Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Comixology Fail #2: Unpredictability

Disclaimer: I don't know whether this is a Comixology fail or a DC Comics fail, but either way the end result is the same for me, the average consumer. So I'm counting it as a Comixology fail.

On June 8th of this year, Superman 701-710, the first ten parts of "Grounded," were released on Comixology. I had been curious about the "Grounded" storyline, but not enough to buy the issues when they were first published (July 2010-April 2011). I had been planning to buy the trade, but it worked out to be cheaper to buy the issues digitally so that's what I decided to do. These weren't great comics, but I was interested in the story, especially once Chris Roberson took over, and I planned to buy the remaining chapters as they were released on Comixology. Except now it's September and Superman 711 has still not seen digital publication. Will it ever? I don't know.

A few other examples:

  • Every issue of Detective Comics from 838 to 870 is on Comixology, with 870 being released on June 22nd. I was really looking forward to the beginning of Scott Snyder's run with issue 871. I'm still looking forward to it.
  • The first two parts of J. Michael Straczynski's other aborted storyline, "The Odyssey," have been on Comixology since June 25th, but there's no sign of the rest of the story. 
  • All three Green Lantern titles seemed to be on a steady release schedule this spring, with the most recent issues consistently released digitally one month after publication--until Green Lantern 67, which happens to be the final chapter of the big summer event "War of the Green Lanterns." The issue was already delayed several weeks before print publication, and digital readers had to wait another month and a half after that. 
  • DC actually announced ahead of time that all Flashpoint tie-ins would be released digitally one month after publication. This has mostly been the case, but Flashpoint: Abin Sur 2 was released a month and a half after publication for no apparent reason, and the Booster Gold tie-ins simply haven't shown up after the first one
I'm not saying that Comixology needs to publish a schedule of their back issue releases two months in advance. It's actually kind of fun to check on Wednesday and see what new series are being added to the digital vault. But once they start digitizing a series, I'd like to see them continue, at least until they get to a logical stopping point. I'd like to see it work like it has for Gotham City Sirens: The first issue was released on March 30th, and a new issue has been released every week since then. It's fun to read the series this way, to experience an accelerated version of the original serial release. I look forward to a new issue of Gotham City Sirens every Wednesday, and I haven't been disappointed yet. 

So whoever it is at Comixology or DC who decides when and how back issues are released digitally, can you please get your act together? Variety is the spice of life, but predictability is the meat and potatoes.

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