What in this world did Amazon do to comiXology.com?
WHERE DID THE COMICS GO?
As has often been my practice, when I can’t find a paper copy of a comic I’m interested in, I’ve gone to comiXology.com to at least buy a digital version so I can read the book. This saves the condition of the physical book as well as time when I finally get it. I have liked that!
Recently, I was having trouble getting the initial issue of The Killer: Affairs of the State. I had told the owner of the LCS I go to weekly that I specifically wanted that mini-series! In fact, I reminded her (as nicely as I could) for weeks that I wanted it. However, when it was released, it wasn’t in my pullbox, and she said she had to order it. (Frustration, frustration, frustration!)
So, I went down my usual list of suspects, local shops I don’t get to all that often. I called them all, and absolutely NONE of them had it. Sheesh!
Then I contacted my “go-to guy” who is out of the area when I am more desperate, and he had it! Yay! I paid him for it over the phone, and he began mailing it to me.
To hold me over until it arrived, I went to comiXology.com so I could at least read a digital version to hold me over. However, when I went there, I was in for a surprise!
I knew that Amazon had bought comiXology some time ago, but the website remained the same, mostly functional version I had used for years—until that day.
It had become comiXology inside Amazon, as it were. While I did initially see some comics, the basic format all around that was now completely Amazon, not ComiXology.
Then I began to look for the Killer book I wanted. When I pressed Enter, I was shocked—there were no comics there to be found on the results page. Instead, there were medicines I’d never use, tools for around the house, and even auto accessories. No sign of the comic I was after until I went to the third page of the search function. Even then, it wasn’t the one I wanted. Instead, the original trades appeared.
I had to try again, this time being much more specific in my search. I had to say “Killer, Boom Studios, Affairs of the State, #1, Matz, Luc Jacamon” before it appeared. By then, though, I was discouraged enough that I didn’t order it. Instead, I decided to wait until the version I already ordered arrived through the mail.
In a few days, I got it in the mail. A few weeks later, my LCS got a copy (with a variant cover on it) for me to buy.
But I found myself a LOT less likely to even search through ComiXology. I cringed when I remembered that comiXology’s motto used to be “Take Comics Further!”
I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS
As is often the case, I took to social media to see if my experience was unique. Sadly, it wasn’t.
I came across a lot of people who had experienced similar frustration and were asking, “What happened to comiXology?”
Apparently, Amazon felt like those of us interested in comics instead needed meds and garden tools. We were all discouraged with comiXology, so much so that many fans abandoned digital comics altogether.
Sadly for comiXology, it seems that many others had gone through this same experience. I’ve been following several articles on the Internet that say that most of the people who frequented comiXology more often than I had have abandoned the ship.
Where they’ve gone is of interest to me. I’ve seen people who track these kinds of things say that those fans have basically abandoned the comics industry altogether! They don’t go to local shops, they don’t go to other digital services, they don’t… at all!
As someone who worries about the industry, I was horrified to read this! We don’t need to lose anybody at this point, not even digital comics buyers!
The good news is that it seems that Amazon has noticed the serious drop in income and has made changes, making the page you go to when you search for comics much more industry-friendly. In fact, when I just went there a few moments ago, the page I found having to do with The Killer even was letting fans pre-order the hardcover version of the collected edition of that new mini-series when it comes out in December of this year. However, I still don’t see individual issues of the mini-series there at all!
Upon digging further, I found that Marvel’s digital platform has seen a recent uptick in subscribers. Not so for DC or other comics sites. At the very best, those websites have seen no change although they very likely may have seen fewer comics buyers due to the number of people who completely gave up on digital comics.
THE GLORY DAYS
It wasn’t all that long ago that I wondered out loud if digital comics would actually replace physical copies. You know, on the day the books were released, we would go to an FTP site and download all the new books instead of making that weekly trek to the LCS.
It sure doesn’t look like that’s the wave of the future any longer!
I really don’t care if fans who buy digital comics do that because it’s more convenient or that they like how the books look on their computer screen or whatever other reason they did that.
At least they were buying comics!
Now we’ve lost a significant number of fans because Amazon wanted to sell more over-the-counter meds or garden hoses. Maybe Amazon thought they would take in more money that way, but it’s clear they’ve lost income because they’ve made changes and in a hurry!
However, it sure looks like it is may be much too late!
COME BACK, PLEASE!
If you happen to be one of those fans who gave up on the comics industry because of all this, may I please implore you to reconsider! ComiXology has improved, and there are other websites to buy your digital comics at as well, such as DriveThruComics.com and others.
Now is not the time to abandon ship!
In my opinion, the comics industry is in the middle of a really strong time where you can find a great variety of comics to read. You can dive into superheroes, crime dramas, westerns, romance, supernatural, and many other kinds of storytelling, and at least from my perspective, much of it is the best I’ve even seen!
Don’t wait for Hollywood to turn many of these stories into movies or television shows! (They always muck them up when they rework them anyway!) Come back to the comics industry even if you only buy a few books a month! We need you!