Once upon a time, there was a company named Comixology. It was a company that wanted to be the leader in digital comics, and it was. Then along came Amazon, and in an effort to expand on the size of the company, Jeff Bezos’ behemoth bought Comixology.
Let us fast-forward to the present day. Comixology is terrible. Amazon ruined it, and this isn’t just my opinion.
Here’s an article from Gizmodo.
Here’s an article from Comic Book Review (CBR).
Here’s an article from The Verge.
I could keep going, but it’s not necessary. Comixology is unusable. A once worthwhile company has been completely ruined and rendered utterly unusable. The question I’m left with is, why?
The biggest issue I have with this is that Amazon had essentially cornered the market on digital comics when it took over Comixology. There was zero competition. DC has digital comics, but only DC’s. Same with Marvel, or any other publisher.
Yet, Comixology had everything, and more. There was no equivalent, and for reasons that make no sense, Amazon has wrecked it. Around this time last year, there was a fantastic sale on Comixology in which I filled my reading list with great deals on classic comics. I won’t be doing that this year because I can’t stand using the site anymore. The best storefront for virtual comics is essentially gone. So where does this leave the readers? Fans of comics have few options now. They can buy direct from publishers, or borrow from libraries. Hoopla is a great option.
The bottom line here is that because of Amazon, and directly because of Amazon, there are fewer options for fans of comic books. This is especially significant for smaller, independent publishers. Without that storefront, a lot of people no longer have easy access to those smaller names trying to compete in the market. Since Amazon itself hasn’t really ever been a publisher, so what was the point of taking such deliberate steps to make Comixology a bygone memory?
As a fan of the fringes, restricting access to what might be available is tantamount to heresy. What Amazon has done with Comixology is borderline criminal for nerds. All this says to me is that there is too much concentrated in too few hands. There need to be better options for readers, and that is the only lesson to be learned from all of this. Until, if there is a friendly local comic shop near you, spend your money there.
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