Ever since digital comics became a thing, the comic book industry has been reluctant to fully embrace the medium, understandably worried about wounding their traditional print market and betraying the direct comic shop sellers they rely on. That’s why there is usually a delay between the time a 32-page issue comes out in print and the time it becomes available with on-demand subscription services like Comixology.
Today, someone dared to break that unspoken rule. A major comic book company has made the move to offer their titles on Comixology the SAME DAY they are released to comic shops, effective immediately, and you don’t need to buy the physicals to get them. It’s bold, it’s daring, it could change the industry. …..It’s Archie.
Yeah, I know. Archie Comics isn’t exactly the center of the medium, and they’ve never truly been a trendsetter. It’s possible everyone else will just ignore this, but it’s still an unprecedented move.
If you haven’t picked up an Archie book in the last few years, you’re in for a headspin. DeCarlo is dead, and so is the house style that he established. Archie stories today don’t neatly end in six pages. The characters have more realistic proportions. The books cover a wider variety of genres and some are aimed directly at adults. The article at ScreenRant mentions several of these books will be available on Comixology, but also “the full Archie Library” and we’re not sure exactly what they mean here.
“The Full Archie Library” is probably bigger than the Library of Congress. It spans over 75 years of material produced monthly on a regular basis all the way back to 1941. If Archie Inc is offering THAT much content to Comixology, that should be the REAL headline here, but ScreenRant could also just mean “everything post-revamp,” which would suck for THIS nostalgic reporter. Lacking a Comixology subscription, I cannot personally check.
Will the bigger fish in the comics sea follow Archie’s example? Time (and success, or lack thereof) will tell.