I received a personal email from ComiXology today because obviously the company does not have any clue who its enemies are. I don’t even know how they received my email address because I have never signed up for their service or given anyone there my personal email address. For some reason, ComiXology believes I would want to know that they just expanded their catalogue to include French comics from French publishers. As someone with French roots, this does not surprise me since the French give up fights so easily.
I sent the following email back to ComiXology:
Please refrain from sending me any updates about your product in the future. I am not interested in purchasing digital comics from Comixology or any other digital company. I am also not interested in suggesting my readers purchase a product which could eventually lead to the elimination of print comic books.
I see ComiXology and other digital comics distributors as a hurdle in the comic book industry which must be overcome. Even though you have the support of many comic book publishers, you do not have my support. I hope Marvel, DC Comics, and other publishers wake up to the fact that digital comics will bring down the comic book industry through the elimination of the mom and pop comic shops across the country (and the world). It is on the backs of those owners that all companies have sold their products and gained the followings they have today. The progression of digital comics through ComiXology and similar companies is not a stride into the future but a stab in the collective back of the supply chain which has made said companies billions.
Please take me off any email listing you have as any further mass emailings from your company will result in negative feedback on my part. Know that I will continue my fight against ComiXology and any other digital distributorship who would try to take money out of the pockets of those who helped to make comics what they are today. I will also continue my plight to force the publishers to wake up before they have collapsed the industry for a third time.
After my initial email back to ComiXology, I received a reply that I would be taken off the mailing list. In the same email, though, the high-ranking representative of ComiXology attempted to win me over the to digital medium. He tried to pint out how print comics are up to their best numbers in a long time and that this is the first time we have seen a transition to digital in which the traditional medium was up. This was my second reply:
As the Web Content Director for WonderWorldComics.com, as someone who followed the comic book industry for multiple years for Yahoo!, and as someone who has collected comics for over three decades – I know what the statistics are and know that the statistics would me better if digital comics did not exist. The comic book medium is different from the movie and book industry in digital format because more people collect comics than books or movies.
Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, and many of the smaller companies have had a streak of good products in the last few years which have spiked with collectors. They are demanding more from their writers, artists, and editors than ever before and the success has spread from top-tier titles to middle and lower tiers as well. The economy is up, so people are able to purchase more comics than they were a few years ago. The companies have been able to tap into the collector’s market but have been kept in check by retailers who worry about the overproduction of variant covers and a repeat of the market crash in the late 1990s. There are many factors that go into why print comics are up, and there is one reason why print comics are not up even more.
What is interesting is that it is not illegal downloaders who will but the biggest dent in the digital comics market. It is people like me who are willing to point out the reason for digital comics. It is (the creation and sale of digital comics) not to move into the future. It is people like me who point out how Marvel and DC would love to have digital comics take off so that they could eliminate Diamond and all of those pesky comic book stores. Marvel and DC could increase their bottom lines without having to pay out for a supply chain.
Sure, the comic book companies are charging less for most digital comics than for print comics, but how long is that going to last? Do you remember when you could buy the latest album on iTunes for $4.99 as an incentive to go digital? Now, it would be a miracle to find a five-year-old album for under $7. If digital comics ever eliminate the supply chain, fans should expect to pay out the ears for their digital comics.
Be leery, though, of the hands that feed you today. What happens when Marvel and DC Comics come to the realization that they can sell digital comics on their own? Do you think they will think twice about stabbing ComiXology in the back when they are trying to stab companies they have partnered with for decades?