Amazon guts Comixology

Gerry Conway: The ComiXology Outrage

And so, as we could have predicted, Amazon wrecks Comixology.

What has it been, less than a month since Jeff Bezos bought the most promising tool for renewing the mass distribution of comics in the digital era? I’ll give the man this: he’s moved faster to undermine an existing technology for the benefit of his own company than General Moantors did when it sabotaged Los Angeles’s public transit Red Line for the benefit of the bus fleet they wanted to sell the City of Angels. Job well done, Jeff. My comics reading has gone through the goddamn roof thanks to Comixology. The convenience of having an entire comics store at my fingertips is a powerful thing for someone with poor impulse-control. Being able to buy and read a comic from the same app is beautiful and simple and is exactly why I spend way more time inside Comixology than say, Comic Zeal.

Splitting it into two experiences - buying a comic from the website, switching apps, downloading reading it in the Comixology app destroys this simplicity. It destroys what made Comixology so powerful. And to what end? To increase the profits on each individual sale at the expense of what I bet will be lower overall sales? It’s a giant shame to see a smart company be so short-sighted.

(Of course, I realise this whole thing is such a Western problem. You’d expect a lot of people’s monocles to fall into their tea over this issue. “You mean they changed it to make it harder for me to waste money with them?!”)