201008021147.jpgArchaia Studios and the digital comics provider Graphic.ly have announced an exclusive agreement, Graphic.ly’s Micah Baldwin explains in a newsletter:

We are excited that Archaia has decided to work with us exclusively! Over the past couple of months, PJ and I have had a lot of conversations about the benefits of presenting Archaia’s books digitally to a community of passionate fans. We will be able to do interesting and innovative things around story lines, creators and characters.

Books available so far include:
The Killer #1-4
Days Missing #1-4
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 #1-6
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 #1-6


  1. Is this the first shot fired in another battle of distributor exclusives? If it is, I dunno as that’s a good thing. Anyone smarter than me have insight on that?

  2. You’ve got two issues going on with Digital – exclusives (and while I haven’t seen any indication it’s necessarily permanent, DC seems to only be on Comixology right now) and file format.

    The file format, IMHO, is a little goofier, since the various apps/stores are using their own browsing software/file format as a differentiating factor.

    So now you’re seeing a double-whammy of I have to go different places to see my content and I have to use different browsers to read my content.

    I think people are more used to shopping multiple outlets than having to use multiple browsers.

    But… this is all kinda new. The closest analogy (comics being tech laggards) is eBooks where we’re seeing Amazon keeping a proprietary format for Kindle eBooks and everyone else piling on with the ePub open format. (And don’t kid yourself, Sony badly wanted to keep their proprietary format, it just knew when to go with the flow.)

  3. Well… it depends on formats. If it is proprietary, like the Kindle, and only readable on a Graphic.ly app, then that limits the sales. (The app is free, but I think people prefer a minimum of applications.) Graphic.ly’s reader runs on Windows 7 as well as Adobe AIR (Linux, Mac, Windows). A browser version is in development. If the web browser works, then it’s not a problem, as one can read their comics online anywhere.

    If it is open source, like ePub or PDF (with or without DRM), then graphic.ly becomes an exclusive retailer, which is less problematic (although still a problem, as it makes it harder for consumers to find the titles).

    Here’s the elephant in the room:
    Archaia has licensed properties as well as titles which appeal to a general audience. Will Archaia keep these titles with Graphic.ly, or might we see a splitting of the market… digital comics retailers and digital ebook retailers, in much the same way that there is a trade and Direct Market split now?

  4. Todd said, “The file format, IMHO, is a little goofier, since the various apps/stores are using their own browsing software/file format as a differentiating factor.”

    Which makes me wonder if – showing my age a bit – it’s a similar issue to Beta vs. VHS. Which, again, seems to me like a not-good thing.

    Though, if there’s been that kinda split with eBook readers all along, then I guess it hasn’t become a big issue for people yet.

    I’m totally out of my depth on this, so I’m not trying to be a nattering nabob of negativism, I’m just after information.

  5. Not sure I understand the benefits of going exclusive. I think there is a benefit of being the “big dog” with one site, but presumably that advantage will naturally erode.