Last week, Amazon acquired digital comics hub ComiXology, a combo app and store for comic books on digital devices. Business Insider predicted that the deal would “change the comic book industry forever.” Whether this is a positive or negative change who knows, however many comic fans lashed out.
Fans of ComiXology are anxious over the big bad corporation crashing into the digital comic world, despite so far there are no defined plans to get screwy with the comics, so to speak.
As of now, ComiXology representatives state that the company will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary, as it is now and customers will be able to buy comics at the same place, price, and account. Guided View, ComiXology’s patented technology which lets users follow the action one panel at a time, will remain intact with the application despite the merger. Publishing contracts will not change, however there may be an impact on comic retailers. Amazon most likely is more interested in ComiXology’s self-publishing platform. Amazon has been publishing comics on Kindle for years before acquiring ComiXology but some fans worry about new exclusivity clauses.
Amazon is staying silent on the topic, which is not easing fans nerves. Some envision Amazon as the hulking giant with a new comic-book sidekick. Others supporters claim this is survival of the fittest—Darwin’s evolution on the literary world. To adapt or not to adapt that is the question.
As for the concern about the monopoly’s involvement with ComiXology, Amazon has to be less demanding than the relationship between large corporations and other comics like Time-Warner to DC or Disney’s with Marvel. Anyways it wouldn’t hurt if Amazon swooped in and enhanced resolutions, user panels and bettered the overall reading experience. In the past Amazon’s relationship with Goodreads, Zappos, Audible and IMDb grew each franchise and improved together.
Once I heard a quote once saying that Kindles are no less threatening than escalators are to stairs. Different modes, but same end result– each expanding the success of books. Let us hope this applies to Amazon’s relationship with ComiXology, where the two will flourish and advance together.