Links: Retailers On Digital Comics

With the upcoming day and date digital ‘new 52’ from DC Comics, and Marvel and others increased digital storefronts, retailers have been commenting on their thoughts on digital comics.

Patrick Godfrey of Velocity Comics:

Amazon is only one of his direct competitors these days. The other is ComiXology, a digital distributor that has created Android and iOS apps for leading comic publishers (e.g. DC, Marvel, and Image). As part of its reboot, DC has initiated a Retailer Affiliate Program with its “digital storefront.” What this means, in layman’s terms, is that local retailers will be able to have a financial stake in digital sales. While the idea seems simple enough, existing press about the affiliate program seems a bit nebulous. So, I’m eager to ask Patrick about it, as I think that a smart, business-savvy owner of a local comic shop would be privy to information from DC Comics and ComiXology that I do not. Not so.

“I have a hard time wrapping my head around” the process, says Patrick. It seems that the noble idea of including tangible comic shops in the digital publication fold is only that: an idea. Patrick has no immediate plans to combine Velocity Comics’s presence with that of DC and ComiXology digital partnership. I assume that all this makes him nervous about the ploys of the diabolical villain, Technology, chipping away at his business model. But he’s not–he’s actually optimistic.

The next five years of digital publishing “will be good for my business.” His reasoning is this: the more available comics are to the public, the more likely they are going to venture into Velocity Comics. With the financial and critical success of comic characters over the last several years, I wonder precisely how cinematic releases affect his business. For instance, I ask him did the release of the film Captain America: The First Avenger cause a direct increase in sales of Captain America comics? He smirks and shakes his head.

“Not even a little bit.”


Dan Veltre of Dewey’s Comic City:

Despite what I consider the sincere effort of DC, Diamond and others to expand the marketplace via these initiatives, digital delivery is really just another form of competition.  I’ve dealt with competition before and I’m not afraid of it.  In my 20 years of comic retailing I’ve had to deal with competition from mail-order services, Amazon, chain book stores, eBay, Internet providers and more.  All supposedly were going to eventually wind up putting me (and all comic shops) out of business.  And yet we continue to plug away.

The solution to this is fairly obvious I would think.  I believe that ANY time a purchase is made by an email address I’ve referred to a digital service I should receive some form of participation in that sale.

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