The big story of the week is the acquisition of leading digital comics retailer ComiXology by Amazon.com. ComiXology has facilitated over 200 million downloads of digital comics, making it the largest provider of American comic books from nearly every major publisher as well as small press and independent creators. Amazon.com is one of if not the biggest retailers of, well, everything in the world, including a leading seller of digital content in the form of music, video and electronic books.
What does this acquisition mean for Comixology and the American comic book industry as a whole? To address these questions and ask even more besides, Senior Editor Andy Khouri is joined tthis week by Heidi MacDonald, Editor-in-Chief of comics news and culture site The Beat; Matt D. Wilson, ComicsAlliance contributor and the writer of the digital comic book Copernicus Jones, Robot Detective; and Alison Baker and Chris Roberson, publishers of Monkeybrain Comics, an imprint with an exclusive digital distribution deal with ComiXology.
According to the ComiXology Tumblr, the digital comics company will become a part of Amazon's ever-growing media empire sometime in the second quarter of 2014, which would mean before the end of June.
The news is a pretty big surprise. Though there have been a few rumblings about a possible acquisition over the past few weeks, they were not much more than rumors. Now, it appears to all be a done deal.
Let's be real for a second: A list of the top-grossing apps in the iTunes store isn't going to be all that fair. Your assorted Candy Crushes, casino games, and Simpsons Tapped Outs -- games designed to basically pick players up by their ankles and shake the change out of their pockets--are going to skew the results.
That makes it all the more of an achievement that ComiXology nabbed the No. 11 spot on the iTunes list of top-grossing iPad apps for 2013. Only it and the New York Times app, which was right below it at No. 12, managed to make the list without nickel-and-diming gamers who just had to have... I don't know, better candy to crush? I'm not too familiar with that game.
Continuing Monkeybrain's trend of diverse releases through ComiXology each month, co-writers Ulises Farinas (Judge Dredd: Mega City Two) and Erick Freitas (GAMMA) are curating worlds within worlds at the publisher with Amazing Forest, an anthology series illustrated by their hand-picked artists. Debuting last month for $0.99 with a special 32-page #1 issue featuring stories by Farinas and Freitas, and artists Julien Dufour, Melody Often, Matt Rota and Yumi Sakugawa, the series continues on December 18th with Amazing Forest #2, which contains 20-pages of stories illustrated by Angelica Blevins and Caitlin Rose Boyle. ComicsAlliance got in touch with Farinas and Freitas for insights into how the pair juggle assembling short stories each month with their other comics-making obligations -- and more importantly -- to uncover their most shameful secrets and deepest regrets.
Starting today, ComiXology is spreading some digital good cheer.
From now until Friday, Dec. 20, the digital comics platform will be giving away one free comic every day. They're calling it the 12 Days of Free Comics. ComiXology users even send the comics as gifts to friends and family members, at no charge.
One of the cornerstones of DC Comics' current publishing strategy is expanding its digital distribution. In addition to producing a handful of new digital first series, the publisher has previously offered digital versions of many of its popular graphic novels. So it comes as little surprise that DC Comics announced an extensive list of its collections and graphic novels that are now available via Comixology and Google Play.
ComiXology, the comic industry's leading digital comics platform, hit a major milestone this month with its 200 millionth digital download.
That marks substantial growth for the company, which hit the 100 million downloads mark only last year. ComiXology was founded in 2007, and its digital reader app launched in 2009, meaning that readers have downloaded as many comics through the app in the past year as they did in the first three.
This was a big day for Image Comics. At their annual Image Expo, the publisher announced several upcoming titles from top flight creators. Mixed in with all of those announcements, however, was rather significant news about its digital content: starting today, Image Comics is now selling DRM-free digital versions of all its digital comics on its newly relaunched website, making it the first major U.S. comics publisher to make such a move.
Despite its tremendous recent growth, one of the ways in which ComiXology was still a bit behind for many digital readers was in subscriptions for ongoing titles. That's all changed as of this morning, as the online store has announced subscription services for all ongoing titles as well as bundle packages, allowing customers to purchase curated collections at discounted prices.
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