Comixology Update App


imageA few weeks back Amazon announced that they had acquired Comixology. What this meant for digital comic readers was unclear, but the comments from both companies seemed positive.

Thanks Ryan3178 for pulling these quotes;

“ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”

“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world,” said David Naggar, Amazon Vice President, Content Acquisition and Independent Publishing. “We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”

This weekend however has revealed a further development. Users received an E-Mail from Comixology inviting them to download a new App, and enjoy a $5 dollar giftcard for Comixology.com.

It encouraged users to spend this credit at their website, instead of an in-app purchase. The reason for this quickly became apparent, as this function is no longer available on the new App. This move has seen an outcry from iOS users, who have taken to Apple’s App Store to leave their thoughts. Reviewers have described the change as “massively disappointing” and an “unfortunate downgrade”, while the new App, currently, has a rating of only 1.5 out of 5.

Many comic professionals have taken to Twitter to share their views;

“Comixology just took a HUGE step backward for digital comics. This will hurt every publisher” – Gerry Conway

Comixology is only “tablet friendly” now in that it gives one a headache – Paul Cornell

However the Superior Foes writer, Nick Spencer, views the change differently;

…[the] @comixology move will mean more money going to creators – Nick Spencer

There are certainly two sides, if not more, to this story, and how it will effect future comic sales is unclear.

On a personal note, I have to agree with Gerry Conway. I chose the digital medium for the ease of which I could browse and purchase comics, this process has now become longwinded. The technology exists for in-app purchases, and we are being denied it. I am annoyed as a consumer that my convince has been sacrificed to increase a bottom line, however I am more disappointed that Comixology and Amazon gave no warning to the change in their E-Mail when they presented the news as it felt dishonest, and has certainly changed my opinion of them.

Update: Gerry Conway has written an interesting piece, which explores the downside of this in detail.
– Adam 

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(3) Comments

  1. Adam T - Post author

    As an Apple user I found the change irritating. A "one-click" store, was preferable to the clunky, and long-winded approach offered by the website. However I think Gerry Conway and Mark Waid have hit on the real problem. I'm an addict so will go through those extra steps to buy the comics I want (Spider-Man and Green Arrow), but my impulse buying is gone. If I don't have a desire to read something, I won't stumble onto it by accident any more. More importantly casual and new readers, which comics desperately need, will be put off completely. Amazon have saved 30% of their profit going to Apple, but how much business will they lose from impulse buys and newbies? "Evil" is a strong word. I think many of us are upset that the customers were not a factor in this change. It would be like Amazon buying your local comic shop and moving it a bus stop away. It'd only be a minor change, but annoying never the less.

  2. WebbedSentry

    Don't see the problem at all. Once they were brought by Amazon there was just no way they were going to let Apple get a 30% cut. And what people seem to forget this change only affects Apple users, I can still buy in app on my Android just that they get put into a shopping cart now instead. No real change for me. And this change for Apple users isn't long winded at all, just over exaggerating stupidly. It takes less than a minute to load up the website from your tablet and buy the comics, but people are making out as if they have to sign up and enter their bank details for every God dammed purchase. Yes people who brought comics the gift card method got screwed, but beyond this its just Apple users moaning as if they entire thing is now evil. Such it up.

  3. Danbbqman

    Well, this probably means the end of buying digital comics for me. It was so easy. I would buy an I-Tunes gift card. This was an internet safe way to make the purchase without using my credit card. It also helped stay within my comic purchasing budget. I guess I will have to back to buying books!

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