Digital comics continue to evolve quickly into a significant revenue stream for publishers, and they are increasingly moving forward without worrying about other sales outlets. To wit, today’s announcement that DC has installed a standalone comics store on their site. Co-publisher Jim Lee, who has led the charge on this, made the announcement on the Source blog:
We’re thrilled today to announce the opening of our brand new DC Comics storefront. What does the latest development to our ongoing Digital Publishing Initiative mean for you, the ever-devout DC Comics fan? Well, for one–it’s going to allow you all the ability to purchase and download comics from your desktop and laptop computers from our very own website. And because we want to make the purchasing, storage and management of your comics digital library as easy and convenient as possible, we’ve made sure that our storefront is powered by comiXology which means if you buy a DC digital comic like the chart-busting Death of Superman on your Mac or PC at home, you can read the very same series on-the-go using your iPhone, iPad or laptop using our DC App without paying any a penny more or creating any new logins. Or vice versa.
We call it convergence. You will find it simply easy.
And you know what? Given the proliferation of digital comics apps, mobile devices and platforms, I know as a consumer of digital comics that I appreciate that kind of convenience. And as a Co-Publisher who finds time to catch up on his comics reading while on-the-go, I love the fact that I can carry around not just the latest digital issue of The Authority, one of my favorite all time comics, but my entire DC digital collection on any one of the devices I schlep with me to the far corners of the earth. And we’ve made many of the first issues of these great series free in commemoration of today’s news.
Free series include TRANSMETROPOLITAN and THE INVISIBLES and IDENTITY CRISIS — all proven properties with interest far beyond the existing Wednesday comics crowd. The addition of a digital edition of DARK KNIGHT is also pretty big news.
The Flash-driven storefront has gone live at Read.DCComics.com/comiXology. The storefront appears to function somewhat similarly to Marvel Comics subscription-based Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited where readers pay for access to a library of titles, and it doesn’t appear as though the DC store will currently offer subscriptions to ongoing series and the file format for comics saved in a readers “digital collection” as Lee calls it. However, new moves made within DC’s digital strategy will doubtlessly take shape on the DC store site first.
ComiXology has long offered a web-site based store — similar to other services offered by graphi.ly and LongBox — but it has often been lost in the excitement over the sexy iPhone and iPad apps. Compatibility between various devices is also very necessary step for those who desire instant access everywhere they go.
DC’s move to put their online comics store on an equal basis with Marvel’s well-established effort is a big, necessary step in the continuing evolution of digital comics.
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.