COMICSPRO Issues Strongly-Worded Response to AMAZON's COMIXOLOGY Acquisition

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Updated 4/11: ComicsPRO, a non-profit trade organization for direct-market comic book retailers, has issued a response to Thursday's news of Amazon's acquisition of comiXology, and it's a strongly worded one.

Published on their Facebook page Friday afternoon, the organization's Board of Directors attempt to draw a clear distinction between digital comic books and the traditional, published versions sold in their members brick and mortar stores, or what ComicsPRO refers to as "the real thing."

"There's always a concern when a huge corporation that shows little need to turn a profit tries to convert a niche market into a commodity," reads their statement. "Fortunately there is a tactile element to comics that no deep-discounting web entity will ever be able to replicate. So as long as there continues to be fans for the real thing, there will be comics and comic book stores."

Among the self-described missions of ComicsPRO is "the progress and development of comic book retailers" and "to provide a voice for the often overlooked concerns of direct-market retailers."

The organization further states they will be issuing a press release on the matter later Friday.

Original story: Amazon.com announced Thursday plans to acquire comiXology, the leading digital distributor of comic books.

The full purchase of the company will complete during second quarter 2014, and will see comiXology become an Amazon brand, complete with their Guided View technology. The service is available on the web, iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.

”ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology in the press release. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”

Likewise, Amazon Vice President of Content Acquisition and Independent Publishing David Naggar is excited about bringing the company and distribution program, launched in 2007, into the Amazon fold.

“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world. We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers,” Naggar said.

comiXology currently hosts comic books, including same-day-as-print and archived stories, from publishers like Marvel Comics, DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, and over 100 others, as well as their own creator-owned self-published line.

In an additional statement on the comiXology website, Steinberger said, “We have long had the goal of making every person on the planet a comics fan. With Amazon’s help, this crazy goal is more possible than ever before.”

The CEO also noted that “comiXology will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary.”

Newsarama has begun canvassing some of the comic book Direct Market's biggest players for reaction to the news and we'll update this story as we receive them:

Diamond Comic Distributors declined to comment at this time.

DC Entertainment: "Amazon Kindle and comiXology have both been great digital publishing partners to DC Entertainment. We are confident that Amazon's purchase of comiXology will make both our partners that much stronger and allow us all to continue to enhance and build the fastest growing segment of our publishing business as we bring our digital comics and graphic novels to our fans all over the globe."

Marvel Sr. Communications Manager Joe Taraborrelli: "Marvel would like to state that there is NO impact to the Marvel Comics App or our digital comic store and that we continue to invite all Marvel fans to use the Marvel Comics App and our digital comics store for all their browsing, purchasing and reading needs."

Dynamite Entertainment CEO and Publisher Nick Barrucci: "I'm extremely happy for David, John and the entire team at comiXology.  They have succeeded because of the passion that they brought to their business.  Make no mistake, they created a great model and an incredible business, but the extra 'x-factor' that cannot ever be replicated is the care and passion that they brought to the business and to the fans, and they also encouraged that passion in their staff.  This dedication to delivering the best quality content and ease for fans is what has allowed comiXology to not only be the leader in the field, but also do something that no other digital content provider with a paper component has done (whether in prose or magazines), which is to help grow the market - both digitally and through sales of the actual physical comics.  This is a great new chapter for them, and one I'm really excited, and cannot wait to see what they achieve next."

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