ComiXology Allows Digital Comic Gifts; Some User Feedback

Last week, comiXology announced that they had added a gift feature on their webstore. Now, I can pay for a comic but give it to you to read by entering your email address using the “Gift This Comic” feature. (Well, or whatever the equivalent of “give” is when you don’t actually own what you pay for.)

I’m not sure what happens if I give you a comic but you don’t have a comiXology account — I would guess the site takes this opportunity to try and get you to sign up — but I immediately thought that this has interesting ramifications for reviewers. I also wondered whether you could gift comics you’d already paid for and read but didn’t want any more, the way I would give a friend a book I’d done reading. (Of course you can’t. If they allowed trading of “used” digital files, all the publishers would freak out.)

Anyway, this reminded me that I’d set up their comic viewer on my Android phone, so I thought I’d see how the comics I pulled there looked on the web on my laptop. I immediately ran into issues, the first and most significant of which is that, if you visit the main comiXology website, there is no “my comics” link anywhere to actually access your comics.

I was stunned at this lack. You have to type into your browser to find the actual books to read. (Or, if you click a publisher logo, you get bumped over, as I discovered much later.) All you get at is lots of social network-style features, columns and pull lists and whatever. I guess that approach must work for them, because they’re too smart for this just to be an oversight.

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