If there's one thing we know to be an absolute fact that is definitely not baseless, sensational fear-mongering, it's that the success of digital comics will ultimately mean the death of the comic book retail market. We've seen it already with music, movies, and books, as all three industries have gone completely out of business since people started buying their products digitally. Now, we will soon see it happen to comics... and the shops themselves will help it happen!
ComiXology announced a new HTML5 storefront today that allows local comic shop owners to set up a turnkey digital comics site, letting customers buy digital comics from ComiXology and sharing some of the profits with the shop. Of course, we all know that once a person tries a digital comic, they will ditch physical books forever and probably just start pirating stuff. That's just the way it works - we don't make up the rules.
"I think the new HTML5 storefront from ComiXology is a great idea," said a sweaty, twitching Matthew Baughman, owner of The Batcave, a local comic shop in Bloomfield Township, MI, in a prerecorded video statement released by ComiXology. "I expect to see my digital sales increase dramatically with absolutely no drop in physical sales."
In the background of the video, several ComiXology executives armed with AK-47s could be seen poking and prodding Baughman, who himself was frantically winking his left eye during the entire statement in what we assume to be a plea for help in Morse code.
"S.O.S.," said Baughman's eye twitch. "They're holding me prisoner and haven't fed me in six days. My business is being strangled in the icy grip of technological progress."
As of press time, Baughman's family hadn't seen him in two weeks, though his wife Charlene did let us know that she was really enjoying reading the latest issue of Saga in ComiXology's guided view mode. Et tu, Charlene?
"It's just so convenient," she said of having her entire comics library available on any device, anytime she wants to read it.
Here's the press release:
ComiXology Debuts HTML5 Retailer Digital Storefronts
Now comic fans everywhere can support their local comic book store from any device
August 28th, 2013 – New York, NY. – ComiXology today debuted the HTML5 upgrade to their Retailer Digital Storefront program. Launched in 2011, comiXology’s Retailer Digital Storefronts bridge the print/digital divide, allowing brick & mortar comic book retailers the ability to profit from comiXology, the leading cloud-based digital comics platform.
Today’s rollout of HTML5 compliant Retailer Digital Storefronts allows fans to purchase digital comics from their favorite local comic stores using any mobile device and also the web. With this rollout, fans can now subscribe to their favorite titles and take advantage of comiXology’s frequent digital comic sales all through their local comic store, keeping that close connection between fan and store with each new release.
“This major upgrade to the Retailer Digital Storefront program is a long time coming,” said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “We’re happy to extend and expand the accessibility that retailers now have in offering digital comics to their customer base, as well as offering even more great features through their storefronts. Between our Digital Storefront and our Pull List tools, we continue to lead the industry in digital tools for retailers.”
“For comic fans everywhere who wish to support their local comic shops with digital comic purchases this HTML5 upgrade to our current Retailer Digital Storefront program is a huge step forward,” said comiXology co-founder John D. Roberts. “For retailers, HTML5 means being able to serve more customers through any device and to greater participate in the digital comics side of the comiXology revolution.”
"Having a digital storefront has increased my bottom line and let me profit from digital comics in a way I didn't think possible," said comic shop retailer Ryan Higgins of Comics Conspiracy in Sunnyvale, California. "Now with HTML5, my digital customers will be able to purchase their comics where and when they want – and I fully expect my digital sales to go through the roof."
The Retailer Digital Storefront program enables retailers to sell digital comics with a simple integration into their existing site while tapping into comiXology’s cloud-based digital comics platform. Shops can then market to comic book fans – both current and new customers – to purchase digital comics from their Retailer Digital Storefront with a portion of each purchase going directly to that retailer.
To request more information about the Retailer Digital Storefront program, retailers can visit http://retailers.comixology.com
ComiXology has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become one of iTunes top 10 grossing iPad apps in both 2011 and 2012. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from the top 75 publishers, and including independent creators as well, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. A privately held company, comiXology is based in New York City. For more information visit www.comixology.com.