News Roundup – Take One Tablet! Steven Savage September 18, 2011 Columns, Mission Professional One of the things I want to do here, when it warrants, is to post about news that’s important to would-be and current comics professionals. Now and then there’s little news – but like the last week, there’s a lot. So let’s take a look at the stories you should be following – and ours this column are going to focus on Tablets! Amazon:Amazon wants to have a service that’s like a Netflix of Books. For comics fans and pros, I’m wondering what this could mean for comics on the Amazon tablet (and others): How many more people would read e-comics if they were part of a service like this – and how do people like us get in on that? If Amazon chooses to get into comics who will they make deals with? I imagine the “big boys” first If they have their own service, what might it do to other comics services? Amazon has made content deals with Hearst Corp. For you pro-comics people consider: Amazon is making a deal with a big media company – they’re not worried about engaging the large companies for content. I’d say that means if they get into comics, they may well deal with the larger holders of properties first. Hearst is a big booster of HTML 5 – which is only going to accelerate adaption of the standard and related tools. GameStop:GameStop? Yep, GameStop is involved in a lot of media and we need to pay attention to them, because …they’re going to brand their own Tablet. You can find that link here. Note that they’re not really making it so much as branding it. But still they’re doing a tablet and that means they’re in the Tablet game. And for comics . . . GameStop is dedicated to gaming right now – and pretty much they’re doing everything they can in the market. That to me, means that they’re willing to try anything, and . . . They are involved in entertainment. Thus in order to sell tablets they will likely focus on broader entertainment opportunities. This to me, means they could consider deals, options, or just carrying software to do e-comics. Since they’re interested in good branding, if they get involved in e-comics, they’d likely find a service and make it “official/branded.” This might exclude some people for obvious reasons. WalMart:Wait, Wal-Mart? Yep, Wal-Mart has been investing in and buying various social, media, and advertising companies like One Riot. They own Vudu. They also have been having troubles the last two years, and with their wide base, a video system, and seeking new opportunities, I’ve wondered if they might go for a Tablet themselves. This is a favorite subject of mine over at Fan To Pro, but I keep fluctuating on this – Wal Mart could make a Tablet (or brand one). If Wal-Mart makes a tablet, well… …people might want to read comics on it, and they might want to make a deal with Wal-Mart. So that’s the roundup for this week. I’ll be doing these news roundups as warranted to keep present and current comics professionals thinking.