Comico, the free comic app for smartphones from NHN PlayArt Co., Ltd., has announced that it will be opening the Comico Shop on January 15, 2015 in order to provide comic EC store services. When the store opens, there will be 14 items available, which include Sumahokesu, stationery, smartphone cases and key chains with characters from the ReLIFE manga series featured on them. Prices for items range between 500 yen and 1500 yen, and payment options include cash on delivery and credit card payments.
The Comico Shop is an initiative to help promote the expansion and diversification of business income opportunities for Comico’s manga writers, who are new writers that the company has discovered. With this diversification, writers can receive revenue in addition to the 200,000 yen a month manuscript fee and incentive manuscript fee that they are already being paid by Comico. NHN PlayArt Co., Ltd. is hoping to expand the shop in the future. A teaser page for the Comico Shop is now live on the site.
ReLIFE was the obvious property to use for this new initiative, since it is one of the most popular series featured on Comico. Due to its popularity on the service, NHN PlayArt Co., Ltd. has also published this title in print.
To celebrate the app’s first anniversary, Comico recently held the Shine! Comico Cartoon Contest. The Grand Prize winner received a trophy and 10 million yen, while the other winners received prizes of 1 million yen and 500,000 yen.
The Comico app was launched on October 31, 2013, and is available on iTunes and Google Play.
Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer and blogger who has spent the past seven years writing about anime and manga. She served as the Anime Editor for BellaOnline for almost six years, and was also a contributor to Blogcritics.org’s “Sixty Minute Manga” feature for almost two years. She also served as the Lead News Editor for the Digital Media FX website in the early 2000s.