Comixology – The Comics read in the right way
We all know how eBooks have come to their one in the last decade or so. And most of the revolution is perhaps rooted in the evolution of wonderful reading devices by Kindle and others. When Amazon bought Kindle, and it’s concerning format Mobi, little did they know that they’d be redefining the reading space. Kindle and to some extent other pure reading devices like Kobo, Nook etc., became an instant hit with an ever active generation of young readers. For ones who could not get the time and place to bring books with them, and just sit out and read, Kindle became the favourite option. However, there was one segment of readers that Kindle was still ignoring. The young readers who were into Comics. Hence came Comixology.
In the ideal world, Comic books have a certain reading culture which goes about it. Young readers love them, and obviously, collect them as hobbies. Comic books even today are highly regarded collectable items. Now, when you look at that prospect of it, in today’s world, we find that the availability of comic book stores and stalls is lacking. There are not many bookshops which are hosting and selling the comics. Thus, the young readers are growing up with no reference to comic books and its mythology. Although some would claim that lack of comics is not a big deal, our generation knows the importance. You see, Comics are not just stories, they are the reflections of society’s culture and ideals. In such most comics are based on real-life stories, and that’s how they become increasingly relevant to everyone. The people who design communicate with readers through them.
Relevance of Comixology In today’s World
ComiXology being a cloud-based digital distribution platform for comics, it is loaded with 200 million and more titles from across many platforms and houses. As of 2013, this count has increased many folds. In its arsenal are around 100,000 comic books, graphic novels, and manga across Android. However, the company has taken care to loop in all kinds of users, by recently extending support for iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows (latest 10 version) as well. Now talk of comprehensive growth, Comixology becomes an essential device and app inclusion in almost all the devices. In solid business move (and one which apparent and logical as well) The Internet Giant and one which has already claimed eBooks culture, Amazon brought ComiXology for an undisclosed figure. By this, Amazon has truly emerged as the eBook giant in the market, with market-defining stature among the competitors.
One more brilliant thing about Comixology is that the rendering engine is futuristic and the smoothest you will see on any device which offers similar functions. The engine which brings you the true experience of reading a comic as such is used by the biggest media houses in the world to bring out their works, comics basically, to the world. 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.
Brief History of Comixology
When we look at how Comixology emerged, we wouldn’t have guessed how big it was going to be. But now since it has become what it set out to be, the history of this product becomes necessary. Of course, the Comixology was like any other software product or solutions. Comixology initially was a web-based collective, started by comic book fans who looked to bring an online platform to discuss, ideate, design all and any comic books. Thus this was a platform which made, conducted and designed by Comic book enthusiasts who wished to propagate the culture forward.
Later on, Comixology graduated to become a shopping portal for Comic books and the books exchange started taking place. Eventually, the culture was given a better structure by which you could read comic books within the web portals and applications as well. And so a people-driven community transformed itself into much more than that. This was the strength of Comixology as it already had strong reader base and hardly took the time to infuse new base as well.
The company was founded in 2007 by CEO David Steinberger, CTO John D. Roberts, and Peter Jaffe. After winning the business plan competition at New York University, the company received seed financing from Kit McQuiston, New York Angels and Rose Tech Venture. The website even today 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. This is a major advantage which we have when we get around the DRM (Digital Rights Management). Now when we do that, we are free to read millions of books without worrying too much about expiry or additional costs.
The User Integration In Comixology
During 2008, Comixology brought in new things to its categories which changed the face of reading altogether. To further include people in their portal, and provide them with all the necessary information of the comics, Comixology came out with Pull Down Store list. By December 2008, within the website, you can locate the nearest comic book store, if any, consisting of the book that you want. You see, no wilder chases, and no more favour bargains here and there with friends. You know where you can get your favourite comic from.
What’s more, you can also pre-book the same, depending on the edition which is soon coming up. Looking to get your hands on that vintage and rare comic book to complete your collection, you can find it too. Just finding a willing buyer, get the bid, or contact directly, and you might just have a great chance for the comic here.
The Retailer tools is a solution set for retailers provided by Comixology. So the idea is to include these brick and mortar shops within the ambit on platforms. This idea is very much similar to what Amazon does in bringing dedicated sellers onto its platform and bring the products around with no delay. That’s a similar thing here as well, while age-old traditional bookshops keep existing, you can see that their online presence is a different matter altogether.
You see, most of these shops have failed to tap into the digital world, and that’s where Comixology comes forward. For a small amount of commission, ranging around 2% on each product, Comixology hosts these shops as well on its online portal. A suite of out-of-the-box web solutions for brick-and-mortar comic book retailers to optimise 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.
For a small amount of commission, ranging around 2% on each product, Comixology hosts these shops as well on its online portal. A suite of out-of-the-box web solutions for brick-and-mortar comic book retailers to optimise 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.
How Does Comixology Website Works For Comic Book Readers?
The best way to satisfy the comic book nerd inside of you is to be near the website, which offers pretty cool features making it a joy read. Now is the process complicated? Not really. The registration is simple too. You begin by creating a dedicated Comixology account. Purchased digital comics are tied to your account so that you can access the books via your PC’s Web browser or one of Comixology’s Android or iOS mobile apps. We can say that this concept too is very much inspired by the Kindle books syncing options.
Amazon terms it as Whispersync, and they’ve made sure that even if you buy your comic book on Amazon’s portal, you still get the delivery to your Kindle books and Comixology books as well. This continuance syncing capabilities, remembers the user habits while reading, saving the chapter and bookmarks and many more. You just need to sit and back and relax. Having said that how will Comixology fare when it comes to applications for different platforms especially Windows/iOS and the latest Android versions.
Worry not. As with the biggest and the most exciting prospects we have with Web sites, Comixology also has robust apps which make it for a joyful read. The Amazon-owned Comixology—the iTunes of digital comics—offers a near-perfect combination of store and comic book reader in its wonderful Comics app. Available from Google Play, the free Comics app transforms your Android smartphone or tablet into a digital long box that houses and syncs your purchases across multiple devices.
Comics has an excellent panel-to-panel Guided View mode, digital comics that release on the same day as the print editions, high-definition comic book files that render stunningly on HD displays, and a new Comixology Unlimited subscription-based service that lets you read thousands of title per month. While Comixology’s Android app has some holes in its back catalogue and lacks features found in the Web version (Comixology.com), it’s still by far the best digital comic book experience available for Android.
Comixology Unlimited – A Notch Above The Rest
The new service which Comixology brings out this year is termed as “The Netflix for Comic Books”. One of our absolute least favourite criticisms of Marvel Unlimited is that it’s not “truly” unlimited. Technically speaking, this is correct. Marvel does not place brand-spanking’ new comics in the MU library until six months after their release, and there are blind spots in the catalogue that a dedicated team regularly updates. The update syncs become a major problem for comic book lovers, in keeping themselves in a loop with regards all the latest offerings. This problem is answered with Comixology, in a sort of a way.
Comixology Unlimited, on the other hand, is very intentionally limited. You cannot binge read comics much at all, and the library is instead designed to give you a taste of a wide variety of comic book series. For example, you can read the first two volumes (12 issues) of The Walking Dead, but if you want to continue with a series that now ranges well over 150 issues, you have to purchase the remainder on Comixology. For a service calling itself “Unlimited,” it’s pretty reasonable to observe that it is very limited. After all, this doesn’t mean Comixology Unlimited isn’t still a good value. It still is a great bet for people looking to bring in an unhindered way of reading Comics without being restricted too much.
Comixology Unlimited went green in May 2016, while including first volumes and single issues across almost all the non-Big 2 (Marvel & DC) publishers. For a 30-day free trial and subsequent $5.99 a month you can read all sorts of great Image, Dark Horse, Boom, Fantagraphics, Manga books (and much more). Now (as of May 2017), Marvel comics are included in the library as well! Considering a single trade of a first volume is typically in the $9.99 range, that steals absolutely one of the most affordable ways to sample some great comics. For any readers who haven’t been locked into my Hoopla Digital suggestion, this is also likely the first option for Image and Dark Horse books. That’s absolutely an exciting development for comic book readers everywhere.
With Patent pending Guided View which is a panel to panel reading which the users use to turn the pages. You practically get the feel of reading a comic when you can turn the pages without even touching the device. The device mimics the natural movement of the eye as though readers were experiencing reading a print comic book.
Conclusion – Comixology where is it leading our reading to?
Browsing for titles, picking them up on the go, and start reading them as and when you like to, that’s Comixology for you in a nutshell. The experience gets better with each go. The biggest strength that Comixology has when it arrives at millions of titles which are mostly available Digital Rights Management. Now, although with the sheer quantity of books available, you can easily pick up Comixology as the best reading companion for your devices, it’s also incredibly tech savvy. Comixology.com’s drop-down menus give you numerous ways to browse books: By series, story arcs, ratings, publisher, genre, creators, and other criteria. You can, of course, also search for titles or artists using a built-in search function. Books are available for purchase on the same day that print issues hit brick-and-mortar stores in most cases.
When you find a book that interests you, click an issue icon to see its synopsis, creator credits, pricing, rating, and sample pages you can try before buying. Building a digital comic book collection is as simple as clicking price icons to place the comics into the shopping cart, and then clicking the Purchase icon. You can also add titles to a wishlist so that you can buy them at a later time. The potent combination of accessibility and ease of use means that comics-heads may have to show some restraint to not drain their wallets.
Thus, Comixology not just offers incredible ways of reading through content. Except for the similar pricing you get when you are looking at the physical books and digital books, which might be deterring to some readers, there are very few things that work against it. So get your account ready at Comixology and never miss out any of the future-defining comics ever. Happy reading.