Rumors of the death of digital comics may have been slightly exaggerated. While ComiXology’s longterm future remains an open question, investors have started looking at upstart company GlobalComix as a potential competitor — and maybe even successor — to the Amazon-owned platform, putting $6.5 million into the company in a new round of funding.
GlobalComix launched in 2020 and currently offers somewhere in the region of 50,000 issues of comics from a variety of publishers including Boom! Studios, Top Cow, AWA Studios, and TokyoPop, as well as a significant portion of international and creator-owned work. (The company’s open submissions policy and promotion of new talent is a significant draw to the platform.) While it hasn’t grown to the scale of ComiXology just yet, the past few months have seen a significant growth spurt — fueled, perhaps, by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding CMX.
“We've grown by a factor of 200% since the start of the year alone,” GlobalComix founder and CEO Christopher Carter told Forbes. “All our numbers are up by 6 to 8x, depending on which metric you're looking at. Average time spent has doubled, the bounce rate has been slashed in half. Sign up rate is accelerating. Subscription sales on the web are accelerating significantly, and we're seeing month over month growth of about 25 to 30% in greater payouts and revenue being distributed.”
With this kind of bump, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a Series A funding round led by Point72 Ventures raised $6.5 million from a number of investors, including Endeavor, which owns both the William Morris Agency and UFC. It’s a sign that, even as publishers and fans anxiously await other shoes to drop with regards to Amazon’s plans for digital comic publishing, others are seeing opportunity to be seized — albeit a future utilizing some controversial tech, with GlobalComix planning AI-powered tools to speed up its process.
"With strategic allies like Endeavor, we're more than ready to pioneer a transformation in the digital comics landscape," GlobalComix co-founder Robert Hoffer said in a statement about the new round of funding. “The future of AI-enhanced digital comics publishing will further support the GlobalComix mission of putting creators first. Our timely integration of AI tools throughout our ecosystem couldn't be more opportune."
It’s worth noting that Carter has already clarified that “the AI angle here is entirely around creator tooling, experience enhancement and opening up access to stories worldwide across generations, across nations and languages and countries, and these types of things,” as opposed to the use of generative AI to create comic books… although perhaps the use of the AI term is enough to scare off some creators.
Certainly, GlobalComix is an ambitious company — it notably announced plans to create a global print-on-demand comic book publishing service last year, for those who don’t remember — and this round of investment is surely something to take notice of. And yet, for now, it’s going to be interesting to see which big publishers start looking towards partnering with GlobalComix in the next few months — once Marvel, DC, or Image goes with the platform, that’s when it’ll become clear that ComiXology has some true competition.
Earlier this year, GlobalComix partnered with TKO Studios for a new global digital distribution agreement.