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.

Kiel Phegley drills down a bit:

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.


  1. Flash? I don’t see much of a future for Flash, so this gets an instant thumbs down from me. I’ll stick with the iPad app.

  2. @joe c – Totally agree about Flash. But having a website presence/reader, regardless of format, is a great step forward for DC.

    Full integration – web and mobile is what’s most important.

  3. I tried a few few free issues. The reader works well online, alowing either a full-page view or an iphone guided panel view.

    I was a bit disappointed in the $x.99 pricing. Or is that a result of Apple’s policy?

  4. DC’s been on comixology for a while. This seems more of an announcement to let it be known to the general public.

    For this to really take off, I think DC (and Marvel) needs to consider dropping their prices to $.99 across the board for their digital books. Unless it’s a collected edition with multiple stories included, I find it hard to plunk down money for anything over $1.99 but $.99 makes it much more palatable.

    Witness: Adventures of Superman, cover-priced at $1.25, selling for $1.99 (https://read.dccomics.com/comixology/#/issue/4281/Adventures-of-Superman-496). I doubt it sells for that at my LCS!

    (Note to The Beat: I think there’s an unclosed italics tag somewhere.)

  5. One more argument for a cheaper $.99 price: I have many of these older books squirreled away in my boxes. Or in some collected edition. I might consider buying such a book again digitally if it were priced low enough.

    I think comic companies ought to remember that when music companies switched from vinyl to digital, many consumers balked at adopting the new format because they had a large existing library of music they were resisting having to buy new versions of. Witness Tommy Lee Jones’ comment in Men in Black about having to buy the Beatles’ White Album again. Or the public’s slow acceptance of Blu-Ray replacements of DVD movies and discs. By offering it cheaper, they might make it more enticing to buy digital copies of old books.

    I’m not saying digital books should replace paper books. I’m just saying they should do everything they can to sell more digital copies and the price point might be slowing them down.

  6. I had a quick look at a few of the Free previews on the site. I like the interface, but the comic pages all had shadows in the gutter, as if someone had plopped a comic down on a scanner to capture them.

    Is also this what you get when you BUY the issues online? Shadows along the spine of an electronic comic? Wow, it’s either a result of low production values or it’s just an ugly lowtech ‘anti-value’ feature.

  7. Totally irritated at DC’s go ahead on this completely Flash-based e-commerce site. Freaking Web-Dev Cheats. DC couldn’t afford a talented web-dev team? Had to pawn web-dev on to the Letter’s to keep costs low? Were you trying to make a game and then changed your mind to make a store? How many CMS’s are there? How many distribution networks are there? How many marketing and Ad gurus are there? Did you hire anyone or did the colorist get forced to do this at the last minute?