Poll: How many digital comics do you buy?

According to a recent finding by Robot 6, we finally have an idea of how much money digital comics made in 2011. The total value is around $25 million, with $19 million going to Comixology, the main provider of digital comics. Let’s not forget that this was a pretty banner year, with DC Comics and their rebooted universe leading the way by providing same day digital — and then Marvel Comics soon following suit. Things are even looking better for 2012, with forecasted sales of around $70 million.

So, dear reader, how many digital comics do you buy? (And, just so it’s not confusing, by “digital comics” I mean comics you download through an app like Comixology, not webcomics which are viewable mainly through a browser.)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on June 25, 2012, in WCO Poll, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. how can we be sure that they are not making up that number,

  2. Against my better judgement I buy Atomic Robo from Comixology, as well as a bunch of Darkhorse stuff from Darkhorse Digital. The reason it’s against my better judgement is because those companies won’t let me have a file, that I own and can transfer between devices how I wish. I’m locked into their systems. And it makes me wary.

    • Yeah, Amazon Instant Video does the exact same thing, which is why I only watch the movies and shows they provide for free (with a Prime subscription, but it’s worth it because FREE SHIPPING is pretty sweet).

      I don’t understand Comixology’s business model. I’m paying them for the right to view their comics? At least iTunes gives you an actual file so you have a sense of ownership. Still, $25 million isn’t bad, but I think $70 million is too optimistic.

      • You’re probably right on the $70 million being too optimistic. I suppose the estimate may be based on the idea that now comic fans have gotten a taste of the digital format, they’re more likely to go ahead and download comics rather than trudge all the way to the comic shop… so basically converting the collections of existing fans to digital rather than any real growth.

        To relate my own story, I was actually pretty big on collecting some digital comics last year during the big DC reboot… mainly because I’d waited a month to get issues, and DC discounts their older issues by $1. I was also picking up some old comics, like the first issues of Starman, that are not easily found in print. I have been pretty close to zero downloads lately, though, just because I realized that hobby is pretty frikkin’ expensive.

        And the luster of the DC Reboot was wearing thin. I mean, geez, I was all excited about that Aquaman reboot, but things in that comic are moving slooooowwwwwwlllyyyy. I think I got to the point when I realized I spent $10 on a storyline that had so far gone nowhere that I decided to stop cold turkey.

  3. I\’m old school, I still love flipping pages for illustrated work. I\’ll read novels on my Kobo, but I like printed artwork in my hands to read and keep. I can\’t pass on a digital comic to my son. But good on the comic industry for making the leap.

    Rod Salm
    Death At Your Door, a weekly webcomic about Death trying to live a life.

    • Reepicheep-chan

      You cannot lend a digital comic to a friend, either (at least not without redic complications). I consider myself a baby of the digital age, but I only drop money on things I can pysically hand to other people at my own disscression. Otherwise I may as well go to the library and read it there.

  4. I don’t purchase digital comics, but that’s mostly because I never got into their physical counterparts. The barrier to entry always seemed insurmountable. Too costly, and too exclusionary in the case of longer running franchises.

  5. I don’t like the options. I don’t buy digital comics but I buy paper /print versions of webcomics that I particularly enjoy and think are well done. So I am forced to answer ‘zero’ although I’ve purchased paper copies and funded Kickstarters for a number of digital works thus far.

    • I think buying print webcomics and purchasing digital comics are two different things. There’s the ownership issue (which algeya pointed out) that’s inherent to digital comics rather than the tangible presence of a print book. Plus, it’s a different business model. There’s always been a question on whether the “digital only for pay” is a viable solution in the first place.

      However, your comment does give me an idea for another poll. 🙂

  6. When real comics can be had for just a buck, or digital for free, theres no place for digital comics that actually cost money.

    • Well, that and I’m too cheap to bother with any of todays app-running phones.

      • Actually there is some financial incentive to going digital. I don’t know where you’re getting that print comics are $1.00, because at my comic store they’re between $3-$4 an issue. I just downloaded a bunch of comics on Comixology for $1.99 each, when, as you can see from the cover, the retail price was around $3.99.So I save $2 by downloading these issues rather than buying them from the comic shop. (And these weren’t the kind of comics that would be in the cheapie bins, either.)

        • Reepicheep-chan

          I suppose the difference comes from weither or not your comics of choice come from the cheapy bins. It is the same way with books, if you want to by the latest bestseller hot off the presses you can save a lot by going digital, but all the books I get are secondhand so the pricetag on the ebooks versions seems way too high to me (much older books being the expection, all of shakespear for a buck is something I can get behind).

  7. My first and only comic I’m starting to buy digitally is Smallville Season 11, despite not following the series post Season 5. But when they announced Stephanie Brown was gonna be Nightwing in the series I immediately picked it up. Though I gotta say, I hate reading it off my Smart Phone, but that’s just me.

    Otherwise I browse the free comics section on my DC Comic App all the time.

  8. It’s funny, I’d be totally willing to put money down for print versions of free webcomics I already know I like (I’ve picked up volume 1 of Lackadaisy, 1 and 2 of Ross Campbell’s Shadoweyes, the compilation of Rice Boy, among a few others)– but I’ve never been all that tempted to pay for a digital webcomic, particularly one that I can’t flip through in its entirety before I buy it. It’s an interesting payment model (I’m always intrigued by the myriad of ways people try to monetize their digital content), but I’m not sure how much appeal it holds for me personally.

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