Why ComiXology\’s App Update Isn\’t the End of the World

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ComiXoloy removed in-app purchases on iOS and the internet freaked out.

ComiXoloy removed in-app purchases on iOS and the internet freaked out.

This weekend, digital comic storefront ComiXology made a sweeping change to both their iOS and Android apps. On the iOS version specifically, they disabled to buy comics from the app while the Android version no longer accepts GooglePlay payments. This change follows the news that Amazon had recently purchased ComiXology, and with that in mind it’s honestly not surprising if you purchase Kindle books and own either device.

Amazon doesn’t allow you to purchase books for your Kindle through their iOS Kindle app as Apple takes a huge cut of every transaction that goes through their device. It may be 30%, but all that matters is that Amazon doesn’t want Apple taking a cut of what they make from each book sale. With their recent purchase of ComiXology, if anyone seriously expected them to keep things as it has been…they’re kidding themselves.

Now ComiXology works just like the Kindle app does, and if you listen to the internet it seems like this is the end of digital comics forever. Except that it’s not.

You can still buy digital comics on iOS through Safari, then view them in the app.

You can still buy digital comics on iOS through Safari, then view them in the app.


ComiXology has a mobile storefront for their store that you can access via Safari/Chrome on iOS and purchase your comics that way, and then view them in the new app. Sure it’s an additional step, and if you previously used iTunes gift cards to pay for your comics it’s a big change, but you can still buy comics on your iOS device…it just requires an additional step.

One of the biggest bits of overreaction came from Polygon Editor Ben Kuchera who tweeted out that it’s basically easier to pirate comics now than buy them:

This makes absolutely no sense when you look at it through something called "reality".

This makes absolutely no sense when you look at it through something called “reality”.


This statement is just ignorant, overreacting, and flat out false. To buy a comic on iOS you just need to open Safari and go to your ComiXology bookmark. It’s then in your app. It’s still much more convenient than pirating a comic which requires you to find a torrent on your PC, download the CBR/CBZ file, and then sync the file over to an app via iTunes. Can anyone care to explain how that’s easier than clicking a buy link in Safari?

Brace yourself for the next change when they allow you to sync your Amazon and ComiXology accounts (much like they currently do with Marvel) and all your comics then appear in the Amazon cloud with all your Kindle books. That surely will be the apocalypse if the overreaction to this is anything to go by…

Digital comics are still the best way to read comics in 2014. Both Marvel and DC (as well as most other companies like IDW, Image, and Dark Horse) put out their books day-and-date with the print editions. So if you have a ComiXology account you never have to worry about an issue being late as the digital file is uploaded on the exact day it’s supposed to be out. That’s more than you can say about some local comic shops, who may be weeks or a month behind on books for one reason or another.

That’s not to mention the regular big sales ComiXology still does even though they’re owned by Amazon. It’s very easy to stock up on entire runs of series with the many 99 cents sales they put on just about every weekend. That’s why despite not having the in-app purchase option anymore, I’m still 100% digital when it comes to reading comics these days.


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FURIOUSFANBOYS Writer
FURIOUSFANBOYS Writer