ComiXology’s reeling servers have forced the end of the Marvel 1st promotions announced at SXSW, where Marvel was making 700 of its first and landmark issues available for free from comiXology.
ComiXology’s head, David Steinberger, offered this statement on the comiXology blog:
To our customers:
It’s been a whirlwind weekend, and we’re fresh from SXSW where Marvel Comics launched their Marvel #1 promotion featuring over 700 free comics distributed via our platform.
We expected a high degree of excitement for the Marvel initiative – and had believed ourselves prepared – but unfortunately we became overwhelmed by the immense response. We’re still struggling to keep our systems up.
The result is that you aren’t getting your comics when and where you want.
We don’t like letting you down. Our teams are working around the clock to resolve these issues so that you can have the experience you’ve come to expect.
To that end, we’re pausing the Marvel Comics #1 promotion for the time being. For those of you that want to take advantage of the offer – you will get your comics! Until we are able to reinstate this program in our systems, please click here and fill out this simple form, so you can be informed as soon as there is an update.
We’ll be communicating with you as often as we can and deeply appreciate the outpouring of support we’ve seen from our customers while we right the ship.
David Steinberger CEO and co-founder comiXology
The move seemed inevitable, given the crush. The support Twitter feed is trying its best to keep up, but a lot of people want Marvel comics, it seems. Marvel’s Agent M was playing Kid to comiXology’s Captain Mifune in the attempts to defend
Zion Gate comiXology’s servers.
Meanwhile, Agent M, aka Ryan Penagos offered this:
I can’t say anything official yet, but we’re definitely looking to make sure everyone gets to enjoy #Marvel1 this week. More info soon.
— Ryan Penagos (@AgentM) March 11, 2013
Which sounded cool except based on what’s happening, even a longer period of availability might not result in greater access.
Our own efforts to pick up some free reading were stymied by…forgetting our comiXology password. No chance for resetting it under this strain.
While the promotion was definitely a success in terms of visibility for Marvel, it also stymied every other publisher who relies on comiXology–no one else’s digital books are going out either. And even retailers’ digital storefronts have been shut down.
— Ryan Higgins (@RyanHigginsRyan) March 11, 2013
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.