EXCLUSIVE: The digital ‘Doonesbury,’ ‘Dilbert’ & ‘Big Nate’: Andrews McMeel and comiXology announce distribution deal

THREE NEWSPAPER-BORN comic strips that have famously flourished online are gaining a new way to be dropped at your digital doorstep.

“Dilbert,” “Doonesbury” and “Big Nate” are coming today to the ever-growing digital platform comiXology, in a deal with Andrews McMeel Publishing that will be announced Wednesday.

To kick off its access to Andrews McMeel’s comics library, comiXology begins today by launching digital books of Scott Adams’s iconic “Dilbert,” which in the early ‘90s became the first syndicated strip to include the creator’s e-mail address; Garry Trudeau’s Pulitzer-winning “Doonesbury,” which hosts the “Sandbox” military blog through the Post Co.-owned Slate site; and Lincoln Peirce’s “Big Nate,” which has exploded in popularity in recent years since joining PopTropica.com


New digital deal for Dilbert and friends. (DILBERT / Scott Adams / courtesy of Andrews McMeel /.)

ComiXology characterizes itself as a smaller player among all digital delivery platforms, but a big force in comics delivery, with more than 30,000 works.

“We’re looking at strips as a place to expand our content library,” comiXology co-founder/CEO David Steinberger tells Comic Riffs. “Our general vision is [to attract] anyone who might be interested in graphic storytelling, graphic novels and strips — to get anyone connected to the comic they like.”

ComiXology recently also announced it was adding Jeff Kinney’s ”Diary of a Wimpy Kid” to its library. The company’s wide-ranging catalog also includes Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons,” Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez’s ”Love and Rockets” and a growing list of manga.

“It’s about storytelling,” Steinberger tells us. “It starts and ends with how well the format [is adapted] for storyteling, even on small devices.” (ComiXology can be accessed across devices ranging from the iPad to iPhone, Android to Kindle Fire — as well as via Windows 8 and the Web, natch.)

Financial terms of the Andrews McMeel deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2007, comiXology recently announced its 100-millionth comics/graphic novel download — and it’s consistently among the most popular apps in iTunes.

“Comics is big enough to be interesting, but not enough for bigger [digital publishing] companies to spend the time to do it right,” Steinberger tells Comic Riffs. “We’re the only multiplatform provider of this type of material that [gives comics] the care and love they deserve.”

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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