Digital comics startup ComiXology has had several hits in the last few months by lining up high-profile partners. Its latest partner is Oni Press, publisher of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
New York-based ComiXology worked with Oni to create a Scott Pilgrim application for the iPad and iPhone, and they launched it on Tuesday, just ahead of today’s release of the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie adaptation. (Download the app here.) ComiXology chief executive David Steinberger declined to provide any download numbers (he said he’s deferring to Oni), but Scott Pilgrim currently ranks as the top-grossing book app in the App Store, as well as number five on the list of popular free book apps. Steinberger said it has been the top-grossing comic book app for the last three days.
Those rankings are another validation for ComiXology’s approach, which has been to create apps that are essentially mini-bookstores — one for Marvel Comics, another for DC Comics, and now one for Scott Pilgrim. Each of them has climbed to the top five on the book app charts, and the Marvel app is still number three. (ComiXology also created its own app, though it hasn’t been quite as popular.) Each app is free, and includes free content, but charges for most of the comics.
The Scott Pilgrim app, for example, includes the first chapter of the first graphic novel for free, then charges $6.99 for each of the books. All of the comics can be read as full pages (which works better with Scott Pilgrim than with most DC and Marvel comics, since the pages are smaller), or you can glide between panels using ComiXology’s “guided view” technology.
ComiXology raised a seed round from angel investors including Rose Tech Ventures. Competitors include Graphic.ly.
By the way, Twitter users who have seen my Scott Pilgrim-inspired icon have probably figured out that I’m a fan of the series. And I’m not the only VentureBeat writer who feels that way.