DC Comics is teaming with Amazon.com to launch a branded store on the online retailer that will feature print and digital editions of DC Comics graphic novels. The new DC Comics store will feature the 100 digital graphic novel collections DC is selling exclusively via the newly released Amazon Kindle Fire as well as DC print collections.
In a phone interview with DC Entertainment senior v-p, digital Hank Kanalz from DC’s Burbank, Ca. office, he said that while the new Amazon/DC storefront will feature the 100 digital graphic novels being sold through the controversial exclusive Kindle Fire deal, it will also offer a DC Comics bestseller list, a list of forthcoming titles and other features. “The store is an aggregator of DC Comics digital and print titles,” Kanalz told PW, “it will have more in print than the 100 graphic novels, Amazon has the entire DC Comics backlist.”
Kanalz also said that the new DC store will eventually offer digital DC graphic novels that will be supported across the “broader Amazon digital ecosystem,” explaining that even if a consumer were to use the Kindle for iPad app, they can’t currently read a Kindle Fire digital edition on another device, say, an iPad. But Amazon plans to add support for Kindle Fire edition graphic novels on non-Amazon devices. “You can’t do that today but that’s the intention going forward. Like other other Amazon digital editions, readers will be able to read their graphic novels on any device,” Kanalz said.
While Kanalz said more digital editions of DC Comics graphic novels are on the way, he also added that “We’re Amazon’s partners but we can’t really announce what they’re exact plans are. “
DC’s exclusive deal to release 100 graphic novels only through the Kindle Fire, ignited a conflict with Amazon’s competitor Barnes & Noble, which subsequently removed the physical editions of the 100 graphic novels from all its stores to protest the deal. The 100 graphic novels include some of the DC’s classic and bestselling works, including Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. These digital editions are being sold for half the list price of the print editons.
The Books-A-Million bookselling chain, which also sells B&N’s Nook digital reading devices, has also joined the boycott and has removed the physical editons of the 100 graphic novels in the deal from their stores. The exclusive deal is generally rumored to be for four months through the holiday season. In the aftermath of the controversy B&N has announced a deal with Marvel Comics to feature their comics on its new Nook Tablet device.
Kanalz also said that DC Comics was “really happy” over the first two months of The New 52, DC’s relaunch of its superhero universe, as well as releasing all of its new titles “day and date” or simultaneously in print and digital. Since the relaunch in September, DC’s sales have risen significantly and there are reports from some Comics Shop retailers that the digital sampling is bringing consumers into their stores.
“When we first said we’re going day and date, a lot of comics people were critical and said it wouldn’t work, but we always believed it would expand the business and get our comics in front of more readers. How can that be a bad thing?"