Much like the debate about vinyl v CDs, comic book purists will always argue that there’s no substitute for reading a panel-based story on paper. But in a world where even hoary old technophobe Alan Moore is going digital it’s clear that one thing that could help South Africa’s comic writers reach a wider audience is an app.
And by jingo, they just got one.
This weekend Snake Eye Comix (warning, slightly NSFW) put a South African only comic reading app into Google Play, filled with stories that vary “from pulp humor to comic nouveau and will equally delight, sadden and revolt”. The app is free, but each monthly Snake Eyes edition is just R10.99 – not a bad price for local talent.
Artist, writer and all-round comic expert Ray Witcher – who has been selected to speak as part of a South African panel at the massive San Diego ComicCon again this year – says that Snake Eyes’ app could have a very positive effect for all local writers.
“This is a very new initiative and very much an SA first,” Whitcher says, “This is the kind of platform that would make comics far more accessible to the local audience. It will need extensive marketing and exposure, but hopefully that will all come in due time”
Whitcher says that paying rand prices for comics should help Snake Eyes build a fan base, as well as provide an alternative to big US apps like Comixology.
“The app could potentially offer more initiatives, such as artist engagement and discussions, events logging and signings,” Whitcher says, “All within a regional specification.”
Local artists are encourage to submit stories for inclusion in Snake Eyes, and we’ll be catching up with the creators soon. The big question is “is it any good”? At R10.99, you can probably decide that for yourself. Be warned, however, it’s not for the easily offended.