Amazon Invests in the Funnies, Buys Comics Retail ComiXology


Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) on Thursday closed a deal with ComiXology, a platform for digital comics, for an undisclosed amount. According to Fierce Retail, ComiXology distributes digital comics from 75 publishers, including Marvel and DC Comics, and its deal with Amazon is expected to help expand the e-commerce giant’s prowess in the online comic book market. David Naggar, Amazon’s vice president of content acquisition and independent publishing, said last week, “We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”

The online comic book industry is growing now that more and more people are reading the funnies on their tablets and other electronic devices. It isn’t surprising that Amazon is interested in a deal with ComiXology, because, as reported by Fierce Retail, the company announced its 100 millionth comic download in late 2012, and its 200 millionth download last fall. ComiXology offers its app on the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and on devices that run Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOD) Android operating system. It has a Windows 8 app, as well.

It is still unclear when consumers should expect to experience the effects of the merger, as the companies gave no timeline to consumers for when the Kindle platform or the ComiXology app will change. All that is evident at this point is that the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, and then ComiXology will continue to exist as a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon based in New York City, according to company co-founder and CEO David Steinberger, per Fierce Retail. 

ComiXology is a big player in the online comics game and has been since its debut in the market in 2007, when it began as a “pull list” service to aid consumers shopping for print comics at brick-and-mortar stores. According to Fierce Retail, after ComiXology got its footing, it then launched its “Comics” app in 2009, which is both an online store for digital comics and an e-reader platform with the company’s patent-pending “Guided View” option. Consumers can find releases from major North American comic book publishers through ComiXology; the company’s technology is also employed by Marvel and DC Comics.

According to Amazon’s press release, Steinberger said last week that ”ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms. 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.”