CrossGen schedules 'Comics on the Web' version 2.0

Fri, March 22nd, 2002 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

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Official Press Release

Even though Comics on the Web is not even one month old, CrossGeneration

Comics has announced its plans for version 2.0 of its popular Web comics

subscription service, with an even more robust set of features and options

aimed at giving users the best possible comics reading experience on the

Internet.

Currently, version 1.0 is live on a number of Web sites and portals, and

works with any PC or MacIntosh computer that uses the Flash 5 plug-in.

Currently scheduled for release in August of this year, version 2.0 will

expand the basic capabilities of Comics on the Web version 1.0, while it

also branches off higher resolution options for users with greater

bandwidth. Functional improvements for release 3.0 are currently in

discussion and will be released later this year.

The features being implemented for this version include, but are not limited

to:

* Low bandwidth/High bandwidth versions - This will provide a higher

resolution product for users with high-speed connections (at no extra

cost!), while still maintaining a version that's easy to use for 56K users,

ensuring the widest possible audience for Comics on the Web.

* Black and White Ink versions - This will show readers what the art

looked like before CrossGen's colorists got a hold of it. It will provide an

interesting perspective for those who currently enjoy comics as well as new

readers, while at the same time emphasizing the amount of craftsmanship a

colorist brings to CrossGen's comics.

* Balloon on/off - Sometimes, you just want to look at the art (both

black and white and color option support), without any captions or balloons

to get in the way. It's also a great tableau that demonstrates the

storytelling abilities of CrossGen's artists.

* Multiple language selection - As most CrossGen fans know, CrossGen's

entire line is licensed for publishing in France, Belgium, Italy, Mexico,

Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and now

the former Soviet Union countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova,

Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,

Kyrgyzstan, Turkmen, Litva, Latvia, and Estonia. Soon, CrossGen will have

language translations for the CrossGen Comics published in those countries

and by year's end, will begin implementing those translations in the early

chapters of Comics on the Web. Eventually, readers from around the world

will be able to read CrossGen's stories in their own language.

* Accessibility-friendly balloon control from keyboard - "Mousing

over" the word balloons is a great standard functionality, but for folks who

need to use the keyboard more than the mouse in order to reduce the impact

of repetitive stress injuries or other physical limitations, keyboard

control is another option CrossGen feels is necessary to provide to users.

* Chronological Order Display (COD) - CrossGen Comics on the Web is

all about choices, so in version 2.0, readers will have the choice of

reading their issues in individual titles as they are laid out now (Scion

#1, Scion #2, Scion #3, etc.), or they can start the CrossGen epic at the

very beginning and read each issue from across all the titles in exactly the

order they were released. In Version 2.0, readers will be able to start at

the very beginning of the CrossGen universe, with CrossGen Chronicles #1,

and then move into the numbers ones of our first four titles, reading them

in the exact order that they were released chronologically. One of the

features of reading CrossGen's stories in this manner is the discovery of

the little continuity "Easter eggs" that our creators have left in many of

the earlier issues of our line, and continue to leave periodically as the

CrossGen epic evolves. By reading the stories as they were released, certain

pieces of that puzzle become more apparent. Even if you've read every issue,

reading it in this order will help the over-arching backstory of the

CrossGen Universe unfold in an entirely new way.

* Lite player option for older systems - While all of us would LIKE to

have speedy computers and fast connections, many of us do not. So, CrossGen

Comics on the Web will be implementing a streamlined version of the

interface that reduces the memory intensity of the comics for those who have

baseline computers or for those users who like to multi-task and run many

programs at once.

"When we introduced Comics on the Web version 1.0, we were looking for the

widest possible audience," said Tony Panaccio, CrossGen's Vice President of

Product Development. "We didn't want anyone to be limited in their ability

to enjoy Comics on the Web because they didn't have $5,000 for an optimum

computer and $100 per month for a high speed connection. Comics on the Web

was created to be affordable to the masses, so we struck a baseline

resolution for the images and created a technology solution that was aimed

at the primary standard modem speed 56K and RAM baseline of 16 megabytes. As

a result, people with high-speed connections who are spoiled by

high-bandwidth eye-candy currently get the same baseline resolution as a 56K

user. We know that the high-end folks want high-end resolution, and we

always intended to provide that in version 2.0, but we didn't want to launch

with it outright to the exclusion of everyone else."

 
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