As I was reading V for Vendetta the other night, it occurred to me that if this Apple tablet device is real, it could reinvigorate comics and graphic novels even more than all the recent film adaptations. Imagine reading Watchmen and other graphic novels on a big, bright, interactive screen, and having new issues of comics automatically and wirelessly delivered (like newspapers on your Amazon Kindle). Imagine zooming in on panels, listening to voice-overs, and reading comments left by other readers.
Hopefully both Apple and the comic book industry are pursuing this opportunity without any of the obsolete preconceptions of traditional media. I believe if this is done right, the Apple tablet can revolutionize comics every bit as much as the iPod revolutionized digital music.
Although the last thing the internet needs are more rumors of what Apple is going to release, while I'm on the topic, I might as well present my predictions:
- 10" – 13" multi-touch screen.
- iPhone OS.
- App Store, naturally (which, as a side note, I expect to come to the desktop eventually).
- Focus on music, video, magazines, newspapers, hopefully comics, web browsing, and gaming (both 3D and simple virtual multi-player board games).
- Nice "page-flip" animations and gestures to make you feel like you're reading physical media.
- Wireless delivery, probably through Verizon rather than AT&T.
- On-screen keyboard and voice commands.
- No optical media, and perhaps no way to connect a keyboard (after all, Apple can't allow it to replace your MacBook).
- Remote control for your iTV, perhaps.
- Accelerometer, GPS, and camera (although these could come as upgrades in later models).
- 64GB of storage capacity (must be bigger than the iPod Touch, but not so big that they can't sell you higher-capacity models in the future).
- Non-removable battery (naturally — now that they've gotten away with it, why go back?).
- Name: the Apple iPad.
- Price: $800.
Anything I left out?