How well is the e-book market for comics doing? What is the market share of downloaded comics versus the number of print copies sold? I don't know. Maybe there is one place you could go to find all of those answers at once, but I haven't searched for it very diligently. What I do know is some of the e-books work to make the experience a little different from the traditional print reading and some don't.
But there is a company working to take the digital comic experience to the next level. Since 2012 they have garnered rave reviews on their digital format/layout for comics. Some of the stories are originals. Some come form companies like DC and IDW. But they all look amazing when they have been given the Madefire treatment. It must be good when the App Store lists Madefire as one of the Best Apps of 2012, or when USA Today calls the Madefire books "groundbreaking." Madefore has gotten the attention of Wired, Time, The New York Times, MTV Geek, and the Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. They made major presentations at the New York Comic Con and the San Diego Comic Con.
After reading the first installment of Captain Stone I sat back and thought about how this could/would change things and open up new roles in comics. The writer, penciler, inker, colorist, letterer and editor would all still have roles in this new format. But animators and musicians could be part of the team. An editor could get a "motions and effects assistant editor" to help deciding on how to take the static images and make them do something that adds to the story. In the bigger picture I imagine this would take programmers to continue to refine the tools used in these books, but also to create tools and applications that the creative team could find themselves wanting or needing as they continue to explore the possibilities of motion books.
The ideas just keep coming!
The only thing motion books haven't captured (no electronic format I know of has to date- correct me if I'm wrong) to date is the ability to be collectible. Print comics can be purchased and physically placed somewhere. They are limited in how many can exist. Their conditions vary, making finding the ones you want for the price and condition you want part of the hunt. Comics collections can move from person to person, whether they are handed down of sold. They have measurable value. But once a digital comic, e-book or motion book is purchased how does one grade the condition, limit the numbers, or find a way to pass them on or sell them?
Still, Madefire is on to something big here, and I have to agree with Liam- this looks like the wave of the future! Madefire has a free app that allows you to read the books. They also have Facebook and Twitter and can be found on DeviantArt with many previews and some free issues. But check out their web page, www.madefire.com, and see the media buzz, meet the creators, learn about the motion tools and see what is in their growing library.