May 1st 2012 By: Caleb Goellner
If you're still on the fence about paying for digital comics instead of their print counterparts, your local library could soon offer a very free workaround for reading single issue comics and graphic novels. Come July (tentatively, anyway), iVerse Media will launch Comics Plus: Library Edition
, a new digital comics platform
spanning HTML5 web browsers/mobile devices/tablets that participating libraries can use to allow patrons to check out perishable digital comics for free.Publishers Weekly
spoke to iVerse account director Josh Elder about the company's library app last week, who explained that the cloud-based service would be free, with participating libraries paying about 50 cents per graphic novel and 10 cents for single issue comic checkouts. Libraries will set up a predetermined budget each month in advance, allowing them to tailor availability based on demand and other factors. Checkout periods will probably last 1-2 weeks.
Official selections haven't been announced, although Elder told PW publisher response has been "overwhelmingly" positive, which could signal a pretty beefy selection come the service's tentative Comic-Con launch. Unspecified free content will also be available (ala iVerse's current stable of free offerings, perhaps?), which won't cost libraries anything to check out.
The platform will also reportedly give libraries useful controls to manage material that's age-sensitive. You know, for schools trying to hone in on a certain age group or public libraries that might not necessarily want to deal with letting a minor crack open a digital copy of something like From Hell