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Marvel Announces Barnes & Noble Nook Deal For Digital Comics

This morning, editorial director of, Ryan Penagos, live tweeted from Barnes & Noble’s NOOK event in New York City. Why was the Marvel employee in attendance? In addition to revealing their new Nook tablet, Barnes & Noble announced they would soon be carrying Marvel digital comics on the device in their first-ever electronic pairing with the bookseller. 

The news adds to the interesting tale that’s been unfolding between the bookseller and the comic book world. Last month, Barnes & Noble decided to pull all DC Comics books from their physical store shelves after the publisher made an exclusive deal with for their new Kindle Fire e-reader. Jaime Carey, chief merchant of B&N, gave this statement at the time, “regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format…To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.”

DC later felt the need to clarify that their digital releases would not be exclusive to just one e-reader but available through the Kindle app on other devices besides the Fire. B&N then made an interesting move by inking a deal with UK publisher 2000 AD/Rebellion for a slew of old Alan Moore stories.

Penagos tweeted the news about Marvel comics coming to the NOOK and then continued filling his 1.3 million followers in about the new product and details about the deal. Here’s a breakdown:

  • NOOK Comics will have a lot of Marvel support and content and the library will continue to grow.
  • It will have the largest collection of Marvel graphic novels than any other tablet on the market.
  • The NOOK is in HD and weighs under a pound. It also has wifi and can do 9 hours of video on a single charge. It will have 16 GB of internal storage and support for up to 32 GB SD cards and 7 times more memory capacity than the Kindle Fire.
  • The tablet supports 1080p video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and offer free cloud storage.

The NOOK Tablet will cost $250 and be available next week online and in stores soon. B&N’s NOOK Color will now be $199 with new enhancements and also have Marvel comics. Penagos also gave us a look at the tablet up close via his tumblr, showing off Ultimate Spider-Man #1.

What do you make of the big news? If you were going to choose, which device would you purchase, the new NOOK or the Fire?

Previously in Barnes & Noble

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  • John Wao

    So does this mean is going to retaliate somehow?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been debating getting a Fire, and will probably go that way or pass on the tablet for the time being.  I’m not thrilled with the behavior of either company, but I already have a Kindle, as the Nook’s whole color pseudo-tablet design sort of defeated the purpose of getting a dedicated e-reader (1. convenience, 2. less eyestrain).

    This trend toward separating out content really rubs me the wrong way, though.  I prefer my comics in hard copy, purchased from an independent shop, so it doesn’t directly effect me, but I hate seeing the trend continue.  What happens the next time Amazon tries to play another power game like it did with Macmillian last year?  At the time, Amazon was kind of the only game in town, but if that happened again, what’s to stop that publisher from just calling Amazon’s bluff and taking its content to another platform entirely?

    It doesn’t seem like good business practice to make people have
    different devices to read different content–won’t that just encourage
    people to use whatever device they have and pirate the content they
    can’t get legitimately–so I suspect it won’t get to that point, but the fact that Marvel and DE opened that door still really rubs me the wrong way.

  • John Wao

    I’ll stick with books. They don’t need batteries, I don’t have to worry about some server going down and there’s no question about who owns it.

  • Lynn C

    People do that now. Or they buy the ebook for their PC Kindle reader, and then use other software to convert it. I think what’s most likely to happen is that some comics readers – the ones who resent DC basically telling everyone with a non-Kindle e-reader to stick it –  will boycott the “exclusive” deal by just refusing to buy those comics in digital format.

  • Anonymous

  • Matthew Lane

    Plus, nothing looks as good as a real book shelf full of well loved, well thumbed through books, be they comic books, trade paper back comics, novels, or reference books.

    Frankly, having read a digital comic book in there current format on an ipad, i’ve got to say, if i had an ipad/fire/nook, i would be using pirated comics, as there quality is better & there is no chance that i’m going to lose them in a server crash (an it also means i can continue to support my favourite bricks and mortor comic shop) & i don’t have to mess around with multiple different apps.

    digital comics, the only medium in the world where the illigitimate pirated version is better then the legitimate version.

  • Matthew Lane

    except DC didn’t tell non kindle users to “stick it.” The Kindle app is avaialable on all android devices, except for the Nook. An its only not avaiable on the Nook, because B&N refused to allow it in there app library. You can still run the Amazon Kindle app on the Nook, but you have to side load it & that makes it act buggy/sluggy.