Comics Creators

Digital Comics


No distribution industry survives if the manufacturer offers direct sale to the customer at a 25th of retail sales. That’s not goodwill, that’s killing your channel.

Comics sell dick all where’s there’s no physical distribution channel.


Until they do.

Things change. Content is not the medium any more. The company I work produces a monthly magazine for professionals. Has done for way more than 50 years. Unsurprisingly that’s not where they are looking to make money for the next 50.

I do like comic shops like Gosh, Page 45 and Quimby’s Bookstore I can find often local material that I don’t know about - but I don’t get to them much anymore, and there are lots of other ways.



The big question is can that happen? Comic sales are limited internationally compared to something like movies. 40% of a movies sales comes from the US, 90% of comic sales come from the US. The difference is the dedicated comics retailer network. If you remove them and go digital only I think you lose a massive amount of sales. As for digital comixology have been around for several years now, have the might of Amazon behind them and still it’s not moved the needle very much.


A big element of that too is they are licensed out (mostly from Panini but there are a couple of other license holders in Asia). So in the UK you can pay 3 quid for a 20 page comic or 3.50 for 76 pages of material. Of course they run behind so if you can’t wait you have to get the Marvel originals from an LCS but a decent amount choose that option. ABC report the 7 titles there sell between 20-40,000 a month.

Thanks to translation in Spain and other European countries they sell a lot more. I don’t know how that works but I assume it’s a fixed licensing fee and then they get to publish what they want from the catalogue, I know creators never get royalties for overseas editions from Marvel which tallies with that.

Just an aside really because I agree the issue is that as far as I have ever been told the LCS market makes up the big bulk of sales for most mainstream books (with only a couple of outliers like Ms Marvel). So if they start closing it’s a major issue.


What I found interesting there is if you look at the app reviews on Google Play. Plenty are very happy but a lot are displeased that it’s not a subscription service that let’s you read all comics (and a few idiots who expect it all to be free).

You can understand why. In the digital world I pay roughly $8 US to get hundreds of TV shows, movies and comedy specials from Netflix. I could watch it 15 hours a day every day for the next month and barely touch on all the content. For $4 on new titles from Comixology you get 20 pages, maybe 10 minutes worth.

I do wonder how Marvel Unlimited is performing, so far I have never seen a single number for it (except for creators moans they get very little, which I can imagine is true is that’s the same for Amazon’s library feature where you get like 3 cents).


ComiXology is running a 60% off DC sale. It brings the threshold low enough that I think I’m even going to give the horrible Justice League International a shot for $4.00. Note you have to put in the code before the real discount kicks in.

I’m also strongly considering the digital edition of JLA: Earth 2 as it’s one of my favorite stories and would strongly recommend Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1 if you haven’t read it.


There’s an Aliens sale on Comixology at the moment - anyone got any recommendations? I’ve already picked up the Dead Orbit collection after hearing good things here and enjoying Stokoe’s work on Moon Knight.


Anything by John Arcudi :+1:t3:


The original three sequels to Aliens, I think they’re called Outbreak, Nightmare Hive and Female War nowadays


The first Dark Horse Aliens Omnibus collects all three of those for £1.99! Sold.


Stronghold is 69p and has Doug Mahnke art. I’ll try that.



That Omnibus contains the dodgy edited versions of those stories …


They just changed Hicks to Wilks and Newt to Billie, right? Was there more editing than that?


Apparently they are also coloured, having originally been published in black and white.


I recently got the oversized 30th anniversary print of that Aliens book. It’s really nice. I loved that first book when it came out.


Book 1 was B&W, book 2 was painted and Earth War was traditionally coloured when they were published as monthlies.


Ah, ok. Thanks.


The name change thing gets progressively more confusing as it goes along, especially once Ripley makes her appearance and they start referring to the events in the movie.

It was just a shockingly bad hack job of an edit, that was ill conceived and unwarranted.


The thing that really gets me about the edit is that All three comics were published well before Alien3, so it wasn’t as if they renamed Hicks and Newt and weren’t expecting Ripley to turn up when she did, and had to rewrite around her return at short notice.


I really liked Defiance -Seems to have all 12 issues in the sale.

The omnibus collections are tremendous value there at £1.99 a pop - I’ve got most of the stuff in single issues in my mums loft but I find it hard to resist picking these up digitally for easy access.