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New iPhone Comic Books

Jan. 29 2009, Published 12:27 p.m. ET

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The comic book industry is dying. reported that Mad is on life-support, and other titles will soon follow. And no wonder. Back in the 1960s, comic books sold a quarter of a million copies of most titles. Today, the top sellers are lucky to hit 50,000 each.

But the medium may have found a savior: the iPhone.

"I believe that this medium is the future of the comic book industry," Catastrophic Comics publisher Christopher Folino told He says that downloading comics will kill time while you're at the DMV or waiting in Starbucks.

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"A TV show or a movie (download) is too long. This way you get enough entertainment without having to block out a lot of your time."

These so-called motion comics -- which are basic comic books with sound effects and music tacked on -- can now be downloaded for 99 cents an issue on iTunes and among the first to avail themselves of the medium are Greatest American Hero TV star William Katt and Christopher Folino, creators of the superhero comic Sparks.

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"J.M. Ringuet did some amazing artwork," Folino enthuses, "and with the motion comic book, we've added the right mood, the music, sound effects and voice talent for you to experience Sparks."

A motion comic version of the upcoming film Watchmen will be available March 3.



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