Several French-language news sites are reporting that French publisher Glénat, whose properties include Titeuf and The Little Prince, has signed with comiXology and will begin releasing comics on the digital platform this month.
This is the second big score in France for comiXology, which opened a European branch in Paris in January and a few days later announced it had inked a deal with Delcourt, the largest independent publisher in France.
Glénat is the second-largest comics publisher in the French market, with a catalog of over 4,000 titles. Its properties include Le Bleu est une couleur chaude (Blue is the warmest color), whose film adaptation won the Palme d'Or in Cannes last month, as well as a range of French and Belgian comics. It's also one of the big players in the French manga scene (although it's unlikely any of the manga will make it onto comiXology as the licenses are usually country-specific). The number of titles to be released through comiXology has not been announced.
In a press release, Glénat President Jacques Glénat said (this is a rough translation), "Distributing our titles on the comiXology platform is part of our strategy to develop a following for our authors and their work in digital media, in line with the expectations of the growing audience of readers who are comfortable reading on screens. Readers of every age are using smartphones and tablets, and we want to offer content that satisfies their curiosity, their thirst for knowledge, and their desire for entertainment."
In addition to bringing easy access to French comics for readers in other countries, comiXology is making itself felt in the French market, providing competition for the native French digital comics services Izneo and AveComics. While Izneo included both Delcourt and Glénat among its publshers when it launched, neither publisher is on the current list at the site. On the other hand, AveComics is still carrying Titeuf, so perhaps the comiXology deal is not an exclusive.