Free comics promotion brings server woes for comiXology [Updated]

Earlier today Marvel announced at their South by Southwest panel that they would offer more than 700 first issues for free via their comiXology-powered apps on various mobile devices and via their web store. It's a limited time offer, as the free comics popped up on the comiXology app shortly after the panel ended with plans to only be available through 11 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 12.

In related news, earlier today the comiXology servers crashed. In between messages about the closing party they're hosting at SXSW, comiXology has taken to Twitter to keep people aware that they're working on the issue and, it appears, try to lighten the mood somewhat:

From their Twitter feed:

Okay seeing some heavy server traffic after that last announcement… Just like @muchcoffee predicted twitter.com/comiXology/sta…

— comiXology (@comiXology) March 10, 2013

You know what’s great about digital comics? We never run out. Ever. Let’s all take a deep and soothing breath, right @agentm?

— comiXology (@comiXology) March 10, 2013

Now back to your regularly scheduled server-mageddon! Don’t worry, we’ve got Top Men working on it. #TopMen twitter.com/comiXology/sta…

— comiXology (@comiXology) March 10, 2013

#ProTip: Those 700 FREE @marvel books? Available tomorrow as well!

— comiXology (@comiXology) March 10, 2013

I hit the Marvel app just shortly after the comics became available and had about 150 of them in my download queue before I put my iPad down, but it looks like only about 50 of them actually downloaded. Hopefully comiXology will be able to get things up and running soon.

Update, Monday, 3 p.m. Pacific: Earlier today comiXology CEO David Steinberger posted an update on the situation, announcing they are "pausing" the promotion for the time being but plan to reinstate it at a later date. Also be sure to check out CBR's additional coverage of the issue, which includes comments from Ron Richards, a former Graphic.ly employee who now works for Image, and Monkeybrain's Allison Baker.

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