WOWIO.COM is back, but my first reaction isn't very happy. It looks like Platinum Publishing did buy it and are changing it.
What exactly does WOWIO membership get me right now?
How is my WOWIO experienced changed since the new status quo?
What are the creators even paid by WOWIO right now?
Those questions I can't answer completely and neither can Wowio it seems as those questions aren't answered in their FAQ or ABOUT.
What I can say is that I can no longer download Neotopia, which I was in the process of collecting. It's a read online only title now. Worse for me is that Neotopia isn't licensed, apparently, for purchase. So I can't buy it at all to have a digital copy.
I was really enjoying having digital comics at my finger-tips. I'd begun to look at the Asus EEE PC (among other Mobile Devices) and putting aside money to save up to buy the Surf model come Christmas (when it'd more than likely be cheaper) so I could have easy, portable PDF, digital comics I enjoy reading.
I'm admitting to selfishness. I really don't care if now anyone in the world can read these books / download books if I can't have what I want. And what I want I was more than willing to pay for too. But nada.
Also, some publishers that used to be on Wowio are now missing - like Ronin who did Razor Kid, which I talked about in a Faces of Colour column. The Imaginaries, however are on there, read online or download each issue for 99cents. I'd suggest not paying to have the main protagonists ethnicity changed from Asian (Japanese) to white and just buying the first three. But that's me.
It seems I was also lucky to get Artesia when I did because it's not for download either.
And it looks like the web-comics that were offering downloadable books of their archives via WOWIO are either missing, or are for online reading only. If I wanted to read their archives online, I'd read their archives not use Wowio. Eff damn it all!
The occasional sponsored lottery to make some things downloadable isn't a good offset / counter at all!
I am really disappointed that I no longer have the option of having these comics portable for me, for free or via purchase. I am really disappointed that going global means I lose out on certain publishers and titles. I'm really pissed that I didn't get a chance to grab the comics I wanted the most / there wasn't any warning that this was coming.
This is all within my first half hour on the re-opened site. But I'm not sure I'll be pushing Wowio so hard on everyone the way I was before. Especially with some comics being priced at 3$. I don't want to collect a bunch of flimsy issues nor do I want certain things in trades. But for people who do collect, I don't see any impetus for them to spend any money in WOWIO when they'd get a hard-copy for the same price.
I'm sure there are people who'll ask me if this isn't what I'd wanted from Marvel and DC - easy access online to back issue comics. But here's the thing, Wowio and the publishers it was using weren't and aren't Marvel or DC. What it had been offering me was access to comics I couldn't find or get anywhere else. Not everyone can get to, or even lives near a LCS. Now what I have access to is an online library (which is what they changed the name of the queue to by the way) but I have no way to be a consumer of the things I want, which is what I'd been hoping for.
More-over, not all the world has high speed internet. Downloading a comic can be much easier than trying to get it to load page by page on the internet.
And the ads on the WOWIO reader/view online pages are fairly distracting. As is the lack of custom zooming that was offered by one's PDF reader.
Fuck damn, Wowio. What an effing disappointment.
ETA: Links discussing Wowio's new business plan:
- D.J. Coffman & The New Wowio Contract aka, why I'm not likely to be asking comic creators I love to sign up to Wowio, despite Gerry's (in comments) polite request.
- Comics Worth Reading's - Goodbye Wowio. I have not and do not always agreed with Johanna and in fact I've disagreed strenuously, loudly and occasionally pompously. But what my growing time online and involved with comic blogging has brought me is a growing respect of what she has to say and of her perspective. Including the bitter realization that Marvel and DC would eventually drive me crazy if I let them. Though I'm still a superhero comic girl through and through, even walking away from 'the big Two'.