Comics

The ComiXology Outrage

Renowned comic book writer Gerry Conway, venting on ComicBook.com about ComiXology's recent iOS app debacle:

“By forcing readers to leave the app and go searching the Comixology website, add books to a cart, process the cart, return to the app, activate download, and wait for their purchases to appear, Comixology has replaced what was a quick, simple, intuitive impulse purchase experience with a cumbersome multi-step process that will provide multiple opportunities along the path for the casual reader to think twice and decide, ah, never mind, I don’t really want to try that new book after all.”

Exactly this.

There are a number of good comic reader apps for iOS—Comic Zeal comes to mind—but ComiXology always stood out from the crowd thanks to its awesome in-app storefront. Impulse purchases helped me get back into buying comic books, something I hadn't done since I was a little kid. They were arguably ComiXology's bread-and-butter.

When I needed something new to read, I opened ComiXology and tapped a couple buttons. Since I stream all my music rather than purchasing it, any iTunes gift cards I've received have gone towards comic books. And now they'd rather have me use their terrible website (seriously, it's bad, especially on iPhone) and input my credit card information rather than using my already-available iTunes account, all while adding extra steps to the buying process. It's like they want people to stop buying comics.

Now that ComiXology is merely another comic reader app with a shitty purchasing back-end, I can't see why anybody would bother sticking with it.

ComiXology No Longer Offering In-App Purchases

From the official ComiXology Tumblr:

“We have introduced a new comiXology iPhone and iPad Comics App and are retiring the old one. iPhone and iPad users will now buy comics on comixology.com and download to the app. All your purchased books will be readable in the new app once you’ve downloaded [them.]”

Welp, I was excited about them teaming up with Amazon, but those feelings vanished in an instant this afternoon.

In the very same post they mention a new way for Android users to purchase comics in-app. I can only guess this means Amazon doesn't want to share a flat 30% of their sales with Apple, which is silly if true. If the overwhelmingly negative reactions I've seen on Twitter are any indication, their bottom line is about to hurt a lot worse than if they'd just stuck with the IAP model.

Good luck with that, Amazon.

'Ducks'

Kate Beaton, who draws the hilarious webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, just published a more personal 5-part short story called Ducks:

Ducks is about part of my time working at a mining site in Fort McMurray, the events are from 2008. It is a complicated place, it is not the same for all, and these are only my own experiences there. [...] Ducks is about a lot of things, and among these, it is about environmental destruction in an environment that includes humans.”

If you have ten minutes to spare today, it's worth reading.

Dear Mr. Watterson

Here's the trailer for the upcoming documentary that takes a look at the life and work of Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes. It would be an understatement to say that I'm really excited about seeing this film.

After you watch the trailer, be sure to also check out Gavin Aung Than's excellent comic-strip recreation of Watterson's most famous inspirational speech over on Zen Pencils.