Yesterday, DC Comics announced that they’ll start selling same-day digital comics through several non-Comixology sources. These sources include Barnes and Noble’s Nook store, Amazon.com’s Kindle service, and Apple’s iBookstore service. The comics will apparently be priced similarly to Comixology’s (i.e. the same as the paper copies). Details may be read here.
I view this as a big step, plus a positive sign. Perhaps someone at DC’s realized that giving Comixology a complete monopoly on digital comics was a bad thing, or would put them in the same situation as that for the monopolistic distributor for comic book shops, Diamond. Still, an actual wider range of choices to buy comics from is a good thing. Said bookstores are also much more prominent among the general public than comic-specific apps; one can buy comics alongside “regular” text books, magazines, etc., just like the old days (when comics were sold at newsstands).
The usual downsides are that the comics are still overpriced (a reason I’ve mostly moved to trade paperbacks, which fortunately are also sold digitally via the above sources), and that they’re still DRMed as ebooks. However, the biggest advantage over Comixology is that they’re in EPUB format (or Kindle’s non-EPUB format) like any other ebook—and that means there’s an actual file I can back up on my own, plus remove the DRM myself. While I’d prefer DRM-free materials, as long as I can perform the latter (which with Calibre and a few plugins is easy… future blog post on this, I suppose), I can finally switch to buying “Superman Family Adventures” digitally, probably via the Nook app on my Nexus 7.