Iconology Inc., d/b/a ComiXology (styled comiXology), is a cloud-based digital distribution platform for comics, with over 200 million comic downloads as of September 2013. It offers a selection of more than 100,000 comic books, graphic novels, and manga across Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows 8, and the Internet. In April 2014, ComiXology became a subsidiary of Amazon.com.
|Founder||David Steinberger, John Roberts, Peter Jaffe|
|Products||Digital comics distribution|
ComiXology's digital platform with Guided View reading technology is used in the company's own branded applications, and is the engine used by most major comic book publishers in the United States, including Marvel Comics and DC Comics for their privately branded digital services. With the release of the third generation iPad and its Retina Display, ComiXology released a high-definition comic format dubbed CMX-HD. The company also provides tools for brick-and-mortar comic book retailers to participate in digital comic sales.
- ComiXology.com was launched July 2007 as an online community for comic book fans; the website allows readers to identify upcoming releases and develop pull lists (individual pre-orders) from local brick-and-mortar comic shops. The website displays weekly listings of new titles that can be viewed by issue: displaying cover art, credits, description, price, page count, and other information; the site also includes weekly columns, blogs, news, and podcasts. Users can rate and comment on individual comic books. As of July 24, 2014, ComiXology offers DRM-free downloads (in PDF and CBZ formats) for the comics available from selected publishers on its online store.
- Pull List (launched December 2008), a mobile comic book store locater providing readers with a digital Pull List tool, allowing fans to pre-order comics for pick up from local stores through the app. This app has been replaced by the Comics by comiXology app and the web app has the retail store locator included.
- Retailer Tools (launched February 2009), a suite of out-of-the-box web solutions for brick-and-mortar comic book retailers to optimize their presence online. Numerous retailers worldwide have integrated comiXology's Retailer Tools into their operations, representing about 2% of all pre-orders in the market.
- Comics by ComiXology (launched July 2009), a digital comic book reader and store for mobile devices, including iOS (launched April 2010), Android, Windows 8 (via the Windows Store), and the Internet (web reader launched June 2010), that allows users to access their digital comic collection across multiple devices.
The company was founded in 2007 by CEO David Steinberger, CTO John D. Roberts, and Peter Jaffe. Subsequent to winning the business plan competition at New York University, the company received seed financing from Kit McQuiston, New York Angels and Rose Tech Ventures.
In May 2016, the company launched "comiXology Unlimited," a subscription service that gives access thousands of comics to read from most major publishers for a monthly fee of $5.99, however Marvel and DC are not included. ComiXology Unlimited, is an online subscription service by ComiXology, a cloud-based platform for digital comics The service offers more than four thousand issues to its subscribers and launched on May 24, 2016. ComiXology Unlimited contains a selection of titles from Image Comics, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Kodansha Comics, Oni Press, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Fantagraphics Books, Humanoids, Action Lab Entertainment, Aspen Comics, Magnetic Press, Zenescope Entertainment and more. According to the company, ComiXology Unlimited offers the widest subscription selection of digital comics in the world. ComiXology Unlimited is currently available in the U.S. and ComiXology plans to expand to other regions in the future. ComiXology updates the content included in the program on a monthly basis.
ComiXology's patent-pending Guided View technology allows readers to read through comics in full screen or from panel-to-panel, mimicking the natural movement of the eye as though readers were experiencing reading a print comic book.
In June 2018, the company announced ComiXology Originals, an initiative to publish creator-owned titles.
- ComiXology currently holds exclusive distribution rights on iOS to DC Comics digital content through branded apps and comics by comiXology.
- ComiXology holds exclusive digital distribution rights to:
- ComiXology’s first original digital title, Box 13, has been acquired by Red 5 Comics for print distribution. ComiXology also commissioned a sequel to the comic, titled The Pandora Project. Both Box 13 titles were created by the Harvey Award-winning team behind the Zuda Comics title High Moon - David Gallaher and Steve Ellis
- Moon Girl is an original comic published by ComiXology, based on a public domain comics character. The creative team on Moon Girl is Tony Trov, Johnny Zito, and Rahzzah.
- In 2018, ComiXology, under the ComiXology Originals banner, announced four new projects, namely: Savage Game, Superfreaks, Elephantmen, and Ask For Mercy.
In March 2013 during SXSW, an issue arose when Marvel Comics attempted to distribute over 700 comics for free via ComiXology for the Marvel #1 promotion. The ComiXology servers were unable to keep up with user demand, preventing users from obtaining the promotional comics, as well as from reading comics they had purchased. This led to a formal apology and the promotions being delayed. Soon afterward, the promotion was offered again and was reported to have "worked flawlessly". In the aftermath of the ensuing difficulties some users have raised concerns regarding access to their files should the platform ever shut down. To respond to this concern, in July 2014 selected publishers allow for DRM-free downloads of their comics.
On April 9, 2013, writer Brian K. Vaughan issued a statement on Fiona Staples's blog that Apple Inc. had prohibited the sale of Saga #12 through iOS. This statement was quickly reported by the media, the impetus for the "ban" was speculated to be in response to two panels that depicted oral sex between men in a small, inset image violated Apple's restrictions on sexual content. The issue was available through the ComiXology and Image Comics digital comics website stores. The ban was criticized by artists and writers, who pointed to similarly explicit content in previous issues and in other works sold through iTunes. William Gibson and others suggested that the restriction could have occurred specifically because the drawings at issue involved gay sex. A day later, Comixology announced that it had been they, not Apple, who had chosen not to make the issue available, based on their interpretation of Apple's rules, and that after receiving clarification from Apple, the issue would be sold on iOS devices. Brian K. Vaughan then issued a statement apologizing for the miscommunication.
After Amazon's controversial purchase of ComiXology, the company removed the option of purchasing comics inside the iOS app. This change resulted in immediate internet backlash from the comic book reader community, criticizing Amazon's acquisition of the distributor. This change to ComiXology's structure has made readers concerned about the future of digital comic distribution.
In September 2011, ComiXology's Comics application was the highest-grossing application in the App Store, and together with the branded applications for other comics publishers, accounted for a majority of the five top-grossing iPhone apps.
Having consistently ranked as one of the top-grossing iPad apps in iTunes, ComiXology was called the "iTunes of comics" by The New York Times in May 2012. In 2011, comiXology ranked as number 10 in the top 20 grossing iPad apps for year and also powered two other apps in the top 20 — Marvel and DC. In 2012, comiXology was ranked as the number 3 top grossing iPad app — the only app from 2011 to stay on the top ten list.
Press reception for the launch of ComiXology Unlimited was mostly positive, with journalists and bloggers focusing on the low price point, the 30-day free trial and the diverse collection of independent comics, graphic novels, and manga available at launch. Some critics pointed out, however, that only some trades in the series are available in the program, undermining the “unlimited” aspect of the subscription.
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- "New Comixology app a high point for digital comics". suntimes.com. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- "Comixology Celebrates 100M Downloads with FREE comics". Comic Book Daily. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- "COMIXOLOGY CELEBRATES MEGA ANNIVERSARY AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2012". disneydigest.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Greg Kumparak. "Amazon Acquires Digital Comic Book Store Comixology". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- "Marvel Comixology iPad App Revealed". Ifanboy.com. April 1, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- "ComiXology Reveals New Hi-Res CMX-HD Digital Comics Format!". cmtvgeek.com. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- "So... Who IS COMIXOLOGY, The Digital Comics Leader?". Newsarama.com. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Tom Cheredar, Venture Beat. “ComiXology starts offering DRM-free downloads on (some) digital comic book purchases.” July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "CITIA Angel Investing - ComiXology, excerpt from David S. Rose's book Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups". Wiley. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- ComiXology CEO Answers the Big Questions About New "Unlimited" Subscription Service CBR, May 24, 2016
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- Salkowitz, Rob. "Amazon's ComiXology Aims To Rekindle Digital Comics Market With 'Unlimited' Plan". Forbes. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- "Introducing comiXology Unlimited: Endless Access to Digital Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga for just $5.99 a Month". The Fanboy Factor. May 24, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
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- "Digital Comics Pioneer comiXology Discusses Its Past and Future at Comic Book News, Reviews, and Previews – The Blog From Another World". Tfaw.com. January 24, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- McMillan, Graeme (June 1, 2018). "Amazon Unveils New Comic Line Through Digital ComiXology Platform". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
- "ComiXology Adding Web Viewer & Store to Expanding Digital Comic Presence". Newsarama.com. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- "ComiXology Gets ROB LIEFELD Creator-Owned Work Exclusively". Newsarama.com. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- "Comixology Announces Highly Anticipated Sequel to 'Box 13' | Hypergeek". Hypergeek.ca. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Parkin, JK (January 19, 2010). ""Moon Girl" Exclusive to comiXology". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- "Amazon Unveils New Comic Line Through Digital ComiXology Platform". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "SXSW 2013: Marvel #1". March 10, 2013. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "A Message From The CEO". March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- Comixology's Marvel #1s Promotion works like a charm.
- The lesson of the comiXology blackout. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- APPLE vs. SAGA #12: ComiXology blocks sale of Image comic over ‘images of gay sex’; artist Staples reacts. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- Robertson, Adi (April 9, 2013). "Apple bans 'Y: The Last Man' creator's new comic from Comixology over sexual content: The distinction between app and art breaks down". The Verge. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- Kovach, Steve (April 10, 2013). "Comic Book App Comixology Holds Off On Publishing Comic Depicting Graphic Gay Sex Fearing Apple Would Ban It (AAPL)". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- Brian K. Vaughan apologizes for saying Apple banned 'Saga' after ComiXology confusion. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- Upbin, Bruce (April 30, 2014). "The ComiXology Outrage". Forbes. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Amazon's ComiXology Acquisition Has Some Readers Concerned.
- "In New Digital Comics, Each Tap Holds a Surprise". The New York Times. May 30, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- "GET "THE WALKING DEAD" VOL. 1 FREE AT THE COMIXOLOGY BOOTH DURING WONDERCON 2012". comicbookresources.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- "More on Comixology". comicsbeat.com. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- "ComiXology's New Service is "Netflix for Comics"". Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- Terror, Jude. "comiXology Launches Digital Comics Unlimited Service, Forgets to Actually Make it Unlimited". The Outhouse - The Journalism the Comics Industry Deserves. Retrieved December 5, 2016.