Comic books have been an American pastime since the early 20th century, and it’s about time they got the digital treatment. Nothing has me more excited than Comixology, the #1 top grossing app on the iTunes App Store with more than 1 million app downloads. It is the digital hub for all comic junkies, and an impressive reader to boot.
Primarily, Comixology is a digital comic book store in direct partnership with publishers such as DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image and others. Readers can find staples such as Batman, X-Men, Superman and many more for prices between $0.79 and $1.99. Consumers can also buy print comics for the normal $2.99 (unless the series is cheaper), plus shipping and handling fees. And as far as vintage goes, readers can find older titles like Uncanny X-Men #1 or The Amazing Spider-Man #1.
Digital publishing is important to brands such as DC Comics, who are now releasing digital editions of their newest comics the same day as they hit comic book stores. Comixology is working with more and more comic book publishers to do the same.
David Steinberger, CEO of Comixology, (in an interview with Dianna Dilworth of eBook Newser) had this to say:
“We expect to see more publishers releasing digital comics, as they want to continually expand the reach of their content to their readers. On top of that, more comics will come out digitally the same day they do in print as DC did recently. We are empowering smaller publishers and creators to get digital distribution through our platform with our Guided View Authoring Tools program, which will help level the playing field by giving independent creators and publishers an equal chance for visibility in the digital marketplace through a standard format and ubiquitous platform. We have a program in the works that will empower partnering comic retailers to sell digital comics through their websites as part of our continued support1.”
Comixology will allow people to publish their comics the way PubIt! allows writers to publish their eBooks. It’s an opportunity for comic book fans to get more involved in the comic market. If you’re an artist or a writer, make yourself a pot of coffee and get to work!
What’s really remarkable about Comixology is the actual reading experience. The app acts as its own reader optimized for comics, supporting the high-quality and detailed artwork as well as font size, which might get too small on digital screens.
Steinberger said, “Our focus is always on the reading experience, which is why we developed our Guided View Technology that allows the user to go from panel to panel. We are always trying to author the comics to guide the reader through the comic as the creator intended.” Guided View Technology allows the reader to progress through each panel with the swipe of a finger, so that you’re only viewing one enlarged panel at a time and soaking each one in.
Comixology deserves to be #1. It’s innovative, fun, convenient and interactive: everything a top-notch app should be. I can never keep up with a comic book series, so I’m looking forward to browsing through issues I’m missing. Take that, comic book store guy who wouldn’t go to the back and look for Batman #695.