Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Steinberger on comiXology’s growth, what’s next



Digital comics | ComiXology CEO David Steinberger dicusses the growth of the digital-comics platform, which was the top-grossing non-game iPad app for the third year in a row. “We’re finding that a larger and larger percentage of our user base — our new user base — is people who are buying comics for the very first time with us,” he tells Wired. Steinberger also hints at a next step for comiXology: curation. []

Comics | Torsten Adair looks back at some comics trends in from 2013 and looks ahead to what we can expect in 2014. [The Beat]

Comics | Dark Horse Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie discusses the relaunch of the publisher’s Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator series and the debut of Prometheus. [io9]



Comics | “His muscles are firm but he has no fixed abode.” That’s the tagline for Superpenner (“Superhobo” in English), a German comic about a homeless superhero who powers up by drinking beer and has a sidekick named Gutter Girl. The comic appears as a free supplement in a German newspaper sold by the homeless and unemployed. [Skynews]

Creators | Art Spiegelman discusses his classic graphic novel Maus and his new multimedia presentation Wordless in advance of his Jan. 22 appearance at Colorado College. [Colorado Springs Independent]

Creators | Dennis Hopeless talks about Avengers Arena. [Kindle Post]

Odysseus, by Christian Ward

Odysseus, by Christian Ward

Creators | Matt Fraction discusses his new Image Comics series Ody-C. [IGN]

Commentary | Craig Fischer discusses female characters in B.P.R.D. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

Webcomics | Tapastic founder Chang Kim talks about his webcomics platform, which he hopes will become a “YouTube of comics.” [MarkLives]

Manga | At the Angouleme International Comics Festival later this month, the South Korean government will sponsor an exhibit of graphic novels about “comfort women,” the Korean women who were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II. [Asahi Shimbun]

Editorial cartoons | Editorial cartoonist Cal Grondahl was one of 12 staffers laid off Friday from the Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner. [Salt Lake Tribune]



I’ve gone from a die-hard print-only comics reader to an almost exclusive digital reader in just a couple of months. That’s largely due to my purchase of a 10-inch tablet, which is perfect for reading digital comics, but it’s also greatly the result of Comixology’s excellent content and service. I’m now an absolute Comixology addict (ditto for the also wonderful Dark Horse Digital site) and have quickly amassed a ridiculously large library of digital comics. Viva Digital!

Brave Sir Robin

January 15, 2014 at 8:07 am

I feel hopeful every time I read about Comixology’s growth. I am sure most of the growth is in sales of DC and Marvel, but Comixology does an amazing job of pushing out lesser known publishers and titles and with its self publishing tool, that is even stronger. It is possible that Comixology’s growth will also help the print media by increased awareness creating demand for the trades. Finally, getting 20% of its readers from females is probably the biggest effect it will have on the industry.

Brave Sir Robin, speaking for myself, except for their 99 cent sales, I buy mostly non-Marvel and DC books through Comixology. As most publishers drop the price of their single issues after one month, it makes it easier for me to budget and read more books. Plus, I like supporting creator-owned work. For Marvel/DC stuff, I mainly just wait for trades.

I’ve gotten a few things from Comixology but ultimately I am unwilling to sink a lot of money into a service that DRM locks me into only reading my books on their app. Suppose they go out of business and the app breaks and cannot be re-installed because it is no longer available? Suppose they decide to start adding advertising content to the books you read? Or decide once again to start censoring content? Image’s new service is DRM free and gives you files you can read on any app you want. If Comixology drops their DRM lock-in to their app I would be willing to buy more books through their service, until then its like buying books you are only allowed to read in the bookstore you bought them in.

For that matter a comet could hit the earth and how would you read your comics in heaven? DRM may suck but as a trade off I always have access to my comics, well, as long as I have wifi. I really don’t want to have to manage a bunch of PDF files on top of my mp3 files. Maybe if image makes an app that let’s you easily download and catalog them.

I would use Image’s website, but they offer no price drops and the site kinda stinks. Slow as hell and hard to navigate. Compare it to Dark Horse Digital and there’s no comparison. Hopefully it will improve.

Image had a 50% off sale on all back issues just a few weeks ago. They also drop prices around the same time as Comixology. They definitely need to work on their site navigation, though.

I quit buying most of my books from comixology and now buy graphic novels through the Kindle store. Some of my comics that I have purchased have vanished before and it has taken customer service sometimes almost 3 days to restore them. The app also goes through odd crashes sometimes.

“until then its like buying books you are only allowed to read in the bookstore you bought them in.”

Well, if that bookstore were the size of a tablet and could be taken anywhere you go, including your couch/recliner/bed/toilet/coffee shop/whatever. Terrible analogy.

Good to know, Leandro, thanks. But I guess my not being able to find such info is an example of how the site needs work.

Jeff, I’ve never experienced anything like that myself, thankfully. Now, I’ve had trouble with Marvel in finding comics for which I redeemed digital codes. But that’s Marvel who, despite being the industry leader, apparently is incapable of hiring a decent web designer. Their website has sucked for years.

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