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Apple and Comic Books?

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

I was fortunate enough to attend the Apple last month at the Yerba Buena  Convention center in San Francisco.  Apple showed off the new iTunes 9.0, the new iPod Nano (with Camera), talked about new games for the iTouch and lastly the touted the new LP product that has full multimedia capabilities for albums.  One thing that you won’t hear about in the plethora of articles is the new digital book/art territory that Apple is embarking.

Apple is now in the comic book business.  I talked to co-creator, singer and actor Tyrese Gibson about his latest creation which you won’t hear anywhere else.  A new comic originally published by Image Comics title Mayhem!  is hitting online iTunes clients now.  With rich content, narration by Tyrese and friends (such as his pastor as an example) give an exciting and fresh approach to bring comic books into this century.  Extras such as sketches, videos and the sort of multimedia content you’d expect from say a Blu-Ray of a popular movie are all yours for the reasonable sum of 1.99.  There is even music that Tyrese himself recorded on the package.   Tyrese hopes that there will be crossover  appeal to non-traditional comic book fans with this offering.

The co-creator surprisingly is not a long time comic book fan.  It was Tyrese’s  trip to Comic-Con in San Diego that really ignited his passion for the genre.  With his partner Jack Le, who also manages his film production firm, they embarked on this new product – with the hopes that the same hand inked pages that riveted so many in the baby boomer generation and spark yet again for the gen Y crowd.

Mayhem!  Is the title of the comic series and it takes place in Los Angeles.  Its story centers on a crime fighting vigilante that (of course) has a arch nemesis whose common link is yet to be revealed.

Co-creater William Wilson (Gi Front Line UTF, Urban Monsters) expounded on his passion for comics and his privilege of delivering this age old medium to the contemporary.    All the people involved sounded very excited as they spear-head this new medium, and I was impressed by the artwork, videos and storyline they have worked so hard to create.  This could be the citizen cane moment for online –comics

Speaking with artist Tone Rodriguez, he lamented on the slowly dying comic book store format as a sign of the times, and showing that this new format can hopefully reverse the trend and re invigorate the market.  This has interesting implications to the whole digital content realm as well, as Apple starts moving more into Amazon’s territory.  It is no doubt that color successor for Kindle is just a engineer’s task away, however Apple is taking a untraditional and clever lunge at Amazon’s marketplace.

Stay Tuned for more exciting things, and try out Mayhem!  For $2.00 it’s quite a bargain.

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