ComiXology has branched out into yet another arena with the launch of eBay Digital Comics, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a dedicated digital-comics marketplace for users of the auction and shopping website. It's now in limited beta test in the United States.
TechCrunch reports that while eBay previously permitted merchants to offer some digital items, with this expansion the website is actually involved in curating and selling content.
The new storefront essentially serves as a display window -- for now, at least -- allowing eBay users to browse the collection by character. Once a title is selected, buyers are taken to its page on comiXology, where they have to have an account to actually make a purchase. The FAQ at eBay Digital Comics indicates that, "We are working to provide you with the ability to purchase digital comics on eBay with your eBay account."
Writing for Good E-Reader, ROBOT 6 contributor Brigid Alverson notes one significant quirk at launch: "The current setup is a little puzzling [...] because the digital comics only seem to appear in eBay’s dedicated digital comics storefront. One reason to put comics on eBay is because it’s a site that a huge number of people visit and browse every day. But the comics seem to be in only one place; they don’t come up in searches on titles like 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' and even adding 'digital comic' to the search terms doesn’t bring up the comiXology comics."
At the moment, the selection on eBay Digital Comics is somewhat limited, with volumes of The Walking Dead getting some prime real estate (a good move, certainly), followed by a mix of collections and new single-issue releases from BOOM! Studios, IDW Publishing, Image Comics and Marvel, and the complete run of X-Men: Battle of the Atom.