As a comic book fan, I’m stoked about Graphic.ly (previously known as Take Comics). We mentioned Graphic.ly during Steve Ballmer’s keynote at CES this year. Graphic.ly is an app that will digitally bring comic books to your Windows PC. But Graphic.ly will also go beyond simply being a digital comic book reader. You’ll be able to interact with friends that are also comic book readers. They will also be providing an outlet for you to check out merchandise related to the comic books you’re reading – right from the app! You will be able to rate and leave comments on comic books you read.
The above screenshot is from one of the latest beta releases. They are doing quite a bit of work right now on the app so some aspects are subject to change (see below on beta info and release timing).
I sent along some questions to Graphic.ly CEO Micah Baldwin about Graphic.ly and their plans.
Brandon LeBlanc: So Micah, tell us about Graphic.ly.
Micah Baldwin: Graphic.ly provides an immersive social experience and marketplace for digital comics and associated merchandise. We like to think of Graphic.ly as a place for all people that, like us, love the art and storytelling that lives within the pages of a comic book or graphic novel, and enjoy nothing more than sharing that enthusiasm with their friends.
Brandon LeBlanc: What kinds of things does Graphic.ly take advantage of in Windows 7? Why do people wanting to use this app would also want to do it on Windows 7?
Micah Baldwin: The Windows version of our app is built with WPF, and takes advantage of all the touch features Window 7 has. Have a touchscreen with Windows 7? Then there are some great bells and whistles for you…
Brandon LeBlanc: Tell us about what kinds of comics we’ll find in your Comic Store.
Micah Baldwin: There is a wide selection of current comics and back issues, plus graphic novels and other great books. We are also working on bringing Marvel and DC comics to our service in the future as well – including the Windows application.
Brandon LeBlanc: You’ve worked closely with Microsoft in developing this app. You’re also a BizSpark company. Dave Drach, a Managing Director for the Emerging Business Team here at Microsoft, posted a blog post about working with you. Can you elaborate on that experience?
Micah Baldwin: It’s been a great experience. We are getting introductions and mentorship that would have been really difficult or take a long time to develop. It has truly accelerated our growth.
Side note from Brandon: For more on BizSpark, click here.
Brandon LeBlanc: Graphic.ly’s entire backend service is hosted on Windows Azure correct?
Micah Baldwin: Yes.
Brandon LeBlanc: You guys launched the Private Beta for Graphic.ly this week at CES right? How can someone get on that Private Beta?
Micah Baldwin: They can sign up at http://graphic.ly or shoot me an email at micah AT graphicly dot com and I can probably work something out.
Brandon LeBlanc: When do you expect to have a more public release?
Michael Baldwin: Probably closer to the end of January, maybe middle of February. We are currently receiving a ton of beta tester feedback and it has really added to what we will deliver.
Brandon LeBlanc: Thanks Micah for taking the time to answer my questions!
Once Graphic.ly announces their public release, I’ll be sure to update everyone on where they can go and grab it. Stay tuned!
For more on Graphic.ly, visit their website.