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Less than a year ago, Archaia signed an exclusive agreement with the digital comics distributor Graphicly, and Johanna Draper Carlson mused that this could be bad for the industry as a whole:
I wonder how online music would have developed if there were certain tracks you could only get through iTunes and others that you couldn’t listen to there, but had to install a different player.
She needn’t have worried: Yesterday the news came that Archaia would be putting the comic Days Missing on comiXology. Since the comic is also available on Graphicly, this may signal that exclusivity isn’t working all that well for them. And it looks like this is just the beginning. From the press release:
The digital release of Days Missing by Archaia on the comiXology platform is the beginning of a partnership to distribute more of its expansive library digitally. comiXology users will be able to enjoy a breadth of new Archaia comics digitally in the upcoming months.
As for Days Missing, it’s a decent little comic with a pretty straightforward premise: A character called The Steward appears on Earth just in time to avert some catastrophe that is about to wipe out the entire human race. This is obviously a format you can milk for a long time, and the strength and weakness of it is that each issue is a single story (so it’s self-contained, but you also don’t have enough length to really develop deep characters). The art is competent but not exceptional (on one page the artist obviously copied a figure from one panel to another, a sure sign of phoning it in), and with writers like Ian Edginton and Phil Hester, the stories are solid. For two bucks you get a full story, and the first issue is free so you can see for yourself.