Adam Wolfe writes from New York Comic Con,
Comixology has changed the comic book industry since its inception seven years ago. Whether you hate the digital program, or are more than happy using your tablet to get your pull list, Comixology's influence is revolutionizing the way people read comics. Now, they intend to change the way people make comics as well. However, they aren't out to advise Marvel and D.C. what they offer is support for you, the little guy. Comixology Submit has released over 2,000 independent comic books, graphic novels, and manga since its launch. Joshua Fialkov, writer of "The Bunker" one of Comixology's biggest successes claimed that not only is Comixology Submit more rewarding than working for a larger company but also helps you grow as a writer more than anything he had experienced. He noted a time in which he was writing "Hunger" a story arc for Marvel that had Galactus, everyone's favorite planet eater, setting his sights on the Marvel Ultimate Universe. At the time, he had pitched the idea for "The Bunker" to some executives in the business and they told him "there is no audience for a book this smart." Where some might have taken the flattery and dropped it, Joshua would not take no for an answer. So he put in some overtime, and was able to release the first issue of "the Bunker" the same day that "Hunger" came onto the digital shelves. Ultimately he got the last laugh as "The Bunker" made a huge splash coming in fourth in sales, while "Hunger" sat two places behind in sixth.
Where does that leave us though the starry eyed creators in the crowd just waiting to get our ideas out there as quickly as we can? Well Bethany Romero, creator of The Agency, provided some reassurance that you do not need the training and experience Jousa has to be successful on Comixology Submit. She shared her own struggles, such as formatting, writing, art quality, and deadlines and how Comixology Submit helped her through each hurdle as they presented themselves. That's when John Roberts, the director of Comixology Submit and Chip Mosher really began to break down the advantages of the program versus perusing a more traditional publishing route. "No one will love your work like you do" he admitted "but we make sure all of our criticism is constructive to help you reach a larger market and audience, while staying true to your creative power." Bethany agreed, claiming that other publishers saw her work and the only advice they could muster was "let's see how it goes." Submitting on Comixology requires a 5 year nonexclusive contract and full retention of all media rights for copyrights and trademarks. For those of you who have not taken an entertainment law course, this means you can still pitch your story wherever you want, and you completely own your work. Sounds like it would have settled the Kirby case pretty easily. Now that Amazon has purchased Comixology, the push for kindles is most likely to be coming soon, effectively becoming the new newsstand for comics. John Roberts also insisted that Comixology will forever be a separate entity from Amazon, even if it is a subsidiary. Basically meaning kindles might get special treatment, but they will not become the exclusive outlet. Those outlets are the most important thing Comixology brings to the table. Charles Forsman, creator of Snake Oil confessed that without the Submit platform, his book would have never reached the audiences it has. He explained, "It lets you reach new people in a way you just can't from a printed book." Exposure, distribution, promotion, and accessibility, seems too good to be true right? Well kind of when you realize you are only keeping 50% of your profits. For everything Comixology offers new writers, and even some veterans who want to break out and do their own thing, the price tag certainly seems to justify the ends. All it needs is that one mega breakout hit, like a Saga or a Walking Dead to become a 100% legitimized platform.