Top 5 Reasons to Buy My E-Comics

A week ago I announced the e-comics I created for the iPhone/iPad, available exclusively on the iBookstore for 99-cents each:
The Kameoka Diaries: Volume One [ Direct iBookstore Link ]
Young Men of a Certain Mind [ Direct iBookstore Link ]

But I still haven’t really discussed the features of these puppies, or gotten into why I think they’re worth 99 of your hard-earned cents. So I thought I’d make my little sales pitch here. Here’s five reasons I think my e-comics are worth your consideration:

1) They Have Exclusive Content.
The Kameoka Diaries e-comic contains a chapter I never put online, and it’s the funniest of the bunch IMHO:

Above: actual, unaltered panel from the exclusive chapter. I swear it makes sense in context.

And the Young Men of a Certain Mind e-comic has never been put online, so that’s entirely new.

2) They’re in HD.
The resolution of the images in the e-comics is twice that of their online counterparts. They’re incredibly crisp, taking advantage of the iPhone 4 and the new iPad’s Retina Displays (though they also work great on pre-Retina Displays too). The difference is striking. Here’s a couple enlarged comparison shots of the the online version vs. the e-comic one:

An appropriately narcissistic example.

The devious, creepy foreigner from the Japanese textbook looks all the more devious/creepy!

3) They Work Great on the iPhone.
Most e-comics don’t work well on smartphones. They were originally designed for large printed pages, so when you try to read them on the smaller iPhone screen, you spend half your time pinching and zooming to read to the microscopic text, and the other half scanning around the “page” to find the next panel.
I designed The Kameoka Diaries from the ground up to play nice with iPhones. The panels are optimized for that screen size. The text is legible without pinching and zooming. You don’t need to scan around the “page” to find the next panel. Each panel is its own page, so you just flip from panel to panel to panel, like turning the pages of a book. It’s a joy to read, rather than a chore.

This’ll sound arrogant, but honestly: no other digital comic (that I’m aware of) works as well on the iPhone as mine do. But don’t take my word for it; you can download a free sample through the iBookstore and decide for yourself: [ Direct iBookstore Link ]

(Side note: They also work great on iPads, in both portrait or landscape mode, adapting to the larger screen size by showing 4-8 panels at once.)

4) They’re Cheap.
I’ve always felt a bit sheepish about the price of my print graphic novel Tonoharu ($20 per book). That’s a significant chunk of change, especially with the economy being what it is, and with all the cheap/free entertainment alternatives out there. But my hands are sort of tied; with the way print book production/distribution works, I can’t really sell them cheaper than that.
Which is one of the reasons the e-comic format excites me. For the first time, I can sell my work at prices that really feel like bargains. I mean, 99-cents! That’s literally cheaper than dirt!

5) You’ll Help Support the Artist / Fund Future Installments.
Okay, obviously I didn’t go into comics for the money (I’d be way ahead financially if I had devoted the time I spent on comics to a minimum wage job).
But at the same time, I’m not indifferent to financial concerns. So I’ll admit: if these e-comics totally flop, I probably won’t keep making them.
If I can manage to sell just, say, a few hundred copies, I’ll consider that an encouraging enough sign to keep at it. I think that’s a realistic sales target, but I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion by any means. So if you like The Kameoka Diaries and would like to see more installments of it, throwing a buck or two in my direction will go a long way to helping ensure that that happens.


Okay! So that’s my pitch. If you have an iPhone/iPad and are willing to give my e-comics a shot, you can get them for 99-cents each (or get a free sample) here:
The Kameoka Diaries: Volume One [ Direct iBookstore Link ]
Young Men of a Certain Mind [ Direct iBookstore Link ]

And if you have any friends you think might like my work, please let them know about it. Thanks!

  • Johannes

    I would by the book, but I do not have a iPhone or iPad, “just” a mac.
    Once you offer the book in a way that I can enjoy it too, you will gain a customer :)

  • Lars Martinson

    Thanks for the interest!
    I eventually plan to offer it on other digital platforms as well… just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it just yet… (^^;)

  • They also work swimmingly on ye olde iPod Touch, if you have one of those. (You’re welcome, Mr. Martinson)

  • Happy late birthday.
    I wish I had an i-anything!

  • Lars Martinson

    And a happy birthday to you too, Mr. Arik! I should be visiting the US this July, so hopefully I can catch up with you then!

  • Salut Lars, o(^.^)O

    Pourrions-nous avoir une version française et compatible Android ? ;-)

    **French Fan Club**

  • Lars Martinson

    I hope to have the time to develop one some day, but not in the immediate future, sorry! (^^;)

  • Jade

    I’d love to buy the Kameoka Diaries, but when I try to access the link, iBooks just gives me an error and I can’t find it through searching, either. Is it only available in the US store?

  • Lars Martinson

    Hm… It’s available in all 32 countries that have the iBookstore, or at least it should be. I’ve gotten sales from Germany and the UK etc. What country are you in?

  • Jake

    i was linked to this through reddit.

    i love your artwork! bought both books immediately.

    will you release your “tonoharu” graphic novel on the ibookstore too…? :D

  • Lars Martinson

    Thanks for your support!
    Regarding “Tonoharu” on the iBookstore: I’m strongly considering it!
    I’m also thinking of doing it as an app, which would give me more control over presentation and allow me to use more of the screen to display the artwork. Like I say, I’m still debating what I want to do.

  • Jan

    As with a couple of other people, I run an Android phone, don’t do Apple at all, and would appreciate the e-books in a relevant format. But not at the expense of Tonoharu 3 (or your health)!

  • Lars Martinson

    I’m actually totally receptive to the idea of doing an Android version; in fact at first I tried to make the iBookstore e-book files play nice with Android/PCs/whatever.
    But I just couldn’t get them to work. Part of that is probably my inexperience with the underlying code that makes up e-books (html and css), and part of it is probably the fact that e-books are designed for text-heavy books, so when you create one that’s mostly images, each e-reader platform seems to screw it up in its own unique way. It took forever for me to get the books working well on iPhone/iPads, and that’s just two device types! For Android with all the dozens (hundreds?) of different screen sizes etc. it’s just too intimidating, at least for now.
    But like I say, maybe (hopefully) someday!

  • Jade

    I’m from New Zealand. Looks like it’s a thing with my country not having access to any paid material in the iBookstore, ah well.

  • Dean

    I too would LOVE to see your graphic novel on the iBookstore. The artwork is just sublime.

    I loved the Kameoka Diaries. I work in Korea, for the Korean version of JET (EPIK), so I was able to relate to the lesson plan chapter. The last panels made me laugh out loud.

    Amazing style! I will come back for more. Thank you!M

  • Lars Martinson

    Jade: Aw shucks. Yeah, it looks like the iBookstore isn’t available there yet. Hopefully someday soon!
    Dean: Cheers!

  • Ryan

    I agree that try to figure out all the screen sizes on Android is too much. How about selling a PDF on (something similar) for everyone who can’t use iTunes?

    My Android can handle PDFs with no problem and it looks great. I had the 大阪 version of 旅の指さし会話帳 book scanned at into a PDF and I love it. ( I recommend it on a purely of the entertainment value. w )


    • Lars Martinson

      That’s a great idea. This summer I’ll have a few weeks of free time, and I’ll see if I can’t sort out a PDF option then! (And get my site whipped into shape too.)

  • AP

    Wow, so glad I found your work. Once I get my new debit card, I am for sure gonna get your comics. I’m also gonna get your hardcovers – love the drawing style and your point of view as an author.
    I am thinking of writing my own digital comic – your work is an inspiration to me.