Comics on an Apple tablet are no longer a possibility – they're a reality.
As Apple announced it's iPad device today, Comics by ComiXology, the leading iPhone application for buying and reading comics, already has an interface for the bigger iPad screen in development.
"We'll be revealing that shortly. We're preparing a demo. It's going to work really well on the iPad," said David Steinberger, CEO of ComiXology. "We're already hard at work to take advantage of the new device."
Apple's announcement today indicates that ComiXology's existing presence on the iPhone means the company is already well prepared to handle the larger device, since the applications used on the iPad are similar to those used on the iPhone, and existing applications from the App Store will work with the device. Even if the current iPhone app has to be tweaked to work with the iPad, Steinberger said people who buy digital comics through the ComiXology app will still have access to all their comics, whether they're viewing them on the iPhone or the iPad.
"Now people know why we have a login," Steinberger said, pointing out that all purchases are made from within the ComiXology application using a login. "As we move to other platforms, whether it's the iPad or the Android or the web, people who buy comics from us are going to be able to view their comics on all of them, because they just have to use their login. The purchases will transfer very smoothly."
Steinberger, whose company obviously has a significant interest in the iPad, said he was impressed with the iPad presentation today by Apple CEO Steve Jobs because of the price. The iPad will start at $499.
"The price itself is just such a huge deal," he said. "This has mass-market appeal all of the sudden. When we were thinking it was $800 or $1000, the market didn't seem to be as big. But now we've got a potential for a real market on the iPad for comic books."
The company already works with publishers like Marvel and Image to publish comics and trade paperbacks digitally. The cost for most comics is currently 99 cents and Steinberger doesn't see that changing with the iPad, although he pointed out that many first issues are free.
"Of course, none of that matters as much as it's going to look amazing," he added. "Our comics look great on a bigger screen, and that's the real benefit of the iPad. And with our existing connection to retailers, and with so many people already using our app, we feel great about this new device. Our interface is terrific. We present the comics really, really well. And we're already demoing a larger screen interface very soon. We feel very good about our ability to take advantage of this new device and the possibilities it offers for comics."