ComiXology, the leading digital comics platform, announced today that it has been purchased by Amazon.com.
Bombshell, huh? Perhaps the biggest possible bombshell in the digital comics world. Here are a pair of quotes from an Amazon press release:
“ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”
“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world,” said David Naggar, Amazon Vice President, Content Acquisition and Independent Publishing. “We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”
The biggest complaint I constantly hear about comiXology comics is that you don’t really “own” the comics and that you could lose access to the comics stored in the cloud if comiXology went out of business. That’s pretty much off the table now, it’s not likely that enormous juggernaut Amazon will go out of business.
On the other hand comiXology is a “cool” company. They give away free comics, they supported creators by adding an indie program, they’ve generally democratized comic book distribution. Amazon is too monolithic to be a “cool” company, and this news brings some anxiety that Amazon will make changes to things that people like about comiXology.
Steinberger seemed aware of these fears, and addressed them in a letter to comiXology fans.
“ComiXology will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary and we’re not anywhere near done ‘taking comics further.’ We are confident that – with Amazon by our side, who shares our desire for innovation and a relentless focus on customers – we’ve only just begun,” Steinberger wrote.
Terms of the deal weren’t revealed. And it’s not a completely done deal yet, it isn’t expected to be official until the second quarter of this year.