Amazon announces the Comixology app will merge into the Kindle app

Amazon made it official today: the Comixology standalone app is being merged in to the Kindle app, and as of December 4, will no longer be available. All purchases made via Comixology will be available in the Kindle app going forward.

The news won’t come as a surprise to observers who have watched Comixology gradually get absorbed into Amazon’s Kindle system, and it’s sure to be greeted with some dismay. However, looking at the larger picture, this inevitable move is probably the only way to improve the comics reading experience on the Kindle. 

According to an official statement from Jeff DiBartolomeo, General Manager, Comixology:

“Today, we are announcing to customers that we are merging the Comixology app into the Kindle app on iOS, Android, and Fire OS. Currently, 93% of comics, graphic novel, and manga customers are reading via Kindle and the Kindle app, and Kindle reading is where a majority of our customers have been for years. The upgraded Kindle app experience is already available and has key Comixology features for enjoying a digital library of comics, graphic novels, and manga, including grouping titles by series; hiding and unhiding specific titles; library filtering for comics content; in-app borrowing for users of our unlimited subscription services; and additional options to read on the web. Customers can continue reading their books in the Comixology app until December 4. Focusing on the Kindle app improves our customer experience and advances our mission to make everyone on the planet a life-long comics, graphic novel, or manga fan.”

If only 7% of comics readers were still using the Comixology app, it didn’t make much sense to growth-minded Amazon to keep upgrading it as a separate business. Looking at the reality of the situation, the period of upheaval as Comixology migrated into Amazon proper is over. The year began with massive layoffs at Comixology aside from a small “mop-up staff” that stayed on to oversee the migration. That team’s work ended in October, but I am told that there is still a stable team within Amazon, led by DiBartolomeo, and this team will now be dedicated to improving the comics reading experience for Kindle. 

And there’s some good news: Comixology as a brand is not ending. The landing page will remain as a portal to buy comics, and the Comixology Originals program is continuing, as is the Comixology Unlimited subscription program. You’ll still be able to go to on the web to find and purchase digital comics – Amazon’s comics offerings include more than a quarter of a million separate titles. 

The Kindle app has come in for many complaints since it become Amazon’s primary interface for reading comics, a task it was not designed for. But improvements to the Kindle app to make reading comics, finding comics and organizing comics better are ongoing. That includes upgrades to the library function: the Kindle app will now group issues, volumes, and omnibuses from the same series together; a “Comics & Manga” filter will enable readers to find just those books; and a new basket feature allows US readers to purchase up to 25 books at once, something unique to comics at Amazon. The goal is to add more discoverability for both veteran comics readers and newcomers to the space.

You’ll still be able to access your collection via several methods, including on the web – and books can be sent to the Kindle app from there. Comixology Unlimited will continue as its own service, and members of that service, Kindle Unlimited, or Amazon Prime will be able to navigate to comics in the Kindle app and borrow comics from there. 

The hide/unhide function will also continue, and any comics that were hidden in Comixology will automatically port over – this feature rolled out about six months ago and has proved popular. 

Under the heading of “welcome improvements,” Publisher Pages will once again be available in the US at the Comixology portal. Various discoverability features to find more publishers will be added, as well as a dedicated indie page for to spotlight creators who use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), the successor to the Comixology Submit program. 

Once again, if you’ve followed the long story of Comixology as its own app with all kinds of bespoke features that were custom-made for comics readers – being able to find series properly, with all the creators listed properly – the end of the standalone app seems to be just another sign of giant corporations being giant. (Notably, the ability to buy comics through it ended long ago, to avoid paying Apple’s in app fees – giant corporation clash!)

In the way of giant corporations, one of the reasons that Comixology had to be folded into Amazon in general was that it was built on a different software platform than the rest of Amazon. So all this merging is literally the only way to keep improving the Kindle comics experience, which rolled out disastrously to begin, and has continued to come in for lots of criticism since the changes began in 2022

It is slowly getting better, and Amazon seems to realize that buying, funding and reading comics is a process that needs dedicated features. The Comixology “storefront” within Amazon will continue to have features that are specific to the comics-buying experience, like the mass checkout feature. The publisher pages are also specific to comics, interestingly. (I guess no one wants to deep dive on a Penguin Random House page, although I can think of many small indie publishers who could benefit from their own publisher page.)  

I realize that I’m stressing the positive in this piece, and I’m sure there will be many more issues and legitimate complaints. I made a quick check of some of the features on the Kindle app, but I will leave the deep dives on the functionalities of the new systems to (I hope) folks like Cy Beltran, Dean Simons and Todd Allen. For now, Amazon is still in the business of selling digital comics, and we can hope that they’ll continue to improve the customer experience to work better for everyone.




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