Wowio's Downloadable Comics

By | Thursday, December 07, 2006 Leave a Comment
Continuing my post from Tuesday about downloading comics online...

The Newsarama article I cited also mentioned briefly a service called Wowio, which provides a similar service to Pullbox Online. I've spent the past few days looking at Wowio and I have to say that I think they've got a great thing going.

The first thing I noticed is that Wowio is free. No costs to sign up. No costs to download comics. They make their money from ad revenue. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison yet, but it looks like they actually carry a few more pages of ads than a traditional (i.e physical) 32-page comic. Pullbox appears to be following Apple's iTunes model a little more closely, which would suggest that their downloaded comics do not have ads. I can't verify that, though, as I don't know that I can shell out any more money for comics than I already do at my local shop every week!

The next thing I noticed is that Wowio seems to have a greater selection of comics. That's quite understandable since they've been around longer. It also looks as if they've secured more publishers, so it would seem likely that they will continue to have more titles. (In a small bit of disclosure, it so happens that the publishers they're working with are publishers I buy more books from than the publishers that Pullbox is working with. So it's entirely possible that part of my obvious preference for Wowio stems at least partly from the specific titles available.) Wowio also has more than just comic books available. They have a number of novels, reports, and similar more text-heavy documents. (To be fair, though, a good many of these are in the public domain and are available in any number of other places as well.)

Wowio does have a few limitations. First, you can only download five books per day. You can download as many as you want over time, but only five per day. Second, their books come exclusively in PDF format. My understanding is that a number of people prefer the CBR format (which Pullbox does provide) but I don't personally have a preference.

I'm in the process now of downloading a slew of comics that I had hoped to try, but couldn't for any of a variety of reasons. I hope that Wowio's business model works in the long run, and they continue to add titles and publishers to their existing base. But if you're looking for some additional books to try, but are hesitant to drop the three bucks for the experiment, Wowio certainly is a great option. I highly encourage everyone to check them out!
Newer Post Older Post Home