Fantagraphics Goes Digital With ComiXology — All Major Pubs Now Available

Fantagraphics announced a digital distribution agreement with comiXology, beginning with the first four issues of Love and Rockets: New Stories. Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth also said that issue #5 will debut digitally on the same day as its print release in September. Following that, additional Fantagraphics publications, both current and backlist, will roll out.

Love and Rockets on iPad

As far as I can recall right now, Fantagraphics was the last major comic publisher not available on comiXology, making them the new monopoly distributor, replacing Diamond in the digital arena. And they’re still on a distinctly upwards curve. From the press release:

In early May, comiXology revealed they had crested 65 million comic and graphic novel downloads since the beginning of the platform, with 15 million of those downloads happening in 2012. ComiXology recently unveiled that only one month later in June they had hit 77 million downloads —- an addition of 12 million downloads —- continuing on a trajectory of record-shattering growth.

Pretty good for a service that prices higher than the pundits think they should and only “rents” comics in their proprietary format.

Heidi MacDonald interviewed Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds and got more background on the deal. As he says,

I would say that I probably resisted ComiXology at first, just because of their dominance in the market. Much in the same way we were probably the largest publisher in the industry to not go exclusive with Diamond until long after the dust had settled and there really was no other competition. I like there being access to the marketplace for the little guy. But the more and more I researched, the more I realized that simply put, ComiXology really was the standard-bearer for digital comics processing AND distribution. They have the most intuitive guided view software I’ve seen and they are well-positioned to get the books out there on the most popular platforms. It’s not an exclusive deal and I am definitely continuing to keep our options open, but I’m excited to see what ComiXology can do.

8 Responses to “Fantagraphics Goes Digital With ComiXology — All Major Pubs Now Available”

  1. Dave Says:

    Dark Horse is still not available on comiXology (they are available through their own iOS app).

    Of those number of downloads that comiXology touts, I wonder how many are paid and how many are free?

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yes, thank you for that reminder about Dark Horse. And you’re right, we don’t know how the sales break down — the folks I know mostly shop when one of the publishers has one of their discount weekends, which also might factor into the numbers.

  3. Anthony Says:

    Wonder how we’re supposed to know how well digital comics actually sell if Comixology won’t release specific numbers (by company, by title, etc)…

  4. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    can they actually call them downloads? I thought I remembered from my very brief trial of their service when it first started that you only had access if you had a working internet connection. To call it a download, doesn’t there have to be something that’s actually permanently written onto your device’s memory? after all, Spotify doesn’t say that I download songs, I’m simply streaming them.

  5. Dave Says:

    Jim: Well, they download to my iPad. Once downloaded I can read them without an internet connection. So yes.

  6. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    thanks for the update, Dave. I’m assuming that you simply have to read them using the Comixology app, like Amazon does with Kindle files? I’m a little more open to the possibility if there’s something you’ve actually purchased, but I’m still not comfortable with DRM’d files in general.

  7. Dave Says:

    Yes, I generally use the comiXology app to read the comics. Realize that they are DRM’ed up the wazoo and you cannot actually get the files off of the iPad without using black magic. But for a 99¢ comic I’m often willing to give up my rights to owning the actual physical comic for the price and convenience. (Not to mention not having to store or otherwise dispose of the comic when I’m done with it; I figure 90% of the comics I purchase I read only once…)

  8. James Schee Says:

    One thing I’ve found to be nifty, is that if you buy it from the Comixology site you can save on sales tax. As opposed to being charged if you buy through the ap. When you buy as many as I do (probably about $30 a month) that’s an extra comic or two a month I’m saving. Not to mention savings on gas, and well… just my mental health not dealing with comic shops, preordering etc.




Most Recent Posts: