Less than two years since they began releasing their digital books on the same day as the print release, DC Comics is taking the digital comic in an entirely new direction. The new format, called DC2 (DC Squared) will bring elements such as “dynamic artwork,” that animates the comic with just a tap of the screen and the DC2 Multiverse, the choose-your-own-adventure style comic that lets each reader choose a path at key moments to take the reader into different storylines.
Debuting the DC2 format will be Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case’s Batman ’66, which is based on the classic Adam West and Burt Ward Batman television series. Instead of flipping through pages Jim Lee said with DC2 all you do is;
“Tap on the screen to bring the next element of the story to life, whether it’s a whole panel, or a word balloon or a sound effect. What’s cool is that you really get to challenge the rules of traditional storytelling. You aren’t beholden to a strict left to right western culture narrative. You can have elements that leap back and forth.”
The DC2 Multiverse will debut in Batman: Arkham Origins, a tie-in with the upcoming video game. Lee says this story navigation will “bring a new aspect of gameplay to story telling.” This type of decision making in the comic will also bring in something most books can’t claim to have: re-playablity and a vast array of new and possible content.
“We get feedback based on how readers navigate through these stories, and what story branches are most appealing to them,” said Lee. “That’ll give us meaningful input as we create additional chapters for the multiverse storyline, to the point where you can have people vote on the fates of certain characters. The interactivity isn’t just on the screen itself; it’s between us as publishers and readers as fans.”
DC Comic’s digital sales have increased 125 percent between 2011 and 2012 and DC2 seems likely to attract even more readers.
“Just three years ago, we weren’t in the business of digital publishing at all, or not meaningfully,” said DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson. “Now there are a million downloads a month of DC stories from our digital publishing. It’s not an insignificant business anymore.”