What with Scribd having removed digital comics from its subscription service in early December, many comics readers are looking for their next source for a binge-reading session.
Sure, they could simply buy each of the comics as they work their way through a series, but that is a good way to lose the next several months' rent. (They might patronize a site with free comics, but the selection and support is limited.)
Luckily, there is a cheaper option.
Several companies, including Comixology and Marvel, offer unlimited reading services for a flat monthly fee. Readers can binge-read Iron-Man or Daredevil to their hearts delight without running up a huge tab.
There are at least a half-dozen competing sites. Their catalogs and support vary widely, so let's start with the unconventional and work our way through the obscure to the giants.
To start, there's GoComics. This is not a paid service for comic books and graphic novels; instead GoComics hosts the daily comics found on the funny pages of your local newspaper.
ComicBlitz is a relatively newcomer in this market; it launched at the NYC Comic-Con in 2015 with just an iPad app. It has since added an iPhone app, and is currently beta-testing an Android app.
ComicBlitz is one of the few services to offer a couple different pricing tiers; they have a handful of free titles and a budget plan which costs $3.99 a month and lets you read up to ten titles. Price: $7.99 per month
Next up is Comics Fix. This company is on hiatus at the moment and may or may not stick around. It has apps for iOS and Android, and it also lets you read in the web browser. Price: $8.99 per month
I liked Comic Fix when I saw it several years ago, but it has struggled to get much media coverage. Few people have heard of it, so I can see why it is struggling.
The next service, on the other hand, is much better-known - for its ebooks.
Kindle Unlimited is best known as the king of ebook subscription services, but it also carries 7,700 digital comics. That is a limited selection compared to the next two services, but if your reading habits cover both comics and ebooks then this could be the service for you. Price: $9.99 per month
But if your reading habits center on comics, there's Marvel Unlimited.
Marvel Unlimited is owned by the comic book publisher and offers access to 17,000 titles from Marvel's catalog. The comics can be read on iOS, Android, or in your web browser. Price: $9.99 per month, or $70 per year
Marvel Unlimited is great if you're a Marvel fan, but if you want to read more broadly then I have just the thing.
Comixology Unlimited is Amazon's Marvel Unlimited. Amazon used their subsdiary's contacts with comic book publishers to assemble a catalog which offers the broadest selection possible.
Comixology Unlimited launched only this summer, but thanks to Amazon's ability to generate buzz it is bound to be one of the larger services by now. Price: $5.99 per month
So, have you tried any these services? Which one did you like the most?