The apps are the first 'white label' comics apps created by ROK Comics in partnership with creators or publishers on a revenue share deal - ROK provides the delivery app, the creator or publisher the content.
• Ligeia the Vampire comprises 40 episodes of vampire, zombie and wartime menace, inspired by the story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. Drawn in a style echoing the work of Alex Toth, Frank Miller and Alberto Breccia, the strip pays homage to HP Lovecraft and movies like La Maschera del Demonio.
The creation of artist Rodrigo Diaz Ricci and inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe, many of Ligeia the Vampire's adventures are set in wartime Europe, a time when the lines between good and evil are never clear cut. A graphic designer and comics artist, Rodrigo has worked for US and European comics publishers, including covers for the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia and also for Mondo Ignoto’s Horror and Forbidden Archaeology magazines.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for a new audience to get to know my characters," feels Rodrigo. "Mobile comics go beyond the comics fans out to the general public who would not, perhaps, buy comics.
"The iPhone is an amazing platform, he added. "It's the natural evolution for the newspaper comic strips."
• Mobile Gospel is a quirky but fun re-telling of the gospel of Luke, the creation of Rich Diesslin, based on the book of Luke from his Cartoon Gospel Series (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
Rich is is also the creator of the KNOTS or Not Scouting cartoons and a general single-panel cartoon called Out to Lunch. He is also the author and cartoonist of The Cartoon Ten Commandments and the cartoonist of A Journey Through Christian Theology, an anthology of theologians now in its second edition published by Fortress Press.
"It's exciting to be able to deliver a 2100-year-old message using visual parables with cutting edge technology!" says Rich. "In other words, the Gospel of Luke in cartoons as a ROK iPhone app! It's great to be a part of ROK's iPhone apps launch.
"This is a great time to be a comics creator in terms of all the options available to get our work out there - print, computers and now mobile devices," he adds. "ROK continues to be a leader and innovator in bringing comic content to the mobile market and this is clearly a logical next step for them. I am pleased to be part of the ROK Comics iPhone apps launch and hope this proves to be a viable niche amidst the thousands of apps that are on the market."
• Madd Science is a humour strip - the clue to its content is in the title! - by Steve English won the Rok comics competition a couple of years back, judged by the editor of the Beano, so it seemed a no brainer to include it in this first tranche of iPhone releases.
Steve's work has appeared in UK weekly comic The Beano and other publications. He's the author of a number of books including The Potted Guide to Theology with Tony Gray (recently translated into German) as well as Peter's Cat and Two by Two.
Originally launched as a WAP subscription service, ROK Comics has most recently been focusing on delivering subscription services in countries such as India.
All the comics created using the ROK Comics comic creator service (via www.rokcomics.com) have been specially formatted to work on the mobile handset using WAP pages, WAP download or MMS download.
With every new deployment in a territory, existing content is handpicked for suitability. Traditional localised content is also sourced. ROK comics are managed directly from the UK by John Freeman, who has over 25 years experience and knowledge of this industry; having previously been a Group Editor for Marvel Comics UK and editor of magazines such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and the UK edition of Simpsons Comics.
"I'm delighted we're launching these comic apps," says John. "The strips will appeal to different markets and we're keen to roll out further projects, working with both publishers and other key creators."
All three comic strip iPhone apps are available from the iTunes store via the links below.
• Ligeia the Vampire: The Treasure of the Vampire on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ligeia/i
• The Mobile Gospel by Rich Dieslin is on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mobile-gospel/id409877719?mt=8#
• Madd Science by Steve English is on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/madd-science/id409860018?mt=8#