ComiXology CEO David Steinberger Talks Digital Comics

The iPad and other tablets have made it possible to bring comic books to life as eBooks. In fact, comic book apps have been dominating Apple’s Top Grossing Apps list in the book category for the past couple of months. We caught up with David Steinberger, President/CEO of ComiXology, a company that designs digital comic books for Marvel Comics among others, to discuss how ComiXology is addressing the growing digital comic book market.

EBN: When formatting comic books for tablets, what elements are you trying to preserve?

DS: Our focus is always on the reading experience, which is why we developed our Guided View Technology that allows the user to go from panel to panel. We are always trying to author the comics to guide the reader through the comic as the creator intended.

EBN: What’s new with your company?

DS: We have added a lot over the past few months. This includes the ability to gift a comic to a friend to share your passion with someone else; our Comics4kids app that has kid friendly comics; new publisher partnerships with Archaia, Aspen and Digital Manga Publishing; and a comic series in order to continually expand our comic library selection. Our amazing community is very vocal and we listen closely to build and add what they want.

EBN: Is there a different comic book experience on the iPad versus the Nook Color?

DS: The experience of reading digital comics on the iPad is phenomenal, but as we don’ t have a Nook Color app, so we can’ t comment on the book experience between them. It is definitely a growing market for comic books and a platform that we will be considering moving forward, like we did with the release of our Android app back in December.

EBN: Which retailers are offering the most digital comic books these days?

DS: We announced our Digital Storefront Affiliate Program in January in partnership with ICv2 to empower comic retailers to sell digital comics through their websites. To date, many retailers don’ t offer digital comics, so we saw an opportunity to partner with them to give them the ability for increased revenue.

EBN: What new do you expect to see in the digital comic arena this year?

DS: We expect to see more publishers’ releasing digital comics, as they want to continually expand the reach of their content to their readers. On top of that, more comics will come out digitally the same day they do in print as DC did recently. We are empowering smaller publishers and creators to get digital distribution through our platform with our Guided View Authoring Tools program will help level the playing field by giving independent creators and publishers an equal chance for visibility in the digital marketplace through a standard format and ubiquitous platform. We have a program in the works that will empower partnering comic retailers to sell digital comics through their websites as part of our continued support.