Digital comic platform Comixology has been criticised by notable comic writers on social media following the launch of its controversial subscription-based service for PC desktops and Android and iOS devices.
Widely dubbed the 'Netflix for comics', the Comixology Unlimited pay-monthly service brings "endless access to digital comics, graphic novels and manga" for $5.99 (£4.08) a month and is currently exclusive to US customers however it appears a number of creators weren't even told their work would be appearing on it.
While the blockbuster heroes and maniacal supervillains of both Marvel and DC Comics are notably absent from the service, the Amazon-owned company is seemingly hoping that big-name titles from independent publishers – such as The Walking Dead and Attack on Titan – will persuade readers to sign-up.
Judging from the reaction on Twitter however it would seem that several of the publishers involved in the Comixology Unlimited launch neglected to inform the original creators that their work would be included in the subscription service.
Canadian artist Pia Guerra, best known for her work on Y: The Last Man asked: "So at what point were the publishers going to talk to the creators about ComiXology Unlimited?" DC comics writer Dan Jurgens questioned the impact the service could have on the lives of industry creatives stating: "Until creators can walk into Target and get as much of whatever they want for only $5.99 a month, Comixology Unlimited is not a good thing."
Transmetropolitan writer Warren Ellis aptly summed up the situation, stating:
Despite the company's promise of its "cinematic" Guided View technology, offline-reading and cross-device cloud support in a simple monthly plan, early adopters have also taken umbrage with the service due to the lack of content under the surface.
Unlike the Avengers-starring rival-service Marvel Unlimited, Comixology's initial selection is mostly limited to the first few issues, volumes or story arcs of each individual title. Comixology CEO David Steinberger explained to Entertainment Weekly that the Unlimited service will eventually cycle titles within the catalogue on a monthly basis to encourage readers to discover new titles, but some users have expressed their dissatisfaction at the meagre selection so far.
Despite being US-only at launch, Comixology has stated that it expects "to expand it to other regions in the future". In the meantime, UK and non-Unlimited Comixology customers are still able to purchase individual graphic novels and longer story-arc runs from the online store, which also includes DC Comics and Marvel content.