Despite being into comics since I was a pre-teen weeabo dropping my weekly allowances on the manga section at Borders, I was not a regular reader until this past year. Part of what enabled this for me was Comixology and their iOS app. Sure, they made it hard to get Sex Criminals when my subscription lapsed due to a credit card error, but it became stupidly easy to go down the list of new releases on the app, tap what I wanted, and not have to worry about it for a few days since the purchases were billed to my iTunes account and that would take about a week to charge my card. Considering the fact I work part time and get paid barely over minimum wage, you can imagine the amount of instant gratification I got being able to read my comics right away and for slightly cheaper than usual.
The halcyon days are over.
Almost two weeks ago on the heels of the announcement that Amazon had bought Comixology, they proceeded to roll out a new iOS app and provided all iOS users with a $5 gift card. I gladly downloaded it because, hey, I still wanted to access my comics and free $5 that I eventually used to buy Avengers Assemble: Science Bros.
As soon as I re-downloaded all my comics though, I realized there was a problem: I couldn’t buy comics from the app anymore. I had to go to the mobile website to do it. This had to be a mistake, right?
It turns out that in the Amazon deal, proprietary for the Kindle took over and Apple device users got screwed. They claim that it is still user friendly for iOS, but tell me how appealing it is to have to go to the mobile website, search for the comics you want, put them in your cart, and enter your credit card information before getting your comics versus tapping download, entering your password (or fingerprint for the 5S), and getting your comic 30 seconds later? Gerry Conway already said it a lot better than I could about how Amazon wrecked the ability for the impulse buy.
Not just the impulse buy though, but it also screwed up the ability for people like me who live paycheck to paycheck to buy their comics on Wednesday when they get paid on Friday. It’s not the extra steps that bother me so much. It’s having that easy, instant gratification taken away. I guess I can insert some terrible metaphor about it being just like life here, but I don’t want to.
Thanks a lot, Amazon. You messed up something great and it doesn’t really make me want to drop money on a Kindle Fire.
At least the deal has finally made Comixology offer Gotham Central in digital trade, so I guess that’s something.