Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Web Comics App is Coming Back

As many of you know, several weeks ago, an application developer named Dale Zak invoked the wrath of many webcomic creators with his Web Comics iPhone app. Although there were cries of content theft from many creators (and their fans), my own analysis suggested that the Web Comics app was a legal (if exceedingly clunky) RSS reader.

Now Zak plans to release a new version of the app, and it sounds like he's made some of the changes creators and readers have suggested. I believe that all his promo shots include only comics whose creators specifically asked to be included in the application, and the new version lets you add additional comic RSS feeds. It also sounds like links to new comic feeds will appear based on the feeds app users tend to add. In other words, the new version of the app is a bit closer to a traditional RSS reader, and it makes Zak look a bit less like a publisher -- and, he hopes, smell a bit less fishy. We'll have to see if webcomic creators turn up their noses this time.

Zak says that he has already submitted the new Web Comics app to the iTunes store and is waiting on approval. He doesn't say whether the app will be free.

Will I be downloading the new Web Comics app? Sure, to play around with it and see how it works. If he releases an Android version, I might even try to use it on a daily basis. But I'm pretty content reading most of my comics through NetNewsWire and I'm not in the market for a mobile webcomics solution. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are.

Web Comics Republished [Dale Zak]


rstevens said...

Mark my words, no matter what he does cartoonists will revolt against this kind of app.

Lauren Davis said...

@rstevens: Do you feel rightly so? It occurs to me that I don't know how cartoonists feel about RSS readers in general (which is how I consume most webcomics, although I guess I'm in the minority). But does the fact that it's a mobile app make a big difference?

rstevens said...

I don't care to judge, but I've seen this happen a million times. Never ends well.

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