Fantagraphics has renewed and expanded its digital distribution agreement for the Comixology platform, and starting today some 300 titles will be available on Amazon’s Kindle Store. The offerings include classics such as Love & Rockets by Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez, I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason, How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis, TEOTFW by Chuck Forsman and Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree.
Fantagraphics, long home to some of the most acclaimed literary cartoonists, joins a small group of publishers— Marvel, Archie and IDW—who have full catalogs available on the Kindle store, but more will be added soon, according to Comixology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger.
Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds sees adding their line to the Kindle store as a way to increase availability to ebook readers. “Comixology has done a great job of launching digital comics, especially to readers who purchase single issues, but we’re hoping to penetrate deeper into the book buying audience that Kindle reaches,” he told PW.
“Between what Comixology brings to the table in terms of tech and what Amazon brings in terms of getting into the hands of people who consume books on Kindles, there’s a lot of potential there,” says Reynolds.
Steinberger confirms that the Kindle's primary audience–prose readers–is more graphic novel focused, but since Amazon's acquisition of Comixology last year, they've been expanding the kind of comics available on the platform—Fantagraphics's deep catalog being a prime example. "As we continue to bring in more comics to Kindle and more graphic novels to Comixology, there are opportunities for great growth on both sides," he says.
Fantagraphics resisted going digital longer than many publishers, and is still print focused, but joining Comixology, and other digital platforms such as Google Play and the Sequential app, have created a reliable income stream according to Reynolds. As with most publishers, the bestsellers are similar in both print and digital. “Love and Rockets and Hip Hop Family Tree have done really well in both, as have some other creators who have been around the direct market for a while,” he said. “Digital sales continues to grow for us in every quarter, and more rapidly all the time."
Fantagraphics titles are already available via the Comixology platform, including downloadable bundles of work by The Hernandez Brothers and Jason. The Kindle store cannot currently handle bundles but as with Comixology, new releases are available the same day as print.
Other Fantagraphics titles now available on the Kindle store include Hate (Peter Bagge), Dungeon Quest (Joe Daly) and Violenzia (Richard Sala).