Last year Egmont UK started releasing old comics digitally. These included Roy of the Rovers, Battle and Misty. It seems to be a project they are hoping will grow, as they have recently launched a website, dedicated to classic comics; http://classiccomics.egmont.co.uk/ They are offering free digital downloads of the first volume of Roy of the Rovers and Charley’s War to celebrate the launch (just for a limited time).
Assuming this venture keeps growing we could see more Misty stories released in the future. At the moment there is just one digital Misty available; Misty: Tales from the Mist. Initially it was only available through the itunes store but it is now also available on Kindle. It is £1.99 through itunes and slightly cheaper through Amazon at £1.78. It is advertised as 27 pages but actually only has 23 pages of stories. Looking at some popular US comics, that seems to be an average page size and price-wise, digital comics seem to to range from $1.99-$3.99. That is not extensive research by me but just what I gathered from a general look at comics available on Comixology! So I think the prices and comic length are reasonable and in keeping with other digital offerings.
As for readability, I must admit I’m still a fan of having a physical copy of a book/comic in my hands. I do own a kindle and I find it very convenient and easy to use but I use it in conjunction with physical books not instead of. I have a Kindle Touch which is able to download comics but I assume the comics are more suited to the Kindle Fire. Also in Kindle Touch the comic is all black and white, but as there is few colour pages it doesn’t make that much of a difference. The interface allows you to zoom in to read but it can be a bit fidgety and hard to get into the flow of it. This could be because the Kindle Touch isn’t really suited for it. I did get an opportunity to read on an iPad through the ibooks app as well, and this was much easier. It would be easy to read the book just page by page, but there is quite a thick border around the story. But that’s just a small complaint, on the iPad it is a lot easier to zoom in and out and the digital restoration is very clear and crisp. There are a couple of colour pages and comparing to the original seem to be darker in colour (or maybe my original copies are just faded!) but there is no diminish in quality, the art throughout is still pleasing.
As for the contents itself, it is all reprinted material of course, and it seems to be just a shorter version the Misty Souvenir Special released a few years ago. There are five short stories; Wolfsbane, So You Want to be a Star, The Governess, What Did You Say? and The Pig People. Also there is a text story: You Never Know Who and a feature Find a Future Boyfriend. My favourite of these was “What Did You Say?” where an inconsiderate girl, plays music loudly all the time. She is warned that it is enough to wake the dead and it seems one night when she’s home alone, it has woken them! All the stories are typical Misty; bad girls being punished, scary monsters and general creepiness. The art is good throughout and benefits from sharpness of the digital rendering.
My biggest complaint is that it is does seems quite short and personally I do think there are better stories in the Misty collection that could have been printed. Some people might find it a bit costly (especially compared to the 8p that a Misty comic used to cost!), but I would be happy to pay a bit more for extra material. It would be nice to see full length serials reprinted perhaps with a couple of short stories.
I would like to see this digital endeavour succeed, there are only so many physical copies of these comics, so it would be good to see these stories preserved and more widely available. Also it’s an opportunity to introduce these stories to a new generation. If this proves to be a success for the company who know what comics, stories may become available next!