ComiXology has announced they are shutting down their website next week. Comics will no longer be able to be viewed online, or with an internet browser. The only way to view comics going forward is their app for Android or iOS, or with the Kindle app. If you want to read comics or graphic novels on your computer, you will have to use Kindle for PC or the Kindle Cloud Reader. Comic reading on these two solutions is abysmal. Single pages are fine, but a two-page spread ends up being one page, and is centered, leaving lots of negative space everywhere. The text is too small to read. You can’t even zoom on the Kindle Cloud Reader, and using your browsers zoom button does nothing. However, Cloud Reader doe have a Guided View option, but the comics are not being loaded at high resolution, so the text is unreadable.
The Amazon desktop solutions, Kindle for PC and Kindle Cloud Reader were developed to read digital books. This is why they were developed in the first place, Amazon needed a way to allow people to buy and read content in a web-browser, since they could not sell digital content in their iOS app. Amazon really hasn’t devoted much energy to releasing new updates for added functionality for comics. They see their line of apps for mobile or tablets as the growth avenue. Basically, you can’t even buy ComiXology comics anymore, unless you have an Android or iOS device or a Kindle e-reader. This pretty well forces everyone to read on mobile, since the desktop versions are utterly and completely terrible.
Will Amazon solve these issues on the web-browser? I doubt they will fix anything in time for the February 17th shutdown of the ComiXology website.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.