Graphicly Shutters Comic Apps In Favor of eBooks

Digital comics distributor and app provider Graphicly announced today that it is shifting its focus entirely from building and maintaining its own platform for selling comics to the consumer to distributing a variety of visually-based books and comics to eBook platforms like Apple's iBooks, Amazon's Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. This does mean that effective immediately, the current Graphicly app for phones and tablets has been removed for download on various marketplace systems. Readers who currently have Graphicly comics downloaded will still be able to access their purchases -- provided they don't delete the app they currently have. The company has also promised to keep accounts active via a new HTML5 interface on web browsers, though that service is not yet available.

This is not the first major format change in the history of the company that's carried comics from publishers like Image, Archie and Aspen Comics. Last summer, Graphicly redesigned and rebranded its software to focus more on embeddable comics models.

In an e-mail released to Graphicly users this morning, CEO Micah Baldwin explained the company's reasoning for abandoning its old software in favor of the new ebook-oriented model.

As you may have heard, today we made a very important announcement about the future of Graphicly and the direction we're taking our business. Please take the time to read this as it outlines what changes are coming and how they affect you as a user of Graphicly.

Recently, we've expanded Graphicly's service to help publishers get their titles in eBookstores such as Apple iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and many others. In doing so, we've realized that this not only helps the publisher but also helps you, the reader to find great new material and read it through the various devices like iPads and Android Tablets, as the creators of those devices intended.

With this expansion, we have decided to focus on this initiative and work to help more publishers get more titles into these eBookstores.

You will notice that we haven't used the word "comics." That's because the Graphicly platform, as our name implies, is optimized for all graphic-based work, from children's books to art books to magazines to school textbooks to picture books to, yes, comic books. Every day, a larger percentage of the content that runs through the platform is not comics.

Have we lost our love for comics? No. But we know that comics are just one way to tell great stories; there are many others, and all deserve to be seen.

So what does this mean for you, the Graphicly user? Here's a list of the changes that will be occurring:

  • As of this week, we will be retiring the previously-released Graphicly Comics marketplace applications. Our iPhone, iPad and Android applications, as well as our Adobe AIR Desktop application will no longer be available for download.
  • If you have purchased titles and use these apps, you will still be able to read your titles via the apps, but you simply will not be able to purchase titles through the apps anymore.
  • Your complete library of purchased titles will be still be, and always be, available to be purchased and read via our website at http://graphicly.com/store as well as through our Facebook Application (http://apps.facebook.com/graphicly/).

To say we're excited about this step forward would be an understatement. If you own an iPad or an Amazon Kindle Fire, or Barnes and Noble Nook or any other device, you'll be able to access a wider library of titles and enjoy them in an optimized way, getting the most out of your device.

If you're interested in reading any of the great titles from the hundreds of publishers Graphicly distributes, you can browse the Graphicly store at http://graphicly.com/store

If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to let us know - you can always get support from Graphicly here: https://getsatisfaction.com/graphicly/products/graphicly_web_beta

Thank you for your continued support and we hope you enjoy the future of Graphicly.

In a follow-up interview with ComicsAlliance, Baldwin categorized the move by saying, "The great thing about what we build is that we are agnostic to the endpoint. Meaning, we would love to help publishers get their content in every marketplace imaginable, including places like iVerse and Comixology (we have reached out to both to see if they are open to the partnership), and the hundreds of other ebook marketplaces on the planet." At this point, however, no new deals or initiatives are being announced.

Stay tuned to CBR News for more on the future of Graphicly as it becomes available.

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