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9 Comixology Tips for Digital Comics Mastery

These tips will help you make the most of your time with the digital comic-book app.

By Jeffrey L. Wilson

Comixology (New York City–based and Amazon-owned)first burst on the scene in 2007 with a novel idea: to bring digital comic books to mobile devices.

Comixology isn’t the only company to make that move, but it’s become the most successful, with thousands of American comics, manga, trade paperbacks, and graphic novels available for purchase. In fact, Comixology serves as the home for platform-exclusive digital comics from a variety of publishers.

So, what makes Comixology attractive to creators and to its user base? The service offers digital versions of print comics on the same day as physical releases, many money-saving sales, excellent mobile apps that include the incredibly useful Guided View technology, and the ability for independents to self-publish.

Although those are features that I deeply appreciate, Comixology’s most attractive aspect, in my opinion, is the breadth of its library.

I own Amazing Fantasy #15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man) and The Incredible Hulk #1 (the first appearance of the big gray-green guy), which were published before I was born. Comixology also has EC Comics’ 1950s-era Tales from the Crypt series, as well as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s 1940s-era Young Romance titles. There are holes in the catalog, sure, but Comixology is a one-stop-shop for those who want to explore comic book history.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time using Comixology. As a result, I know the platform well and have accumulated valuable Comixology knowledge to pass on to those who are new to the platform. Below, you’ll find valuable tips that will show you how to execute many Comixology-enhancing actions, including managing your collection and gifting others with digital comics. But more important, enjoy those comics!

Time Your Comic Book Purchases

There’s never a bad time to buy digital comics, but a well-timed purchase can save you significant shekels. Comixology has sales popping off all the time, so with a little foresight and planning, you can take advantage of deep discounts to nab your favorite titles on the cheap.

For example, Comixology frequently has sales tied to the release of comic book-based movies or television programs. For example, when Captain America: Civil War hit theaters in May 2016, Comixology had an accompanying sale that I used to fill in holes in my Cap comic collection. And, like Valve’s infamous Steam sales, Comixology has across-the-board sales during Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

These deals are listed in the homepage slider, so they’re difficult to miss. Check ’em out.

Subscribe to Your Favorite Titles

Say you discover a series that you really, really enjoy. Instead of manually purchasing issues as they’re released, you can simply subscribe to a series by visiting one of the Comixology issue pages dedicated to the series and clicking the big Subscribe icon. Now you need not worry about missing a future issue.

Please note that subscribing to a series only promises that you’ll purchase upcoming issues. If you subscribed to a series after it began, you must manually purchase the earlier issues.

Gorge a Comic Book Buffet

Comixology Unlimited may prove enticing to people who don’t want to spend a grip of money purchasing individual comic book issues. The all-you-can-eat subscription service lets you read more than 20,000 select comics from a variety of publishers, including Archie, DC, Dark Horse, Fantagraphics, and Marvel.

Sync Your Comixology and Marvel Accounts

Comixology has a digital comic-book platform. Marvel has a digital-comic book platform. You can make them dance together. Connect the two accounts by visiting comixology.com/marvel-sync and logging in with your Marvel credentials. Any digital-comics codes you redeem at marvel.com/redeem make their respective books appear in your Comixology account.

Archive Unwanted Comics

Comixology doesn’t let you delete comics you don’t like, but you can hide them. Selecting the Archive option associated with any of the comics in your collection makes a book disappear from your Smart Lists.

To remove those books from Archives and return them to the Smart Lists, click My Books > Archive and select the Unarchive option associated with a particular book.

Download DRM-Free Backups

Did you know that Comixology lets you download titles to your computer so you can read them without first logging into your account? From the Comixology.com home screen (yes, you can only do it via the company’s website), click My Books > Backups. Once there, you’ll see purchased books that are available for download in CBZ or PDF form.

Unfortunately, DC and Marvel want no part of this, as the comic book titans likely see it as something that promotes illegal distribution. On the upside, Archie, IDW, Image, and Valiant are just four of the publishers that support DRM-free backups.

Once you’ve downloaded your books, you can read them in your favorite digital comic-book reader.

Activate Instant Checkout

By default, Comixology prompts you to add a book to the shopping cart and then select a payment method before hitting the big old Buy icon. But you can ditch those steps by enabling Instant Checkout by visiting Username > My Account > Billing.

Once you do that, a Buy Instantly icon appears under each book listing in the Comixology store. Click that, and you own the book.

Quickly Browse Pages

Sometimes you’ve just got to flip back to a page you’ve already read due to a shocking moment, story revelation, or some other plot point. Now, you can’t technically flip digital comic book pages, but you can quickly browse them.

On a mobile device, you can do so by swiping pages left or right. On the desktop, press the left or right arrow keys on your keyboard or by clicking the Browse icon and then clicking a page thumbnail.

Give an eGift Card

Altruism is a good thing. If you have a comic-book fan in your life who you’d like to bless with a digital comic book, consider a Comixology eGift Card.

Begin by clicking the eGift link on the home page and then selecting an eGift Card. You can pick any of the preselected amounts, from $10 to $100, or key in an amount of your choosing. After that, type the recipient’s email address and select a delivery day. Boom! You’ve given the gift of comics.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com on October 9, 2019.

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