In preparation for the arrival of the complete digital library later this month I’ve been spending a lot of time scrolling through the ComiXology app looking at which series are available and which are not. While there is a ton of material there alot is still missing particularly in the early golden and silver ages (before Superman and Barry Allen) and around more of the obscure characters (The Demon’s 1990s series is about as poorly represented in digital as it is in trade).
My question is this: at what point does the DC digital library become complete? The New 52 is the obvious answer since that’s when they announced day and daye digital distribution but I have a feeling that it may go back further. There are definitely things missing post Zero Hour so that would place the completion point somewhere between 1994 and 2011. My guess would be its sometime around 2005 (when Infinite Crisis was released. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Officially, I don’t think there’s an exact answer for that, but I think we’ll have a clearer answer closer to the release.
To be clear I’m not asking what stuff will be coming here from ComiXology or when; I want to know at what point ComiXology has everything that DC has published.
That is a big question! Without having the whole catalog laid out, it’s be pretty difficult with certain things getting a later digital release. Will be lurking in case some one has the answer though.
Comixology itself was founded in 2007 so its unlikely that everything before then is complete though I’m sure important runs like Rucka’s Wonder Woman or Morrison’s JLA were a priority. I remember when I first signed up for an account (right around the launch of the New 52) Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing wasn’t completely available yet.
This is going to be a difficult question to answer because not all titles are equally represented. Action Comics for example is complete back to the early 1990s but Superman only back to 2006. Batman goes all the way back to 1982 (maybe further if the first issue I found missing turns out to be a reprint. Complicating matters is all of the renumbering that has happened (though thankfully not as much as with Marvel).
Not everything DC has ever published is digitized. But more of it is getting there all the time. It wasn’t too long ago that you couldn’t find The Question digitally scanned! So if what you’re looking for isn’t there yet, that doesn’t mean it never will be.
I’d be surprised if their entire library (across all imprints, past and present) is ever 100% digitized.
Certain notable single issues they don’t own high quality editions of aside, there’s the older stuff like the Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope books (for example) that would probably get a digital pass.
It’d be great to have every book from every imprint available in the digital realm but optimist that I am, I don’t see it happening. Some titles may have legal issues surrounding them, while some are licensed properties currently held by other publishers (Star Trek for one) and some are seen as not having enough interest to be worth the effort in the first place.
Yeah there are whole chunks of DC history I never expect to see on this service just like there are Marvel Comics that will never come to Unlimited (I’m really interested to see how they’ll deal with integrating Conan back into their mainline universe since they haven’t been adding any of the old titles they now have the rights to). That said there is a point after which the library will pretty much be complete barring the occasional oddity like Batman/Ninja Turtles and that’s what I’m after. The earliest point at which I know the library is mostly complete is September 2011 as day and date digital started with the New 52. Now its just a matter of going back and forth and figuring out where the gaps appear.
I’d never say never…once upon a time a huge chunk of the 80s library couldn’t be put into paperback due to rights issues. This stuff tends to get worked out as fans speak with their wallets and time. Heck, remember when we were sure we’d have to “settle” for a couple thousand digital books?
I’m wondering about stuff like Whiz Comics. It’s available as public domain but lower quality. Having it in high definition through DC Universe would be pretty epic.
One thing to remember about golden age material is that DC’s archive of negatives only goes back to sometime in the 50s ( and yes I’m getting this from an official DC source: the introduction to The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told). Their physical connection is also incomplete; it was big news last year when their library aquired a comic of New Fun#1 (the first DC comic ever). All of this goes double for the material produced by Fawcett since they had been out of the comics business for years when DC purchased the Marvels and any negatives or physical comics may have been damaged or incomplete.