Diamond and Trajectory strike digital comics deal

Diamond Comic Distributors, which in February shuttered its own short-lived digital program, has signed a multi-year agreement for Trajectory Inc. to convert comics for digital distribution worldwide.

This morning's announcement is light on details, stating only that Trajectory will produce digital comics through a facility in Beijing for distribution through its network of online retailers and school and library vendors. However, Publishers Weekly reports that, under the agreement, publishers will pay a one-time fee of $1 per page for production, and upload PDFs of their comics to a Trajectory website; the company will then convert those PDFs into the formats specified by each retail channel.

PW notes that the partnership provides Diamond with a much-needed digital component, even if it's not actually a replacement for Diamond Digital: That initiative, which seemed doomed from the start, was intended to give direct-market retailers a digital comics service that didn't compete with them; the Trajectory deal creates a service for comics publishers intended to compete with comiXology, the now Amazon-owned market leader.

"We are committed to providing the highest level of service to our comic publishing partners and digital distribution is a natural extension of their existing business model," John Wurzer, Diamond's vice president of publishing, said in a statement. "Trajectory is an ideal partner considering its vastly efficient production capabilities and its global eBook distribution network. It's a simple one-stop shopping solution for our publishing partners. In addition, we look forward to working with Trajectory to find meaningful ways to connect digital readers to print comics and comic book specialty shops."

If Trajectory sounds familiar, it's likely because of its efforts to reintroduce Classics Illustrated for the digital age.

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