howbHarlequin Enterprises, a leading publisher of books for women, says that digital comics based on Harlequin novels will be made available for mobile distribution in China. Harlequin Comics are adaptations based on the publisher’s romance novels. Here are the trends.

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution is also offering its first digital comic book “Terminator Salvation” for the iPhone and iPod touch. Published by IDW, written by Dara Naraghi (“Lifelike”) and art by Alan Robinson, the multi-part graphic novel details a series of events that have transpired since Judgment Day and culminates with the story found in “Terminator Salvation” from Warner Bros. Pictures.

These days, mobile phones are also using advanced electronic paper display (EPD) technology for paper-like reading experience for mobile users. For example, Verizon Wireless has introduced Samsung Alias 2 dual-hinge messaging phone, which is stated to be the first handset in the U.S. to feature E Ink transforming keypad using EPD.

As more traditional content is coming on e-devices, Novelist Danielle Steel announced in February the release of 71 of her works on Amazon.com and The eBook Store by Sony, two of the world’s leading distributors of e-books. This is the first time her books will be available for digital download. With the growing popularity of wireless reading devices, such as Amazon’s Kindle and Reader Digital Book by Sony, the availability of this work places Ms. Steel at the forefront of authors providing digital content to consumers.  

In Harlequin’s case, the digital comics are currently being distributed in Japan jointly by Harlequin and SoftBank Creative Corp, one of Japan’s leading digital content providers. Each month almost one million Harlequin digital comic files are downloaded making Harlequin digital comics among the most popular comic content downloaded by Japanese women, says the company. Harlequin Comics are also available with print editions in Japan.

The digital comic titles sold in Japan are now translated into simplified Chinese characters and made available in Celsys’s ComicSurfing format for mobile digital distribution on a Wireless China mobile site. Wireless China is a mobile portal and E-channel providers in China. Launch titles include comics based on books by New York Times authors such as Debbie Macomber, Sharon Sala, and Betty Neels.

Harlequin Comics are digitalized into a “frame-by-frame” format utilizing new technology that allows the user to see each comic frame individually and then slide forward to the next frame. Each frame can be easily enlarged or shrunk via the touch screen.

“Reading novels and comics on mobile phones is a way of life,” said Belinda Hobbs, VP, Harlequin Asia.

Harlequin is making its entire frontlist available in eBook simultaneously with print. 

The company is also sponsoring an exhibition of original cover art. The Heart of a Woman: Harlequin Cover Art 1949–2009 will debut at the Openhouse Gallery in New York City on May 29 and will be on view until June 12.

Photo courtesy: Harlequin

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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