Graphicly: The YouTube of comics?

The digital comics publisher Graphicly is not a company that is afraid of change—heck, they changed their name from Graphic.ly a little while ago—and today they announced a big one. As CEO Micah Baldwin explained to CBR's Kiel Phegley, Graphicly is not only redesigning its site but also adding a number of features, including embeddable comics and comics from solo creators.

The use of social media has always been what set Graphicly apart from other digital comics distributors: Readers can put comments right on the comics page for other users to read, and the iPhone app includes a news stream telling you who is buying and reading what. Now they have redesigned their website, shifting from an iTunes model to more of a YouTube model—readers can embed a comic on their blogs or share it via Facebook and other social media, just as they do with videos.

The other difference is that Graphicly, which carries comics from Marvel, BOOM! Studios, and other publishers, will now accept comics from solo creators as well, so it becomes a place to be discovered as well as to discover. Baldwin explains:

But our process is a two-tiered process where we first check ourselves that the submission is not heavy porn or copyrighted material. The second process is where the community itself curates the content to let the best stuff bubble up. It'll be going through a review process once it's on the site. People can see books and review them, and once they achieve a certain level, they'll enter into our promotional engine. Up until then, it'll be the creator's job to promote their own content.

Sounds a bit like Threadless, actually. Or Zuda. This really changes the nature of Graphicly, from a distributor to a true social-networking service that encourages conversations and sharing, and making it a very different animal from the other digital distributors out there right now.

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