March 11, 2013
Marvel, comiXology Drive Attention To Digital Download Comics At SXSW
Using the technology-friendly and forward cultural festival SXSW
as a springboard, the successful digital download site comiXology
working with Marvel
has in the past few days driven a significant amount of attention and resulting traffic to its efforts, to Marvel's Internet-comics strategies, and to the phenomenon of reading comics with essentially or even actual print-ready characteristics on-line or through devices. The main lever for that has been a promotional effort by Marvel to offer up hundreds upon hundreds of free #1 and related-issue comics in order to get people trying out various titles and Marvel's book on comiXology more generally. This has crushed the site's servers, if the number of error messages and general on-line freaking out is to be believed, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't. I can't even call it up to link to it more directly right now. I think it's here
. Good luck with that.
This particular promotion and the general PR push for comiXology has been interesting to me in that I think it proves me wrong that it's the matter-of-fact that will have the biggest impact in digital comics -- at least of a certain type. My thought has always been that companies like Marvel, creators more generally, should have just committed in a broad and "there it is; we're going to use it" way to putting their work for sale on-line via digital copies. I wonder now if the resistance to getting that work up hasn't been a boon in that suddenly people can wake up to these massive libraries these companies have through grand or even modest but frequent price-driven giveaways. Shows you what I know.
The company has also chosen to spotlight its Submit program for indie comics through a partnership with Shannon Wheeler, as described here
. I think those two things together may be fairly significant if they result in long-term execution along the lines hoped for.
posted 8:30 am PST
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