Here’s a mystery that’s just dying to be explained. The Beat is reporting that comics and graphic novels published by DC Comics, publisher of such well know titles Superman, Batman, and The Watchmen, are no longer available via the comiXology app on the Kindle Fire.
Their source for this story was comiXology CEO David Steinberger, who confirmed it last week at the comiXology panel at C2E2 convention in Chicago. I double checked, and this is indeed true. I cannot see any titles from DC Comics listed in the comiXology on the KF.
This is rather strange, and it gets stranger.
comiXology is still carrying the content on their website and in their other apps. It’s just not available on the KF app. Of course, the really interesting part is that you can still find DC Comics titles in the Kindle Store, including the ones I mentioned above.
No one is talking at the moment (probably because of non-disclosure agreements), so all we can do is sit back and scratch our heads at the situation. But there is an upside; there’s nothing to stop me from spinning out a dozen different causes for the mystery. (What fun!)
First, I’m going to guess that this has something to do with the Kindle Fire Digital Comics Exclusive that Amazon announced when the Kindle Fire launched. Those are the titles that B&N freaked out over when they pulled the print editions from their store shelves. Curiously enough, those titles make up the vast majority of the 101 digital comics found in the Kindle Store. That is a rather striking coincidence, don’t you think?
My first thought was that DC Comics was being pressured by another retailer, and that perhaps they were waiting until they can get their content into the Nook Store. There aren’t any there any there at all (nor is there any digital comics apps like comiXology).
But that doesn’t make much sense. There’s no reason for a long delay given that Graphicly can automatically convert to both KF8 and B&N’s fixed layout Epub format (Kobo & iBooks, too). The content should be in both stores. Of course, that raises a whole other issue. Neither DC nor Marvel are distributing to
either major ebookstore the Kindle Store – not in any significant way. Given the sheer numbers of Kindle Fires and Nook Colors out there, it makes me wonder why.
Update: A reader pointed out that there are more graphic novels in the Nook Store than turned up in my search (B&N sucks at searching). This changes things slightly.
Getting back to the original story, we don’t know why DC isn’t in that particular app, but The Beat speculates about it being a technical snafu. I’m not so sure. That could have been explained away, with little consequence. I also doubt the snafu because it would seem curiously selective in hitting all titles from one publisher. The odds against that are high.
In any case, this puzzle isn’t going to be solved any time soon, so don’t let it keep you up at nights.