Launching today, Comic Blitz is a new, unlimited-reading, subscription-based digital comics service that's one of a number of options being billed as a Netflix for comics.
In the case of Comic Blitz, there's a focus on the fans -- on ease of use, offline reading and other areas where similar apps have often come up short for the audience. They've also got a number of major publishers on board, including Valiant, Dynamite, Zenescope, Action Lab, Aspen, Red 5 and Alterna.
CEO Jordan Plosky joined ComicBook.com for a short conversation about the app, which launches its $9.99 monthly service on iOS today with more than 2,000 comics and graphic novels and 50,000 pages.
Check it out here or on the App Store here; Comic Blitz representatives during our conversations told us that anyone who subscribes in the first 24 hours is automatically entered to win a bunch of cool stuff from the publishers who power the app.
There are a lot of subscription or subscription like services for digital comics. What makes your app different from anything else that's out there?
First of all, this is a company built by fans. Fans who actually read digital comics. So, we know what we like, and what we don't like. We're using that knowledge and expertise to build an app that we feel offers the best user experience out of all the digital comics apps out there.
We know what's intuitive for someone who's read digital comics before, and what works for someone who hasn't read them before either. We have many ideas going forward about how to add more to that comic reading experience as well, which you'll have to stay tuned for!
What was the hardest part -- was it logistical, programming, or just legal, getting all the clearances and such?
There is nothing easy about starting a business! They were all hard, and all present their challenges. Putting together a team, losing, and gaining new team members. Building the technology from scratch, learning not just as much as possible about the comic industry, but about running business as a whole. Finances, contracts, budgets, projections, etc. There's nothing easy about it, but it's also that challenge that drives us to do it.
What platforms do you support?
We are launching on iPad first, and will be available on other platforms shortly.
How has response been from the publishing side of things when you reach out to people to join up?
Subscription services for comics and e-books are still a very new model, and it's met with varying points of view from content creators. Some understand that it's an outstanding discovery engine for their work that will bring more eyeballs and money to their work in the long run. Others are still skeptical. But, it's our job to make them believers in the platform, and prove that it's what readers want, and that it's a way to reach new readers as well.
We don't want to just grab a slice of the pie, we are aiming to make the pie bigger, bringing in more readers, making it easier and more affordable than ever before to read comics. And that only benefits the publishers.
We've all heard "The Netflix of..." before. Can you give us a sense for how exactly the app actually functions, what hidden benefits there are and what, if any, tricks there are to making it work best for you?
Sure. companies like us use the term "Netflix of..." because it's the easiest way for someone to understand what you offer. So, for 1 low monthly price, you can read absolutely any piece of content on our app. Nothing is off limits. You have the keys to our store, AND can read whatever you'd like.
We have a lot of simple, yet effective features. Offline reading, creating reading lists, setting aside books to read for later in no particular order, a recently read section, some of our curated picks, the ability to share on social media, rate, review, and more. And of course, there is more to come in the future as well. We plan on building an entire experience around the comics