One of the pioneers in digital comic books, over the past year iVerse has undergone a number of changes, the most dramatic working alongside Diamond Distributors on a brick-and-mortar retailer partnership program and helping publishers build specialized subscription apps, the most high-profile of which is arguably Archie Comics' "New Crusaders" program.
Today, iVerse announces exclusively through CBR its latest changes, the results of working with advertising and marketing firm Bonfire Agency, LLC to strengthen and reinvent the digital comics company's Comics+ brand, now known as ComicsPlus. In addition to the name and logo change, ComicsPlus offers a range of new features for its partners including the ability to highlight featured content from participating publishers, tools "designed to furnish the creative community with greater resources for the publishing and promotion of original content" and the ability to integrate social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook in their marketing efforts. ComicsPlus will also offer creators the ability to include "extras" with their projects, such as behind the scenes information, and provide a stronger emphasis on working with the American Library Association to promote digital comic distribution.
For more information, check out the complete press release below and check back with CBR on Thursday for an interview discussing its new features and branding with iVerse CEO Michael Murphy.
Official Press Release
iVerse Media, creators of some of the world’s most popular and widely used technologies for reading digital comics, today announced several new enhancements to their "Comics+" platform. Individually, each of these initiatives provides users with advanced tools with which to read, create, fund, publish and even promote original comics content, as well as maximize the enjoyment of comics and graphic novels from leading brands including Marvel, IDW, Archie, Image, Boom!, Ape Entertainment and others. Promoted together as the more powerful "plus" in a newly rebranded "ComicsPlus," these advances strengthen iVerse’s position as the pioneer in digital technologies that engage all sectors of comic culture -- readers, retailers, publishers and, not the least, creators.
"One of the things the iPad and other mobile tablets do is give us an unprecedented opportunity for innovation in comics," said iVerse CEO Michael Murphey. "Comics -- creator owned comics in particular -- have a great opportunity to truly take things to the next level, and we want to help them do just that."
"There is a lot we can do to "plus up" the digital comics experience, and we want to emphasize that in our branding," added Tony Hobdy, iVerse Chief Operating Officer.
To help promote the amped up ComicsPlus both within and outside of the comics community, iVerse has retained the services of advertising and marketing firm, Bonfire Agency, LLC, specialists in building bridges between brands and what is loosely referred to as "geek culture."
"One of the first orders of business was to evolve what was the Comics+ brand toward something that represented the stronger, more robust ComicsPlus of today -- and tomorrow," said Steve Rotterdam, Bonfire Partner and Co-Founder. "The new identity emphasizes that all-important word "plus," a word that evokes exactly what users want from the platform -- more content, more features, more power, more versatility."
Debuting today, the new look also lends itself to highlighting featured content from participating publishers and creators -- and will soon be incorporated into all aspects of the ComicsPlus platform, as well as across brand partnerships and merchandising. Bonfire is also working with iVerse leadership in developing strategic marketing initiatives, targeted advertising, promotions and alliances.
Among the enhanced features introduced by iVerse through ComicsPlus are tools designed to furnish the creative community with greater resources for the publishing and promotion of original content. Facebook and Twitter sharing capabilities are also prominent in the enhanced platform.
"Full details will be announced soon, but one thing that’s true about comics is that sometimes the story of how the comic was created can be just as interesting as the comic itself, and we want to help creators tell that story, and help accelerate the growth of creator owned comics," said Steve May, iVerse Director of Business Development.
Extra content will be key to the new ComicsPlus. "Fans want to go behind the scenes of the comics and graphic novels they love to read," said Murphey. "They want to get into the minds of the creators. We’re working with publishers to make that happen."
Another area of emphasis will be in working with the American Library Association in reaching out to libraries across North America with more effective models to boost distribution of digital content and leverage the appeal of comics -- particularly manga -- to drive and sustain increased usage within the communities they serve.
These initiatives follow the recently announced ComicsPlus: Library Edition, a special version of iVerse’s ComicsPlus app accessible through library web portals. The app runs on iOS, Android and any device that can run HTML5, including laptop and desktop computers. Depending on the device used, patrons are able to download comics or stream them over the Internet.
About iVerse Media. LLC
iVerse Media (http://www.iversemedia.com) is a digital content distributor focused on the world of comics and popular culture. Founded in 2008, the company was one of the first to launch digital comics on Apple’s iOS platform. As of April 2012, over 12 million products in the iOS App Store have been downloaded that are powered by iVerse, making the "iVerse Engine" one of the most popular and widely used platforms for reading digital comics in the world. The company is principally located in Waco, TX. For more information, visit www.comicsplusapp.com.
About Bonfire Agency LLC
Bonfire Agency LLC is the marketing community’s first advertising and promotional agency specializing in helping brands reach and deepen connections with highly influential, but difficult to engage, pop culture consumers. This demo, labeled by some as geek or comic culture, is comprised of incredibly passionate, tribe-wired fans of everything from comic books, video games and action films to underground music, sci-fi inspired television and cutting edge adult comedy. Bonfire’s mission is to find ways to build relevant bridges between brands and a diverse audience of consumers that just might become their most effective advocates. For more information, visit www.BonfireAgency.com.