Digital Exclusive: I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

ComiXology announced the “first ever digital convention exclusive“, an online comic starring Atomic Robo. Everyone with a badge will get a redemption code to download Atomic Robo: Along Came a Tyrantula.

Atomic Robo Digital Convention Exclusive

Giving convention attendees a free comic is a long-held tactic to get more attention for a property and give ticket buyers the feeling that they’re getting something extra for their admission cost. Digital makes it a lot easier to do so. Nothing wrong with that. And if ComiXology gets some more subscribers, that’s good for them.

The quibble I do have is calling it an “exclusive”. Exclusive means something you have that other people don’t, usually (in comics) due to a limited print run. If there’s only 250 copies of something made, that’s all there is, there ain’t no more. When it comes to digital, there is no such limitation, and I think it’s somewhat stupid to try and retrofit that concept to digital works. Usually, the word is used in an attempt to artificially inflate sales or drive demand. Why would we want that harmful behavior translated into the online comic market, where scarcity doesn’t need to exist?

In this case, it’s not even true. The issue can be bought by anyone as of next Wednesday.


3 Responses to “Digital Exclusive: I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means”

  1. Jamie Coville Says:

    Maybe they mean exclusive to Comixology?

    I think Comixology wants whatever will sell some books (to whomever). They likely believe that there are some readers out there that won’t check out an indy comic unless there is some marketplace created urge to do so.

    IIRC Chip Mosher is Comixology’s marketing guy now. It looks like he using some traditional print marketing methods here that might have helped Boom! in the past.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, that’s a good possibility. They did make a big deal out of the book using the ComiXology Guided View technology in different ways. Except then the use of the phrase “convention exclusive” becomes very confusing.

  3. Brigid Alverson Says:

    I think what makes it a convention exclusive is you could get it first at ECCC—it won’t be available to the general public until Wednesday.

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