Genus Apps launched its new Kamikaze comic reader for the iPhone at New York Comic Con in fine style, with apps for the first issues of Zombies vs. Robots available at launch, and an exclusive deal with WW Norton for Contract with God and other Eisner works announced. 


The company’s Contract with God iPhone app, launched last week, includes the Kamikaze reader and the full Contract with God graphic novel for $1.99.  Other apps from the company pair the reader with issues #0, #1, and #2 of IDW’s Zombies vs. Robots at $.99 each. 


The Kamikaze reader allows its user to view either full pages or read the comic panel by panel.  Readers can touch the panels or word balloons on the full page view to get to a single panel view or expanded word balloon, or the reader can pinch in to be taken back to the full page.  The app also includes page-turn and other sound effects. 


According to Helen Cho Anthos and Melissa Pope, the principals behind Genus Apps, the company’s deal with WW Norton gives it exclusive rights to its Eisner library for phones.  Additional titles from IDW are also planned, although that deal is not exclusive to Genus Apps.  Anthos and Pope said they also met “with a lot of publishers” at NYCC, and hope to have further announcements soon.


We asked what distinguished the Kamikaze comic reader from the uClick or iVerse apps.  “We believe we have a superior platform for people to be able to experience comics,” GenusApps founders said, pointing to the ability to navigate either by full pages or by panel, and to expand the word balloons as unique features.


Prior to the comic reader apps, Genus Apps released a series called Tribe, which was basically an art magazine featuring a single artist each time.  Issues were released for Kent Williams, Dave McKean, and Chris Reccardi.  After a Tribe app made the Apple Staff Favorites list, downloads of Tribe topped 50 a day at times. 


We asked about the genesis of the company.  “We were inspired by the iPhone, and we’re comics and graphic novel fans,” the founders told us.  They emphasized the time and care they’d taken in developing the app.  “We spent almost a year from conception to delivery vs. just coming out sooner with something more basic,” they said.