It’s probably no secret by now that both ComiXology and Marvel have begun their own “unlimited” digital comics services, each adding new books on a regular basis.

Granted, ComiXology has comics from several companies, and it’s no surprise to anyone that the House of Ideas offers their own products. They are, however, working together on some levels.

I’m conflicted when it comes to these services. Let me tell you why.

IS IT REALLY UNLIMITED?

Marvel, ComiXology, Unlimited, local comics shop, House of Ideas, Image, IDW, Dynamite, DC, RebirthHere’s the description for the ComiXology version of Unlimited: “Unlimited Reading. Anywhere you go. Explore over 10,000 comics, graphic novels & manga. Also, enjoy exclusive member sales and discounts!”

What’s appealing to me is that you can download comics, graphic novels & manga to all one’s devices and enjoy reading offline. I’ve been traveling by plane a lot these days, and it would be nice to have comics to read during that time. The bad news? My stomach can’t take reading comics too long without getting upset, particularly when on a plane or bus. ‘Nuff said!

Another good point is that you get 10 to 15 percent off all books from Marvel, Image, IDW, Dynamite, and others, and that includes new digital comic releases.

Granted, not ALL comics are there, so it’s not totally unlimited. However, as the weeks and months go by, previously unlisted comics are making their way to ComiXology Unlimited.

The same along these lines is true with Marvel, although again, it’s the product from the House of Ideas only.

Eventually, I bet the Unlimited digital services will have just about EVERY comic ever released for one to read. But not yet.

Still, it’s a cool name and an inviting one.

IS DIGITAL ON TOP?

Marvel, ComiXology, Unlimited, local comics shop, House of Ideas, Image, IDW, Dynamite, DC, RebirthWhile I would love to have some books to read on a plane or a car until I get seasick, if I’m really honest about it, I just don’t have that much time so I could sit down and read comics several hours a day.

There’s a funny saying among comics creators that I like. It goes something like, “I’m too busy creating to read the comics others make.”

Each week, I have to carve out a few hours to catch up with that week’s releases or I get way, wayyyyy behind very quickly. As I related during a column a while back, I fell behind with DC’s Rebirth books when they first hit the stands. I eventually got a Saturday off, so I sat down and pored through every comic I was behind reading, and have managed to stay up to date since then.

Again, it’s not easy!

As much as I love digital in order to catch up on comics I’ve missed issues of, I still prefer paper copies. I know, very old-fashioned of me!

But I don’t think I’m alone in this. And I don’t think digital comics have overtaken print copies—at least, not yet.

So discounts on digital comics aren’t all that appealing to me at this point. Now, since my local shop gives me free bags and boards with each new issue I buy (and they even insert them for me), THAT is something I like.

Still, if I were community by bus instead of by car and I had more time to read, I’d be much more interested in “unlimited” digital comics.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT

Marvel, ComiXology, Unlimited, local comics shop, House of Ideas, Image, IDW, Dynamite, DC, RebirthOne thing that did impress me is the cost of ComiXology Unlimited. It’s only $5.99 each month. Marvel isn’t that far off with only $9.99 a month.

Marvel has 20,000+ digital books you can access. And you can cancel at any time. And more are added each week.

If I was someone with a lot more free time on my hands, I just might consider these services a little more. But with creating a podcast, writing this column, working part-time each week, helping my roommate with his successful comic, and several other things that keep me occupied, it just doesn’t make sense at this time.

Now, that may be different for you. If I were back just working a full-time job I lived near, hey, I might at least give “unlimited” a whirl. But not now.

To subscribe to ComiXology Unlimited, go to this link. Or if you prefer the House of Ideas, go here.

Which leads me to ask: How many of you subscribe to either or both of these “unlimited” digital comics services? Do you find them helpful in keeping up with characters you enjoy or in exploring ones you haven’t met yet? Then, if you have to choose one, do you prefer the House of Ideas of ComiXology? Or is this all just me speaking Greek to you? Whatever your opinion, please share your thoughts in the space below!


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3 Comments

  1. The Mark
    March 12, 2018 at 11:04 am — Reply

    They sound great I would love have them… BUT wait I am in the UK so can’t…

  2. March 12, 2018 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    The only way to get me to go mostly digital is subscription based services like these, at right price. I’m 90% trades and collections guy right now, because its almost impossible to get weekly comics in my country, at least at any reasonable cost. I know Marvel Unlimited works here in Finland, not tried any others yet.

    I’m suspicious about corporate decisions regarding digital licenses by default, so I won’t be doing any meaningful investment in digital downloads, only “throwaway” run in the mill stuff. No way I’m selling my Absolute All-Star Superman or Watchmen and replace them with downloads. Paper is still superior interface and I’m not convinced at all that one day, some corporate lawyer, denial of service attack or other mess won’t remove my access to all my digital stuff overnight.

  3. Crs
    March 12, 2018 at 9:11 pm — Reply

    I’ve been a subscriber to Marvel Unlimited since it started and I’ve never regretted it. I easily get my money’s worth by forgoing a few floppies and waiting to read them on the service. Then also having pretty much any book I could want to read at my finger tips? Awesome. I’ve never looked back.

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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.