In a surprise announcement, Dark Horse Comics, one of the largest independent comics publishers in North America, has reached an agreement to sell its full digital catalog of graphic novels and manga via the dominant digital comics marketplace, Comixology. In addition to adding Dark Horse titles to its offerings, Comixology has also released an update of its app that offers new content management tools for users.
Comixology offers more than 75,000 titles and is one of the highest grossing book apps on the iPad. Nonetheless, Dark Horse, which launched its own online and digital store in 2011, has remained absent from the platform. Moving forward, the publisher will continue to sell digital editions of its own periodical comics exclusively via Dark Horse Digital.
Although Dark Horse digital titles were available for download to Amazon’s Kindle, the absence of the publisher's popular titles on Comixology has become a topic of discussion within the comics the industry. Dark Horse's decision to remain off the platform became more prominent after Amazon acquired Comixology in 2014.
Some in the industry have criticized Dark Horse for not selling its digital comics via Comixology, accusing the publisher of denying its artists a higher revenue stream, and causing inconvenience to its fans.
Dark Horse will now offer more than 800 digital titles for sale via Comixology including such popular ones as Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Frank Miller’s 300 and Sin City; Usamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy; and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. In addition, Comixology has also released version 3.7 of its app with updates for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire tablets. The updated app offers easier management of titles with customizable smart lists, new sort options, enlarged cover views and much more.
“Comixology fans have requested Dark Horse from day one,” said Comixology CEO David Steinberger. “I’ve been a fan of Dark Horse since I was a kid--and have continued to be so throughout their rich history--so this is an important addition to Comixology not only for me personally, but for our customers.”
Dark Horse publisher and president Mike Richardson added that he was "excited" about the deal. He said of Comixology that "the technology is stellar and we are pleased that our books will be showcased flawlessly.”