Comicsfix, All You Can Read Comics, Teams With Dynamite
We’ve learned, in this brave new age of sharing, that content publishers want their material valued piece by piece. Their thinking seems to go, no matter how bad the movie, it should be worth at least $15 to buy a digital copy, given their costs and the value of their libraries.
Sites like Netflix and Pandora, though, realize that customers don’t want to worry over every little transaction. They want rich libraries to browse through for one monthly fee (or free, but that’s a different conversation).
Digital comics, so far, have been about the former (if you stick to legal sources). Publishers sell individual issues through ComiXology, their own sites, or other, lesser-known sources. (Marvel’s DCU is the rare exception.) Now, a site called Comicsfix, begun September 2013, aims to change that. For a monthly fee of $9.95, they offer unlimited reading from their library of titles on computer, iPad, or Android device, including the ability to read offline.
The problem is, most of their offerings you’ve never heard of. Until now, they had books from Alterna, Markosia, Asylum Press, and independent creators. They’ve just announced that they’ve signed Dynamite, their biggest get so far, and have added the following material, with future plans for more:
the first two volumes of The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Legends of Red Sonja with Gail Simone, Project Superpowers featuring covers by Alex Ross, The Blood Queen, Pathfinder–based on the best-selling Paizo RPG, the Bob’s Burgers comic book based on the Emmy award-winning television program, Mark Waid’s The Green Hornet, Zorro, Vampirella Strikes, the first volume of Evil Ernie, Battlestar Galactica, The Twilight Zone, and the all-ages Lil’ Dynamites series by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Agnes Garbowska.
The Comicsfix site has a “try for free” offer, but no details were available, and you have to sign up with them, including providing payment information, to find out more, so I didn’t. They’ve got an attractive interface, but one I’m not sure will scale when/if they add more titles and publishers.
It’s a tough struggle — a site like this needs to show viability before they can get the big publishers customers want, but customers don’t want to sign up until they can get enough familiar material they want to read. I’ll be curious to see if Comicsfix can continue attracting the big players.