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ComiXology Acquisition Q & A with Tim Gibson of MOTH CITY on The Cosmic Treadmill

Moth City (Thrillbent) is one of our favorite and innovative digital comics, so when we heard of the pending merger between ComiXology and Amazon we had questions!

Who better to ask these to than Moth City’s own Tim Gibson?

We get into the nitty gritty of the pinch, swipes, scans, payments and tablet wars with our favorite Kiwi after the jump!

FOG!: Have you ever read a comic on the Kindle app? Kind of atrocious, right?

Tim Gibson: Hah, I’ve only read one comic on my Kindle, and that was Tumor by Joshua Fialkov and Noel Tuazon many years ago. It was a great comic but I haven’t been back to try another comic on that platform.

What’s your initial reaction? Glee, excitement? Disappointment?

Cautious optimism.
 
Do you think creator percentages for something like the ComiXology Submit program will stay the same? How does this affect creator owned projects?

Amazon has always been open about the royalty rates they offer authors, 35% if you sell your work for less than $1.99 or more than $10, and 70% if you sell between $2.99 and $9.99. I believe our royalty rates via ComiXology are locked behind a T&C wall, but they aren’t bad.

There would probably be more comics on Amazon right now taking advantage of that 70% rate if they didn’t also have a strange ‘Delivery Fee’ that cuts into the author’s proceeds for supplying high resolution art at larger file sizes.

I have no idea if ComiXology’s rates will change, but I would like to see our books integrated into Amazon’s store at either rate.


ComiXology seems to be forward thinking and has good customer service (these days). Do you picture a total absorption of the company?

I hope not, and I doubt it. Everything said to date implies that they will keep being the great company they are. Hopefully Amazon just gives them a new audience, and they give Amazon some comic selling tips!

Do you see the iPad comics Apps: iBooks vs. ComiXology going after each other’s throats? At least the competition is healthy, right?  I’d imagine Amazon stops developing it’s various comics properties and shifts all comic attention to the ComiXology app, yeah?

I’m not sure that any independent creators are using iBooks or Amazon in anywhere near the same capacity as they are using ComiXology. But yes, I would hope that Amazon would follow ComiXology’s lead when it comes to technology and systems for comics. I imagine they’ll continue publishing their own stuff through their imprint Jet City Comics.

Do you think this opens up the idea of ‘digital codes’ to go through the Amazon Marketplace, and offer a digital version. For Example, you buy a hard copy trade on Amazon, you are also given the code to read on your app?

That’d be cool, wouldn’t it? Though it does propagate the idea that there are no costs in creating digital books, which when it comes to digital comics like Moth City or other digital natives is definitely not true. You’re not paying for paper when you buy comics, you’re paying for the story.


More of the same question, a bit. Does Amazon quietly go into payment processing in the ComiXology App, and users don’t experience anything different? OR does Kindle Comics adopt the ComiXology platform, just with Guided View in the Kindle app?

My preference would be that the Kindle app uses ComiXology’s technology, users can purchase ComiXology’s comics from within the Amazon eco-system with their Amazon payment information, and that everyone’s ComiXology purchases are added to their existing Amazon libraries.

Is Apple vs. Kindle & ComiXology app ecology still a better system than the Diamond monopoly?

Hah, it is for me! Diamond, preorders and pull lists still seem like black magic to me.

Cheers Tim, let’s talk again real soon!

Check out Moth City

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