of comics available to them.
LongBox reduces or eliminates the ‘monthly or trade’ as well as the ‘digital or print’ dilemma.
LongBox is multi-platform
LongBox eliminates the majority of expressed concerns for readers, creators, and publishers in the issue of digital comics.
LongBox... has a lot of exciting announcements coming up.
While I think it is an amazing progression in technology and a space saver (that I look forward to). It will have to be pretty amazing to take over physical comics. That vivid colored (or black and white) printed page is part of the allure for comics for me :)
As stated, it's not an 'either or', binary kind of thing. It's not intended in any way to replace print, and there are 'things in place' to actually help increase print sales if publishers choose to avail themselves to them.