DC Thomson’s ‘Commando’ Comic Goes Digital

Commando – now available on iPad and iPhone

(via downthetubes.net, republished here with full permission): Along with the latest issues of Commando – which includes a reprint of an issue from 1970 drawn by now top 2000AD artist Cam Kennedy – comes news from DC Thomson that their digital editions of the war edition comic are now available for iPhone and iPad.

Commando, which has now surpassed 4300 stories since its inception in July 1961, started its 50th anniversary year in 2011 with a bang, courtesy of a brand new website, www.commandocomics.com. Now its digital subscriptions service, using iPhone and iPad apps has gone live, a first from DC Thomson’s stable of publications.

DC Thomson says the new service ensures that Commando adventures, famed for their accuracy and authenticity, are now available in digital form as well as print.

iPad interface for the new Commando app

The new Commando website, created by DC Thomson’s Digital team in partnership with Edinburgh-based digital agency, Storm ID, has a range of new features which ensures that Commando is well positioned for the digital future.

Users can explore the stories, including new issues, using the free interactive viewer as well as obtain information on the military hardware featured throughout. There’s also the chance to enjoy various story features and the reminiscences of both the current editorial team and contributors from throughout Commando’s 50 years.

Visitors will also have the ability to purchase a digital subscription directly from the website or buy a print subscription for delivery. Also, for the first time, users can get their hands on some famous Commando cover posters (in A1 size format) exclusively through Commandocomics.com, for the introductory price of £19.99.

Both iPad and iPhone apps, the other aspect of the title’s latest digital push, are free, and come with the option to download four free issues of Commando from the title’s archive, to tempt you into buying a full subscription.

The iPhone App has an instinctive interface that’s simple to use and Commando‘s printed format – usually two landscape panels per page – means the stories transfers easily to the small screen.

Download speeds from the archive will vary with your connection, but you can carry on exploring the library while you’re waiting for that to happen, which has been catalogued themeatically.

iPhone interface for the new
Commando app

At present, there doesn’t appear to be a search facillity – comic fans will almost certainly like to search by artist or writer as well as by theme – but there is an in-app link to the Commando web site (which opens in Safari), so there are options there for DC Thomson to develop direct to its readers.

Annoyingly, while there’s clearly been a huge effort to make Commando an enjoyable reading experience on the small screen (although some readers may need to use the ‘zoom’ feature to read the story text), it’s a bit odd that the new Commando web site doesn’t detect you’re viewing it on an iPhone, and offer a mobile version of the site. But this is a minor niggle – the whole launch of these new Apps and the new web site is a huge step into new territory for DC Thomson and they’ve done a good job – and I’m sure there are more developments in the pipeline.

“Being the first DC Thomson title to offer a downloadable digital comic via a web-based subscription service is quite a responsibility but one we are delighted to take on,” says Commando Editor Calum Laird. Commando is a unique product in the UK marketplace and now, it can be made available worldwide at the click of a mouse, or the tap of a screen for iPhone and iPad.

“These devices are almost tailor-made for the unique presentation of Commando,” feels Calum. “Backing up the subscription service with a fully-loaded website giving access to our timeless story archive will be welcomed with open arms by Commando fans.”

• The iPad and iPhone apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.

Commando Comics iPhone App on iTunes

Commando Comics iPad App on iTunes

• Official Commando web site: www.commandocomics.com

• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846

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