Yesterday marked the sixth Wednesday in a row that the Comics by comiXology app charted as the top grossing iPad app in Apple’s entire App Store — beating out Apple’s own Pages and Keynote applications. Long known as “new comic book day” to print comic fans across the nation, Wednesday has now become an online comic book event thanks to more and more publishers going digital same day as print with new releases available on the Comics by comiXology iPad app.
Created by comiXology, the leading distributor of digital comics, the Comics by comiXology app on iPad is just one part of the Comics by comiXology ecology — also available on the iPhone, Android, and the Web — offering more than 14,000 comic books from top-selling publishers.
“When have comic books, not comic book movies, not comic book merchandise, but the actual comic books been #1 in anything, much less high tech?” asked comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “Being the number one grossing iPad application six Wednesdays in a row isn’t just a huge milestone for comiXology, but a huge milestone for comics as a medium…and we could not be prouder.”
Through a quirk of history and economics, comic books for the last thirty some odd years have been a destination item, sought out by a hard-core fan following and serviced by a dedicated group of independent retail brick and mortar stores. And while this network of stores rescued the comic book industry from near oblivion as newsstands disappeared in the 1970s, the unfortunate byproduct was that if you didn’t live near a comic shop or actually go to a comic shop, you would most likely be denied the experience and enjoyment of comic books — one of the great American art forms.
But this has all changed with the debut of Comics by comiXology.
“Our main goal since day one was to expand the audience for comic books. The medium has long been the inspiration for movies and imagery from comic books can be seen on everything from t-shirts to toothbrushes — but most people have not experienced the actual source material,” said comiXology co-founder and CTO John Roberts. “ComiXology was created to correct that wrong. David and I saw the opportunity to use digital distribution as a way to “unleash” this great medium on a largely unsuspecting public — and being ranked #1 for the last six weeks shows that we have met that goal.”
Comics by comiXology rose up the top grossing iPad apps chart beginning early September with the 3.0 release of the Comics by comiXology app. This was immediately followed by the launch of DC Comics – The New 52, where leading comic book publisher DC Entertainment released 52 all-new number one issues that became top sellers in both print and digital. Other major publishers have quickly followed suit, committing to a same day as print release schedule.
ComiXology most recently announced the addition of IDW Publishing, one of the top independent comic book publishers in North America, to their platform.
And while September has seen record sales of comics through the iPad, September has also seen record print sales — bucking the conventional wisdom that “print is dead” and showing that print and digital can both grow the comic book reading market standing side-by-side.
“It’s great to take a moment and reflect that one of our big goals of being a leader in the comic book industry has been met,” David Steinberger reflected. “But that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. All I can say is…you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Since 2007 comiXology has been developing the technological infrastructure to bring comics into the digital mainstream and expose new audiences to the rich history and culture of the industry. Through partnerships with top comic book publishers including Marvel Comics, DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Archaia Entertainment, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment and Image Comics as well as their own mobile and web apps which host over 14,000 digital titles, comiXology has become a leader in digital comic book proliferation. Also focused on creating strong ties with retail stores through its technology solutions, comiXology continues to transform the previously fragmented comic ecosystem into a vibrant and cohesive marketplace.