Amazon Goes Deep into the Comics Game with ComiXology Purchase

Digital comic book reseller ComiXology dropped a surprise on readers Thursday afternoon when it announced that Amazon is buying the company. ComiXology is the big name in digital comic sales with distribution deals with publishers such as Marvel, DC, IDW, Image, and Dynamite.

Holy comic books! Amazon to buy ComiXologyHoly comic books! Amazon to buy ComiXology

ComiXology is the go-to app on the iPad for digital versions of comic books with a wide library of current and back issues available. Comics can be read online via your Web browser, and it also offers an iPad app for reading on the go -- arguably a much better platform for reading digital comics.

The company launched in 2007, and in 2013 it added a self-publishing service for independent titles. Considering Amazon's push into self-published books, it's a safe bet that it will promote that as a feature it now offers.

Getting pulled into the Amazon family means there's more financial support for growing and taking more marketshare, but it also raises concerns over just what will happen to ComiXology. Company CEO David Steinberger said that's not going to be a problem.

He said,

ComiXology will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary and we're not anywhere near done 'taking comics further.' We are confident that – with Amazon by our side, who shares our desire for innovation and a relentless focus on customers – we've only just begun.

For Amazon, the deal means it will be the biggest single comic book dealer, and it will give the online retailer a much better platform for the medium than it currently offers through its Kindle devices and apps.

Neither company is talking about the terms of the deal, although they expect to wrap up the final details and complete the acquisition some time in the second quarter of 2014.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]