Andrews McMeel Publishing announced last week that they are going to publish 3 of Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes collections as ebooks. The ebooks are due out next month but unfortunately will not include the massive 3-volume, 40 pound Complete Calvin & Hobbes.
But we will be getting The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes, and The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes. The ebooks are due out on 12 November 2013.
There’s no information on where the ebooks will be available (just that they will be limited to tablet formats), which might not be a good sign. While it is possible AMP will distribute this digital comic to all ebookstores, in the past they have signed exclusive deals with comiXology. I am afraid they might decide to repeat that past exclusive deal.
Speaking as someone who doesn’t want to be locked into comiXology (I prefer to chain myself to another ebookstore) that would be a shame. I was really looking forward to examining the technical details of how these ebooks are put together.
Update: These 3 titles are listed in the Kindle Store. You can pre-order them for $9.99 each.
The thing is, Bill Watterson didn’t just create a daily comic strip. Once the strip was widely distributed, he used its popularity to push for more artistic freedom. He started experimenting with the Sunday strips and eventually started producing strips like this:
I was curious how the various ebook platforms would handle the content and switching back and forth between the huge page size and the single strip. As you can see, this is an image that would look terrible on a 6″ screen.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.