Ben Templesmith Talks About Digital Comics

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With the Digital Comic service coming to PSP soon and Ben Templesmith, creator of the weirdly wonderful Wormwood, visiting London earlier this month, we decided to put two and two together and come up with a video. Ben very kindly took the time to speak to me outside his hotel in London’s Docklands. It’s a beautiful location that happens to be on the flight path to City Airport, which is why we had to make lots of cuts in the final edit.

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Wormwood is not one of the Digital Comics launch titles but it will be arriving soon after. While we’re here, and as Adrianna and Pete (who I interviewed just before gamescom) will no doubt be reading your comments, which comics do you want to see included in the service?

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8 Author Replies

  • Really looking forward to this application. Huge comic fan. Why only the PSP though? Can the PS3 not benefit from this?

  • 2000AD!That would be great on a weekly basis on any of the Judge Dredd collections.

    • I’m probably going to repeat myself in this thread as I don’t work on the Digital Comics service myself and have neither the power nor the knowledge to confirm or deny publishers.

      What I am doing is making a list of requests to send onto Adriana and Pete, who have both knowledge and power, so thanks for the ammo.

    • Actually, I have a bit of breaking news: 2000AD have just signed onto the Digital Comics service.

      I literally heard this a second ago so I’ve no idea which comics they’ll be bringing, just that they’re on board.

  • A long shot but err Manga?

    • What I do know from a previous interview is that the Digital Reader is set up to display Manga and that we’re all keen to see Manga publishers on board.

  • Forgot to ask. Will these be in the genre of original comics ala ink-Dot or more akin to graphical novels with their cleaner and more artistic….um…art?

    • We don’t alter comics in any way, so if something comes to the service that previously appeared in print, it will be a ‘digitised’ version of the original.

      Hope that answers the question.

  • Great news ;-)
    Now i need a PSP…

  • batman comics please.

  • Wonderful! I would really like it if the comics where also PS3 compatible though.

  • Great interview James and Ben Templesmith has a good taste in games I must say, Civilization and the Total War series? Couldn’t agree more with that :)

    Really looking forward to the digital comics, and it was good to hear that the digital reader just went gold a few days ago :)

    If your on Twitter you should be following the official PSN Comics feed!

    • Yes, before the interview he told me he wasn’t much of a gamer, then he started reeling off all these classic titles that he loved and talking about working on the Silent Hill and Dead Space comics!

      My colleague Pete updates the Twitter feed quite often so that is a great resource for breaking news… thanks for doing what I probably should have done and posting it!

  • If you brought manga (aswell as the western style comics) to this service a lot of people would be interested in that.

  • Uncanny, just yesterday I was looking here and elsewhere for any updates on this – so thank you!

    Nice interview, James, but would have been better if you’d faced the camera more, and perhaps a bit closer framing.

    I’d also LOVE to see 2000AD, and Judge Dredd. The Punisher is another all-time favorite, and it would be nice to get some good manga as well.

    Will the comics be localized, or will there be different downloads and/or options for translations available at all stores? I’d like to read comics in English language.

    • Thanks very much for the feedback.

      Some comics will be localised and the team is keenly focused on bringing comics from local publishers to each territory. They’re also looking into bringing English comics to other countries, but that’s still a bit too ‘in progress’ for any of us to say it’s definitely going to happen.

  • Great! Something new for PSP! I hope for a good selection of comics, and not only the classic ones.

  • If you can edit the original post, you could put a link to the Twitter feed in it ;)

  • Is the service coming to all PAL territories?

    As for suggestions, ‘Neuromancer’ from the 80s would be funky to see included in the service. :8

  • Wow, this sounds awesome! I too hope to see Manga, but will they be in original style or westernised?

  • Will this service be available to the whole EU or just a few selected countries?
    Will Sweden and other Nordic countries have this service?
    Or will we be forgotten again?

    Will it also come to the PS3?
    What prices will we see per comic?
    Will it be something similar to comics on the Iphone Appstore (7 sek, $0.99 per issue)?

    What Swedish comics will be available?

  • OMG! Ben is wearing my coat!


  • IMO Sony should make all PSP software work on PS3.

  • How about some Conan Comics. The new Darkhorse ones are cool but the old marvel are classics too!

  • Have you guys got DC on board for the comic reader thier the ones i read the most. Batman FTW

  • Just make the localisation optional. I have tried reading Marvel in Norwegian and it just doesn’t fly..

    Comics i would like to see? Anything Marvel-related really.

    And a good selection of graphical novels wouldn’t be a miss, i.e V for Vendetta, Watchmen, 300, Sin City, Return of the Dark Knight, Spider-man: Blue etc.

    I dont know how it would be to read comics on a 40-50″ screen, thinking how far away from the screen i would have to be. I have read them on a 19 computer screen, and thats ok given that i am only 30cm’s from the screen. So if it comes to the PS3 also, i would be sceptical but i would atleast test it out.

  • Will the digital comic reader be available in all countries within SCEE?

    It would be great if you also added viz medias manga comics.

  • can you ask the guys doing the digital comics if there are any plans for getting some webcomics on the service as well as print comics?
    there are some pretty good webcomics but few of them work well through the browser on the ps3.
    and i’d like to add my support for a ps3 version of a comic book reader.
    viewing the comics on my psp will be handy but being able to view them on my big hdtv at home would be great too.

  • The competition on Geek Syndicate makes me wonder it this is yet again a service that’s going to be limited to certain EU territories.
    If this service is going the same way as Vidzone and the video store.
    We Belgians are not going to be happy then. :-(

  • are the comics in a special file format and will the reader be able to view .cdrs?

    I have a ton of .cdrs at home and I need to export them to jpegs to get them viewable on my PSP.

  • i also would like to see this on ps3 aswell.

  • Sounds awesome. Great step forward.
    It would be great if anyone could upload their own comics to the PS Store to be available for free.
    Motion sensor in a PSP would be great for comic reading – quickly lifting the right side to flip to the next page (with animation on screen) or quickly lift the left side to flip back to the previous page, hmm…

  • 2000AD ….. Dan Dare and The Mekon….. that’s how long it is since i read comic books :D
    Interesting interview though.


    ….I too wish wish this service will be viewable on PS3 also.

  • Some more modern comics, peraps not full blown manga but using the same visual style. Also This needs to be on PS3. That isn’t a request, its a demand! (Please!)

  • This might not be the right place, but why doesn’t sony make a version of the psp dev tools for minis only, release it for free, and then people can upload their own minis to the store. Like Apps on the i-pod. Have like a “homebrew minis” section and people can download other’s creations! (Play, Create, Share!) 59p-£3 price point, I’m sure sony could take a cut to make it profitable! Where can I pitch this?

  • 01 How versatile is the actual reader app going to be. Is is comparable to the high-end SONY Vizplex e-readers (without the touch screen of course)?

    02 Can ebooks from other sources be used, can we view PDF’s?

    03 It’s not a subscription service is it :( ?

  • Sorry for the double post…

    I’d like to see the Secret Wars series re-released and the current Wildstorm/PS3 (Resistance, Resident Evil, Dead Space & God of War) comics.

  • how about, how come japan is getting the digital comics service first?

  • As I’ve already read in some of the comments I also think that adding manga to the library would be a great idea. Considering that manga has quite the audience even in western culture it would definitely be beneficial. Hopefully some that aren’t available only in American or European retail stores would also make it into the Digital Comics section with english translations.

    Please forward this to Adriana and Pete. I’d be pleased if we got any information on whether there has been any negotiations between them and some of the manga publishers out there.

    Best Regards,

  • Great interview. I am also for a PS3 version of the reader. Would be benefitial in terms of storage, and would also be nice to add another option to living room entertainment.

    I downloaded the comic reader along with the latest PSP firmware and after playing about with the free issue of All Hail Megatron, am greatly impressed with the service. I was pleased to find the option for slowing down the speed of the camera, and the ability to play music from my memory card was nice too.

    I greatly look forward to future comic releases on the store. Does anyone have a proposed date?

    Keep up the good work, James.

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