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Original Marvel Comics Going Online 172

An anonymous reader writes "In a tentative move onto the internet, Marvel is putting some of its older comics online Tuesday, hoping to reintroduce young people to the X-Men and Fantastic Four by showcasing the original issues in which such characters appeared. The publisher is hoping fans will be intrigued enough about the origins of those characters to shell out $9.99 a month, or $4.99 monthly with a year-long commitment. For that price, they'll be able to poke through, say, the first 100 issues of Stan Lee's 1963 creation "Amazing Spider-Man" at their leisure, along with more recent titles like "House of M" and "Young Avengers." Comics can only be viewed in a Web browser, not downloaded, and new issues will only go online at least six months after they first appear in print. Dark Horse Comics now puts its vibrant and large images of 'Dark Horse Presents' up for free viewing on its MySpace site. DC Comics has also put issues up on MySpace, and recently launched the competition-based Zuda Comics, which encourages users to rank each other's work, as a way to tap into the expanding Web comic scene."
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Original Marvel Comics Going Online

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  • Re:No downloading? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheCycoONE ( 913189 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:54PM (#21338637)
    Or use Mozilla's media properties to find the path to the image and then paste that into IE, right click and save to get the original. (I've noticed that sometimes a page of image data isn't recognized as an image in Mozilla but it is in IE.) Or submit a request over telnet and pipe the response into an appropriately named file. There is no way to provide content using existing cross-browser compatible web technologies which cannot be saved locally by a knowledgeable individual.
  • by arudloff ( 564805 ) * on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:10PM (#21338883) Homepage [] - no drm, back issues, original issues, solid community, etc.
  • Re:No downloading? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bobartig ( 61456 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:25PM (#21339103) Homepage
    I purchased two of these for my girlfriend, X-Men, and Fantastic Four. The only problem (which I'm sure you're aware of), is that some series like X-Men did a lot of story line branching into mini series and spin-offs, which are not contained within these anthologies.

    Plus, once you have 500 comics in PDF format, they just scream to be put onto a mobile device, or eBook reader, but I haven't figured this part out yet. Maybe I can load a few issues at a time onto a flash card and read them from my OLPC =D
  • Re:No downloading? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:42PM (#21339375) []

    Works with everything I've tried it on.
  • by skoaldipper ( 752281 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:50PM (#21339529)
    Searched for x-men and xmen, yet "We cannot find what you're looking for."

    Either your jedi mind trick worked, or your database met Thor's hammer. The website only lists 6 comics (which I've never heard of) as freely available. Where's X-Men? Ala Hocus Pocus? or Subscription Locus?
  • Re:No downloading? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Odiumjunkie ( 926074 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:07PM (#21339791) Journal
    >Plus, once you have 500 comics in PDF format


    PDF is a horrible format for comics, unless you intend to print them, and you should only think about doing that if you access to a very high quality printer designed specifically for this kind of work.

    Scene rips of comics use the excellent Comic Book Archive file [] format, which is an archive (usually ZIP or RAR) with an image file (usually JPEG) for each page of the comic. The archive is typically renamed with a different extension to identify that it is meant to be viewed sequentially (.cbr for RAR archives and .cbz for ZIP archives.) Suitable viewing software (e.g. CDisplay []) sequentially decompresses each page and displays it. It's a much simpler, more elegant way of viewing comics than PDFs and with much less overhead.

    Viewing comics on a laptop can be great, especially if the laptop is widescreen - you simply rotate the desktop 90 degrees and you've got the perfect aspect ratio for comic pages. I regularly read comics on my laptop fullscreen at 800 (width) x 1280 (height).

    I imagine it would be great on a machine like the XO because the screen folds right over, giving you a very convenient read.
  • DVD set (Score:2, Informative)

    by zegota ( 1105649 ) <rpgfanatic@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:29PM (#21340119)
    Marvel's already released DVD compliations of many of these comics. I bought the Amazing Spider-Man set (1962-2006) for $30 and it's excellent.

    I know they also have X-Men, Iron Man, FF, Captain America sets and probably more. Seems much more economical than renting them for a monthly fee.

  • Re:Correction (Score:2, Informative)

    by crimperman ( 225941 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @07:35PM (#21343401) Homepage
    with assistance and intial input from Jack Kirby [].
  • Re:No downloading? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @02:47AM (#21346739) Homepage
    The catch with that logic in the case of back issue comics, is those people also only go for the latest and greatest. In this case much like the Disney or Warner's cartoon character range is they simply waited to long to digitally release their products and now there is a huge range of newly created material out there. One things computers are really good at is producing endless reams of 2d cartoons and full animation is getting cheaper by the day.

    Those old nearly dead cartoon characters have no where near the marketing pull they used too and a monthly subscription to the limited market is just silly. The only thing that makes sense is to animate those old comic frame stories and sell that content.

  • Re:No downloading? (Score:2, Informative)

    by angus_rg ( 1063280 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @12:08PM (#21349989)
    First off, I said geek, not man.

    In this situation, a man would walk up to the front door of marvel's HQ, debate the morale issue of breaking in, and, depending on who wins the argument, would break in or piss on the door handle and leave.

    A geek would do the following: use wireshark to see how it is requested. It is probably just tunneling it over HTTP/HTTPS to avoid firewalls from breaking the flash file. If it is http, no brainer. Look at the requests, find the patterns, write your script.

    If it is HTTPS, you could setup a proxy that terminates SSL to see what is being requested(socks/squid may be capable, dunno though), or simply find a swf decompiler to figure out what the requests should be. If you're really board, use something like truss or strace to show system calls which is bound to give you the url. You may even be able to use a strings like program to locate the url if it is in the clear and then guess the full url based on the args sent to the swf. Then, write your perl script.

    It just depends on how much time you want to put into it, and how bad you want it. It may not be that dificult. It may be. Flash may store them in your browsers cache? It may not. I have no intention of subscribing, let a lone trying to get copies, but if your browser can render it, it can be done.

    HTTP(S) is a very simple and stupid protocol, and most developers are not security concious. They think simple means will deter everyone. I once had a developer hard code shipping in their shopping cart. I pointed out that I can save it to my desktop, modify the page and put a - infront of the value, causing the cart to subtract the shipping instead of add it. They fixed it, sat smuggly at a presentation because I wouldn't be able to thwart their deterant. They left disappointed after I deleted the 2 line java script to obfuscate it, and performed the same action with success.

Happiness is twin floppies.