Digital comics fans in Columbus will have to look somewhere other than Zuda Comics. In the third such surprising move in a week—and the second dealing with digital comics—DC Comics quietly announced yesterday that it is immediately shutting down Zuda Comics, it’s online comics initiative and competition.
Last week, DC Comics had announced that it was making a strong push into the digital and mobile comics market by partnering with ComiXology to produce apps for the Apple iPad and iPhone, and Sony’s Playstation Network and PSP. It also announced a limited “day-and-date” publishing schedule, meaning that selected titles would be made available digitally on the same day—and for the same price—they would by published and distributed to stores nationally.
Over at The Collective, Zuda Comics’ blog, Ron Perazza explains it this way:
As for the site, from here on out, Zuda Comics will be folded into DC Comics’ exciting, new Digital Publishing initiative. Expect more Zuda series to be released through the DC Comics and comiXology Apps, the Sony PSP and on both the comiXology website and, eventually, the main DC Comics website as well. You’ll be able to read all of your digital editions and manage your entire library in one place, whether DCU, Vertigo, WildStorm or Zuda. The goal there is convergence of technology and convergence of editorial.
Selected Zuda titles, such as High Moon and Bayou, will continue to be available digitally through the ComiXology apps.
The Zuda Comics website/imprint began in 2007 as an experimental exploration of the world of web comics. Each month Zuda would run a new contest where contestants would submit pages of completed artwork, and readers would vote on the stories they most wanted to see continue. It was not without controversy, as prominent independent web comic creators worried that contestants may have been signing away all rights to their creations to DC Comics.
Later, after last year’s restructuring of DC Comics and the departure of Paul Levitz as Publisher—who openly expressed his doubts about what rights DC Comics had to digitally republish anything in its catalog—the new leadership at DC seemed to lose interest in Zuda, leading eventually to Zuda closing its competition in April 2010.
Columbus readers will remember that this is the second imprint DC Comics has shuttered in little over a month. The first, CMX, their manga reprint line, announced its closing in May, with its final title published just yesterday.