A response from Rob on the Apple kerfuffle.

MAC WORLD has been carrying this story quite a bit and it’s making the rounds.

I do dislike how easily the word “censorship” gets bandied about the internet these days, but we live interesting times.

Here then, from the MAC WORLD comment section for their article, is my thoughts on the situation and a sincere thanks for the support we’ve received from fans so far;

Lachlan,

Thanks for that, and it’s distressing for myself as well to water down work that I felt was the best way to represent the novel in this new form on the iPad. But the the tablet is something I always planned for as a viewing platform for this project and, currently, Apple’s iPad is the only viable tablet around. So they do get to set the guidelines on what kind of products they want to offer there at this time.

When you move to a frontier territory to set up a town as Apple has done here with the iPad, the first buildings you put up are never the libraries, museums or newspaper offices. Usually they’re the saloons and general stores. Apple, I believe, fears what happens to the town if there’s too many of the former so they go a safer route with products carried in the latter.

But saloons and public houses are where the life of a town and it’s art, particularly an art like Joyce’s ULYSSES, are made. Not on the shelves of a grocer, no matter how well-intended he may be.

These conditions, like the tablet itself, will change as more and more people start using this kind of a platform and the new methods it offers in consuming and publishing books and other media. It will also change as competitors move into the market offering a different set of options.

I and my partners on ULYSSES “SEEN” are happy to have brought a new way to look at Joyce’s novel to the world through the tablet and we respect that Apple’s iPad and the iTunes store make that possible for us in ways no other company yet has to offer. They are firm in their guidelines and restrictions but have been respectful and straight-forward in all our dealings with them so far. We hope to have the next version of the app, with more pages of comic and readers’ guide, in the App Store in time for BloomsDay and continuing this relationship for the foreseeable future.

Like any artist or publisher, we look forward to being able to make a book we’re proud of and present it to the world, but we need to work with the vendors, the booksellers, to get our product out there. Vendors have their own guidelines and thoughts on the kind of material they want to carry, so we make some small concessions there to what is, currently, a “one bookstore” town.

But we’re glad for fans and supporters like yourself who are willing to tell Apple the kind of books that you think they should carry and why ULYSSES “SEEN” is one of them.

Thanks again for that,

-Rob Berry

  • http://damnedskeptic.blogspot.com/ Damned Skeptic

    To change your analogy slightly, having an iPad is more like being in a company town where the company owns the only bookstore, decides what books are available and won’t allow any other bookstores. You want to be in the market; you do as Apple tells you.

    I don’t want to plead with Apple to approve the content that goes on a computer that I supposedly own, so I have no interest in the iPad.

  • http://mary-laure.blogspot.com Mary-Laure

    I just read about this in the NYTimes
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/technology/14ulysses.html?ref=books
    and frankly, I am speechless. VERY disappointed in Apple.
    I am a big fan of Ulysses and discovered your work with great interest. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to support you. If your comic is published in book form, I will most definitely buy it.

  • http://Don'tkeeponeanymore. Victoria

    Considering the decision by the supreme Court back in 1933 I’m suprised Apple isn’t willing to take the book, the whole book and nothing but the book. What are they really afraid of? It must be more than a little hand drawen breast. Aparently, the only non-company censorship is still the world wide web.

  • Capt Snark

    I think it’s inappropriate of Apple to deny the work . . . that point aside, however, the work itself is quite simply wretched.

  • http://www.ulyssesseen.com/ robberry237

    Well, if the moniker “Captain Snark” doesn’t say enough already then I guess I should just say how nice it is to have someone talking less about the controversy and more about the adaptation.

    Very nice, thanks.

    Oh, wait. You mean you don’t like the drawings or the interface? Perhaps, having bothered to register, you’ll hang around the site long enough to tell us what we’re doing wrong.
    -Rob

  • Pingback: iPad Resolves Graphic Novel Controversy | this – a webzine

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