Robot 6

Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson on Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology

darkhorsedigitalDark Horse Comics is the highest-profile publisher whose digital releases are not available on comiXology, opting instead to use their own platform, Dark Horse Digital. Following Thursday’s news that Amazon has reached an agreement to purchase comiXology for an undisclosed amount, ROBOT 6 reached out to Dark Horse president and founder Mike Richardson for his thoughts on the matter:

“Companies outside our industry have been paying increasing attention to comics in recent years. New technology has offered a variety of new opportunities in both content creation and content delivery. It is not surprising that Amazon and Comixology would come together considering this environment. The comics industry, despite periods of lull, has always been an evolving and changing business, and this move is consistent with that history.”



Why would Darkhorse need to put their stuff on Comixology? I am sure that people are flocking to the Darkhorse Digital site in droves to buy Captain Midnight.

Why would you ask the one publisher who doesn’t use comiXology about a merger between Amazon and comiXology?? Mike Richardson is a really great guy — one of the finest publishers in comics history, without a doubt — but don’t you think you should ask one of the publishers who actually USES comiXology’s services about this deal??

While it’s true that Dark Horse doesn’t use comixology, they DO sell via the Kindle store. The consolidation may or may not affect comics available already through Amazon, but either way, there’s an involvement.

Not to mention that most news outlets typically ask competitors of the companies merging for their take on things… Why WOULDN’T you ask Dark Horse their thoughts about the deal??

Dark Horse should work with Comixology. They’ll gained a lot, though I’m sure they don’t want to pay Comixology’s fair share, especially since their get their respective money if fans buy exclusively through their app(excluding Apple’s fee).

I actually use two apps: DC’s and Comixology. I suppprt DC exclusively, but the other publishers, like Image or Marvel, I buy at Comixology. Comixology is my ideal library of comic books outside of DC. The special deals are more big sellers for me than your typical Wednesday buying, because I buy DC overwhelmingly. However, I do have a big collection of other titles, like TMNT and right now, Red Sonja. But it would be nice to see Dark Horse in there as well.


Agreed. It seems like dh will likely become the HBO with GoT–people will pirate what they can’t get, or just avoid it all together. For the lower tier stuff like dh superheroes, they will go unread completely. Imagine if they got them in front of 10x the people. It’s like breaking bad on netflix; it was about to get canceled in the second season but the availability on third party platforms gave it life.

I don’t know why you are making it a “supply-piracy” issue? Dark Horse comics are available digitally.

Seems like a nice fit for Amazon and a boost to Dark Horse’s, so a win win situation to me. It’s similar when Disney scooped up Pixar, and then Disney scooped up Marvel, and we get all the superhero films from them like The Avengers etc. Since Amazon is one of the top notch bookseller (and media), it seems like a natural for both companies.

They’re asking him because the real question is if the merger means DH would now put digital books on Amazonology.

And it’s sorely needed. Dark Horse’s app is buggy, slow, crash prone, and it completely sucks to be able to have all your comics in virtually one app but have to go to a separate one just for Dark Horse.

The future of digital distribution is consolidation and anyone not doing that is losing sales as stuff not on the hub is going to be ignored. Niche markets like comics are even more vulnerable to such pressures. This is also why I fully expect EA to cut a deal with Valve to bring its games back to Steam eventually.

Dark Horse Digital is actually a superior platform to Comixology. And their prices are better, with much greater discounts/bundles available.

I’ve not experienced any of the problems you describe, Red Comet. DHD has always worked great for me.

DHD is a terrible service, I agree with Red Comet completely. I won’t be buying any more Dark Horse comics until they’re available on ComiXology as I simply can’t enjoy reading them on Dark Horse Digital.

Michael Worrell

April 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I agree that Dark Horse needs to get on board with Comixology. It irritates me every time I have to jump over to their inferior proprietary app to buy/read DH titles. This development just makes their stubbornness on the matter seem all the more ridiculous.

Beginning to think Richardson was smarter than the rest of the companies.

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