Following yesterday’s new of massive layoffs at the Comixology division of Amazon, further information confirms that calling it the “Comixology bloodbath” is sadly accurate: nearly everyone at the division has been let go, and those remaining are only there on “mop up” duty. 

A subsequent tweet from Comixology employee Scott McGovern confirmed that 75% of the staff had been laid off. 

Other sources close to remaining employees within Comixology have reached out to the Beat to confirm this and give an even clearer picture of the dismantling of the staff of what was once the premiere digital comics app. 

According to those insiders, all of the jobs at Comixology have been eliminated, and the entire division was laid off in three parts, some immediately (yesterday), some slated to leave in June after fulfilling remaining obligations to publishers, and a final group that will stay on until October to mop up the migration from the original Comixology site. 

Remaining employees question whether all of the technical work can be completed with such a skeleton staff, but we’ve all heard that story in tech before.

While this is all brutally devastating to the business, I’m told the layoffs are, generally speaking, part of the larger Amazon staff reductions which saw 18,000 people lose their jobs this week. And as tech site Recode reported, Comixology is not the only Amazon division to be gutted; Smile, a popular charity project, was also eliminated as were various other divisions, and the giant retailer faces many issues. 

Since then, founder Jeff Bezos stepped down and named a new CEO, the online shopping boom slowed, and Amazon had to dig itself out of a costly and overly aggressive warehouse and staffing expansion. The past two months have been a strange, even frightening, time inside the company, current and former employees told Recode: Amazon announced unprecedented layoffs of more than 18,000 corporate employees and began culling areas of the business, like its Alexa voice assistant division, that Bezos had long championed.

The Recode piece by Jason Del Rey is a must read for how even the biggest can mess it up. While Amazon sales soared to ridiculous heights during pandemic lockdown purchases, they predictably slowed afterwards, but Amazon invested too much in brick and mortar infrastructure like warehouses and bookstores that (ironically) couldn’t compete with existing bookstores. 

Still, the Comixology situation is unique. Insiders were apprehensive about whether the platform would survive as a separate identity after the migration from the standalone site to the main Amazon site began, as announced late in 2021. Even so, the suddenness of the shutdown came as a surprise. 

The outpouring of emotion from Comixology employees and the wider comics community was was all over Twitter. Like McGovern, above, this CX employee was elegiac about the passion the employees had for the project over time:

The end of Comixology as its own business unit with dedicated employees, leaves many questions going forward about the future of digital comics and publishing. But we’ll be examining those in a second post. 




  1. @MBunge the state of the comics market and this move have almost nothing to do with each other. Amazon was always going to eventually shutter the Comixology division the minute they pulled in the store to Amazon’s main site.

    It was just expedited by a slowing economy and Amazon’s poor business decisions forcing them to make deep cuts to the workforce. A division they never had intentions of keeping around, was always low hanging fruit for them to cut from.

  2. I feel badly for the fired workers. Amazon made a shambles of everything. I hope DC’s and Marvel’s services will add same-day-as-floppy-release digital comics. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for that.

  3. The person who said the state of American comics industry has nothing to do with this is strange. The comics industry has been on a sharp decline, so even with bad choices of Amazon administration, actual consumer numbers wouldn’t decline, or in this case be so low. If there were a high number of consumers of comics, they wouldn’t lay off production against profits.

  4. The worst part is the effects ordinary, hard working people who love the medium, not the assholes at the top who would push their own grandma in from of a bus if it meant they’d get richer.

  5. Back during the Great Isolation, I posted my thoughts on how Amazon might affect the comics industry.

    I would not be surprised if Amazon sets up a parallel comics site similar to Zappos or Audible.
    They own the .BOOKS gTLD, and could easily run http://WWW.COMIC.BOOKS as a one-stop shop for everything geeky.
    (Not to mention popup shops outside comic cons, or a national bricks-and-clicks retail chain.)

    As for digital comics? That market is mature, especially among young readers, where graphic novels are formatted like other books to be read as a page, not via a guided view.

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