I've started reading comics at 31

I've started reading comics at 31.

That's not something I ever expected to be writing. But it's happened. After many, many episodes of various podcasts in which Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin have banged on about comics, I've finally bitten. The latest controversy surrounding Comixology's decision to remove in-app purchasing of comics on iOS had be curious, so I downloaded the app and had a play.

All I really wanted to do was see how much of a pain it would be to multitask away from the Comixology app, browse comixology.com in Chrome and make a purchase. That was it.

Two days later and I'm knee deep in Transformers, Star Trek and, believe it or not, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yes, I'm reliving my youth via the medium of comics. And Retina iPad mini.

Star Trek

Oh, and just for those who are really into their comics, I took advantage of Comixology's sale yesterday and picked up an issue of Saga. Just because I could and, well, it's ridiculously easy to do.


Which brings me back to the original point that almost got lost in my almost constant comic-reading of the last two days - Comixology's decision to pull in-app purchases means nothing. Not. A. Thing.

The doom merchants have pretty much declared Comixology dead since the switch - a switch that came following Amazon's buyout of the digital comic seller. Apparently people won't pop over to the website to buy comics (or books, as real comic people like to call them) because it's too hard.

But what's the alternative? They don't have one.

Let's look at something where they do have an alternative: Kindle.

Amazon's Kindle app also lives on iOS sans in-app purchases. If you want to buy a book, you hit Amazon's website and do your shopping before launching the Kindle app and downloading whatever you've picked up during your latest shopping splurge. It's really not that complicated.

Which is why Kindle's competition, Apple's own iBooks, hasn't exactly eaten its lunch. Apart from the likes of David Sparks' excellent interactive books, there are few reasons to venture into the iBooks Store. I'd argue it's barely easier to use than the Kindle website, too.

Comixology, or Kindle Comics, or whatever it ends up being called, will do just fine without in-app purchases. Of that, I have no doubt.


Comixology rules. It's fine. Stop panicking.

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